Street foods with a molecular twist — that’s what Spice Klub is all about. Nikshubha Garg visits the latest vegetarian eatery in Lower Parel to find out whether the food lives up to the hype
If you are a pucca Mumbaikar, it’s a given that you know your street food well. But what if you could eat the very same vada pav, papdi chaat, dahi vada and pav bhaji with a slight twist, and relish it even more?
The interiors of Spice Klub are tastefully done. Pics/Kaushik Thanekar
Joining the ranks of vegetarian restaurants that follow the trend of molecular gastronomy, Spice Klub, is the latest eatery to open its doors in Lower Parel. We headed to the restaurant to see if the food was as different as it claimed to be.
The Soap Cake, a chocolate dessert, was presented beautifully in a soap case
What instantly grabbed our attention was the simplicity of the décor and the spaciouness of the eatery. Exposed brick walls lent the place a quaint charm, and the soft instrumental music in the background was soothing on the ear. It was lunch time, and most of the tables were occupied. A good sign, we thought.
First up, we ordered the Masala Makai Seekh (Rs 355) — kebabs made of cornflour, tossed with grated onion and cabbage. The kebabs melted in our mouth instantly.
While the taste of the Pav Bhaji Fondue reminded us of the yummy treats at street stalls, the presentation made all the difference
Next up was the Pav Bhaji Fondue (Rs 395). The bhaji is served in a fondue pot garnished with chopped onions along with mini buns and fondue forks. We dipped our buns in the bhaji and were transported to another world. The aerated frothy bhaji tasted as good as the one you would get at your favourite pav bhaji corner, yet, was light on the stomach.
The lot that followed comprised Dahi Vada (Rs 395) and Vada Pav (Rs 395). In the former, the crumbled vada was served with spherificated yogurt, and coriander and tamarind chutney on the side. Following the chef’s instructions, we sprinkled the crumbled vada on the yogurt along with the chutney and had the spoonful in one go.
The sweet yogurt burst on our tongue and the chutneys left an interesting aftertaste.
The deconstructed Vada Pav was unlike anything we have seen before. On the tray was a mousse-like substance, which turned out to be the potato filling (vada), boondi (gram flour crumbs), mini buns, coriander and tamarind chutneys and a dry garlic chutney, neatly wrapped in edible plastic pouches made out of potato starch. We filled the buns with the components on the tray and took a bite of the vada pav. The boondi gave the vada pav the much-desired crunch and the spicy garlic-chutney completed the experience. For the main course, we ordered the Amritsari Vadi Aloo (Rs 395) and Roomali Roti (Rs 70) along with Kalakhatta Mojito (R165) and Punch on the Pier (Rs 165). The Vadi Aloo was a bit too spicy and the roomali roti, too crunchy. We wish they had dabbled with molecular gastronomy when it came to mains too. Punch on the Pier stood out because of the soothing concoction of fruit juices such as orange and pineapple.
For a sweet ending to our meal, we chose the Soap cake (Rs 375). Belgian chocolate cake, shaped like a bar of Pears soap, was served along with dairy foam and a towel, on an actual soap dish! While the inside of the cake was filled with crumbled chocolate, liquid chocolate covered the exterior. Despite chocolate being the only ingredient in the dessert, it wasn’t too sweet. Also, the dairy foam helped maintain the balance.
Spice Klub is an interesting hangout for family and friends and fulfills its promise of interesting dishes using molecular gastronomy. However, whether it can convince Mumbaikars to spend a large sum on traditional street food items, we will have to wait and watch.
We cannot rate the experience, as it was a preview
Price: Rs 1,800 for two
At: 8A, Janta Indsutrial Estate, opposite Phoenix Mills, Senapati Bapat Road, Lower Parel