'Dashanzi' gets its name after one of the hippest neigbourhoods in Beijing — an art district that was gentrified and soon attracted scores of artists, designers, as well as quirky cafés and unique restaurants.
Vegetable Tempura. Pics/Nimesh dave
That's the first hint you get about this soon-to-be-launched restaurant within the Marriott, Juhu. The idea, we are told but the brains behind it, is to create a space that's fun and quirky. And the name had to reflect that philosophy.
The design has a restaurant-and-lounge theme — the ambience is warm and cozy, with dark wood furnishings and soft lighting. True to its name, the space emphasizes on art. The music too has been carefully curated to add to its coolth. Since it is still being furbished, we couldn't catch a glimpse of it. That said we managed to get a taste.
Barbecued Lamb Chops, Braised Radish and Tender Green Asparagus
The restaurant has on board two expat chefs: Chef Stanley from China and Chef Don Don from Japan. Together with Executive Sous Chef Ranjit Thomas and Executive Chef Himanshu Taneja, they've created a menu that brings the flavours of the Far East yet suits the Indian palate.
Deconstructed Chocolate Affogato Sphere
We start with the Salad of seared Bai Ling, Mushrooms, Truffle and Asparagus (Rs 325 before taxes and charges). It comes sprinkled with pine nuts and pomegranate. The greens are fresh and crunchy, while the truffle dressing gives it a distinct flavour and mustard adds kick.
Chef Ranjit informs that many of the ingredients are sourced from Japan and China. We move on to the Vegetable Tempura (Rs 325), which is crunchy while the Tentsuyu is chatpata. We are told that in Dashanzi, vegetarians don't come second! We spotted plenty of options on the menu for herbivores.
We move on to the dim-sums: Chicken Hajikame, Truffle Siu Mai (Rs 475), Prawns Squid Ink (Rs 475), Chicken and Asparagus (Rs 450); all of which come served in delicate bamboo steamers. The portions are large enough to serve two or three. The dishes are mildly spiced such that you can enjoy the flavours of the individual ingredients. A burst of colour from the garnishing makes the dish visually appealing.
Seafood with Fried Rice
For the mains, we start with Barbecued Lamp Chops, braised Radish and tender green Asparagus (Rs 2,200). The dish comes served on a mini-grill. The lamp chops are tender while the mint, garlic and brown sugar dressing makes it finger-licking good. Next comes the Sanpei Chicken Claypot (Rs 650) with Sea Food, along with Fried Rice (Rs 350). The chicken is juicy and mildly spiced despite its fiery colour while the jasmine rice is flavourful and spicy, thanks to cut chili peppers.
We sign off in style with Deconstructed Chocolate Affogato Sphere (Rs 400), which once again is served dramatically: A ball of chocolate within which lies ice cream; at your table, the server pours hot chocolate. The ball melts revealing the white vanilla within. And you can't wait to dig in.
Chef Stanley and Chef Don Don
While we didn't sip on any alcohol, Dashazi dubs itself as 'the city's largest gin bar', referring to the many different gins to be served-up here. A tag like that, coupled with a distinct design philosophy, and a menu that crosses borders, is a tall order to follow. With Mumbaikars always looking for something unique, Dashanzi may be just the Asian-themed indulgence that you crave.
At JW Marriott, Juhu, Vile Parle (W).
Dashanzi opens to the public on July 2