Mumbai food: Juhu's +91 takes you on a gastronomical journey across India
Suran Ki Galouti. Pics/Sayyed Sameer Abedi
Located on the bend of a milling street at Juhu's Gulmohar Road, it's hard to miss +91. The curved facade, painted pristine white, looks surreal against the night sky. As we move towards the entrance, the large windows give us a peek of the brightly coloured installations housed in the space sprawled over 2,000 sq feet. It's easy to mistake it for a highbrow design house. Only, it's a restaurant with a palpably artsy vibe. We are at the newest entrant to the Indian dining segment, launched by Vipul D Shah (creator of Comedy Nights) and restaurateur Bipin Grewal, that opens its doors this Wednesday.
Taking the country road
With the country dial code for its name, the restaurant is a product of the owners' travels across India, from Kashmir to Kanyakumari, to bring forth a dining concept that would represent the country. "However, we've consciously stayed away from the typical representation of an Indian restaurant with khatiyas and gaddas, because there's so much you can create without stereotypes," says Prashant Chaudhri, spokesperson. For instance, the pop coloured walls are dotted with +91 numericals in different Indian scripts. Next to it is an artwork created with vintage Indian matchbox art.Our favourite? The burnt yellow handmade tiles in the live kitchen area which houses the tandoor.
The interiors are sophisticated, and at the same time exude a youthful vibe, which makes it an ideal dinner date destination. But no Bieber or an Ed Sheeran in the background, please.
The menu is extensive and includes the highlights from each region — from Lucknow's tunday kebabs to Kashmir's gushtaba. Interestingly, all dish names begin with the code of the respective region.
We start with 91-2366-Jambhul Karvand Martini (Rs 450), a drink inspired by the jamuns of Vengurla, a town in the Sindhudurg district of Maharashtra. The drink, which is infused with vodka and shaken with Java plum pulp, is an instant hit with the flavour of jamun blending beautifully with the spirit.
What we like about the drinks is the choice of ingredients like jackfruit and alu bukhara (plum) that give them an edge.
The concept reflects in the food as well. We spot dishes like the +91–194–Saffron and Suran Ki Galouti (Rs 375) and +91 – 022 – Bharli Vangi (Rs 450). You don't see yams or brinjals often in fine-dining menu. Here, the poached suran is lathered with cashew paste and homemade galouti masala, giving it a phenomenal flavour. It's at par with its meat counterpart, the +91–522–Baby Lamb Galouti – (Rs 550), a signature item on the menu.
The food is rich and stylishly presented, enough to leave us more than satisfied. But, we must admit, the prices appear slightly steep. However, you wouldn't mind loosening your purse strings for the experience because there's no compromise on quality, no matter which region you fancy.
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