Crispy Duck Salad. Pics/Bipin Kokate
If you have mourned the lack of spaces in South Mumbai offering quality Asian fare, you're in luck. Say hello to Jia, a new restaurant in Colaba that promises to cure those dim sum cravings.
Helmed by Neville Vazifdar, who brought us the Royal China brand 14 years ago, Jia exudes an air of confidence that only comes with experience. To begin with, Vazifdar has snatched up prime property for his baby. Nestled in the historic Dhanraj Mahal, Jia replaces the flagship outpost of LPQ.
JIA Special Roll
Step into the restaurant, and your eyes are drawn upwards to the stark white, beehive-inspired ceiling that inches downwards, not unlike a stalactite formation.
While older sibling Royal China focuses on Cantonese cuisine, Jia brings in Japanese and Thai fare as well, giving you an extensive menu to flip through. If that wasn't enough, there's also an additional menu for vegetarians.
Truffle Edamame Dumpling
Vazifdar says he prefers to use imported ingredients from around the world. Among other things, you can expect edamame from Japan, chillies from Thailand, truffles from Italy, and Berkshire Pork from the UK.
If you're looking for a light lunch, try the Jia Special Roll (R725). It features eight uramaki rolls with crispy prawn tempura and a house-made sauce, draped with avocado slices.
The Truffle Edamame Dumpling (R575) is stuffed with creamy edamame mash and a touch of truffle. The winning dish is the Crispy Duck Salad (R775), which marries crunchy, plum-sweetened duck with a zesty lemongrass sauce.
Among the mains, the Five Treasure Mushroom Fried Rice with Truffle Oil (R975) stands out, and, although generously buttered, it's deceptively light. For those who love their curries, the Vegetable Thai Green Curry (R575) here has the right amount of heat, balanced by rich coconut milk.
We only wish the desserts had bowled us over too.
At Dhanraj Mahal, Colaba.
Time 12 pm to 3.30 pm, 7.30 pm to 12 am