Mumbai Food: Olive's replacement at Mahalaxmi impresses with great dining option
An Asian restaurant that replaces a high-profile favourite at Mahalaxmi looks set to carve a niche with scrumptious veg and non-veg options
Pork spare ribs in spicy black bean sauce
There are a few restaurants we go back to not just for the food but because they make us happy for no particular reason. One such location is the racecourse — a cocktail in our hand and a view of majestic horses in the stable, Olive at Mahalaxmi, with all its ups and downs, holds a sun-filled spot in our hearts.
Mushroom cheung fun
So, when we enter Keiba (which means horse racing in Japanese and sunrise in Hawaiian), the new Asian restaurant that replaces Olive, that sense of calm prevails. There's a lot more colour, the façade has a giant mural of a cherry tree, a recurring motif at the space. Co-owner Ronak Rochlani, a dentist and an events firm owner, tells us the place looks completely different and equally appealing at night (we are already making plans to book a table in their tree house-style section) when we mention our love for the location. Other owners include Suren Joshi (Pali Village Café and Su Casa) and Neeti Goel (Nom Nom and Madras Diaries).
Salmon and avocado maki rolls
Goel, a vegetarian, tells us that they wanted to focus on a strong green menu that didn't include paneer and basmati. The chefs, Zhu and Wang, from China; and Karan Bane and Seefah Ketchaiyo of The Blue have done a great job of making simple preparations, like the spinach pak choi fried rice ('375), a dish that can stand its ground without curry. The optimum use of such basic ingredients comes to the fore in the Asian greens clear soup ('295), and crunchy okra with blooming onions and fried garlic ('425); a cracker of a dish that winningly uses the stickiness of okra.
Cantonese spinach noodle
The cocktails, matcha root ('545), a barley shochu drink made with in-house matcha tea liqueur; and morini batah ('795), an avocado, sake, vodka and soy milk concoction, please us with their unique use of South East Asian ingredients. Those who like their dim sums and maki rolls must try the water chestnut and leek dumpling ('375), and salmon and avocado maki roll ('725) that uses Norwegian salmon. By the time we try the delicious pork spare ribs in spicy black bean sauce ('575), we contemplate whether we have room left for dessert. But the sakhoo mapraw oon ('350), a stellar sago, tender coconut and milk liquid dessert, is light enough for a round two. The decadent chocolate fondant with hazelnut gelato ('350), is a dessert we will repeatedly visit for.
Matcha root, fix the pump
Opens January 10, 7 pm to 1.30 am (will open for lunch soon)
At Amateur Riders' Club, Mahalaxmi Racecourse, Mahalaxmi.