Mumbai Food: Diner in Oshiwara to serve Japanese, Chinese and Thai fare
First in mid-day>> A new Asian supper club replaces a decade old watering hole and diner in Oshiwara to serve Japanese, Chinese and Thai fare
When a watering hole, Fingers Crossed, closed last year. Owner Ranbir Nagpal, however, had an Asian twist up his sleeve. He tied up with Bunty Arora, who is associated with Tryst and Soi 69, along with Atul Chopra of Three-Wise-Men fame, to launch Yazu, a pan-Asian supper club, which opens on January 12.
Stone grey steps lead up to the reservation desk and alfresco area. A Buddha, from the old space, has got an artsy makeover and sets the mood. Done up by Sumessh Menon, the space is well-lit and inviting. While one of the walls sports a mural, the rest are embellished with wood carvings and blocks. The bar top is made from a tree trunk and spills onto the al fresco section.
Devils Cottage Cheese
Executive chef Karma Tenpa, whose earlier stints include Conrad in Pune, is clear: "I don't like too much fusion — just a touch of it in plating, but the flavours will be authentic on the palate." The example comes in the form of the non-veg sushi boat (Rs 2,600), which has an assortment of sashimi, nigiri and rolls.
Now that the world is on a keto diet, they've included roll kuri (cucumber), carb-free sushi stuffed with smoked salmon, avocado and shitake. We are impressed with the delicate and compact execution. Just a dot of silky salmon cream elevates the prawn tempura, while the California roll is a classic ur akami style sushi with crab meat, tobiko and avocado. Our favourite is futokami, the biggest roll wearing a deep-fried tempura coat, with a flavour bomb of salmon, avocado, tuna and kuri encased within.
When we first try the bhut jholakia mule (Rs 475), we are let down by its sweetness and miss the heat of chillies, but when we ask them to make it once again, it leaves a lingering zing, enhanced by ginger and lemon. Our pick, though, is the Green Jade Garden, a special gin and tonic (Rs 475) spiked with turmeric and cucumber. All drinks are made with honey not sugar.
The spicy lotus root crispy (Rs 309) comes roasted and deep fried with toasted cashew nuts. Their biscuity texture adds to the texture. We love smoky devil's cottage cheese (Rs 349) that has a minced filling and a dim sum coating. The prettiest wrap is the charcoal inspired crispy pork cheung fun (Rs 479). It has a meaty bite with crunchy nori sheets.
For mains, we take a break from blue rice that the city is obsessed with, and get a Manipuri black chakhao rice (Rs 499) with egg, paired with chicken Thai curry (Rs 499) — both available in vegetarian options. The curry has a balanced street style punch of Thai chillies and the freshness of basil and coconut cream.
For all chocolate lovers, there is chef's mess, a take on American chef Grant Achatz's dessert. Ours comes with a hazelnut mousse chocolate bomb, passion fruit and berry compotes, brownie, macademia nuts and cookie crumble. But we are not bowled over. The homemade basil and coconut ice cream, hits the right notes of simple-yet-creamy comfort.
AT: Oshiwara Link Road, Lokhandwala, Andheri West
TIME: 12 pm to 1 am
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