Mumbai Food: Versova's multi-cuisine restaurant packs up a small surprise
A cute multi-cuisine restaurant in Versova is a worthy addition to a road packed with eateries
Restaurants come. Restaurants go. That's the story on Versova Beach Road, a long stretch in Andheri where only a few places like Jamjar and WTF! have achieved any sort of permanence. Many others have eaten humble pie, disappearing into the black hole of the F&B business. So, when we spot what looks like a cute little eatery from the outside, we decide to check out how it stacks up. It's called Nomada, and the question we have is whether it's good enough to survive in the long run.
We walk into the pocket-sized restaurant and our first impression is that it's been tastefully done up. The rugged white walls aren't littered with needless artwork, while potted plants hung above the service counter add a touch of elegance. One side has linear seating and a mirrored wall, presumably to give the illusion of space. And old-fashioned black charging points next to the only two tables reveal attention to detail.
Suitably impressed, we peruse the menu to find that, like the décor, this is minimal too. It involves an assortment of burgers, open sandwiches, salads, small plates and mains, from which we pick Korean chicken, po boi burger and entrecote. Then, as an afterthought, we add a cucumber and basil cooler to the order, considering how the Mumbai summer is finally here to stay.
The chicken dish (Rs 250) arrives first, in the form of long, thin strips that have sesame seeds stuck to a bulgogi glaze. Now, bulgogi is traditionally meant for beef or pork. But this version also works since it isn't overtly sweet and has a light crunchiness that comes from the paper-thin batter. Tiny shreds of scattered spring onion complement the meat, which is a bit oily, but in a good way. And the cooler (Rs 125) arrives when we are halfway through the dish, providing the sort of succour from the weather that we had hoped for.
The po boi burger (Rs 400) is served next. It has a filling of Cajun shrimps that look like they led a healthy life before being packed between two multigrain buns and slathered with pickled aioli remoulade. The addition of apple slaw is a sweet touch, quite literally. It's overall a wholesome dish and leaves us with little space for the entrecote (Rs 450), which is what we wait for after we are done.
Cucumber and basil cooler
This wait, though, turns out to be as long as it takes to, say, stand in line to get your passport renewed. That isn't necessarily a bad thing. We are all for restaurants taking their time over a dish so that it's prepared with tender loving care. But the question is, will that reflect in the taste? Thankfully, it does in this case. The entrecote consists of small pieces of tenderloin steak lying on a thick bed of onion and cilantro jus, with an assortment of boiled veggies like broccoli, Brussels sprouts and carrots.
The meat has been cooked to medium-rare and is chewy without you having to wage a war while biting it. The only issue is that the sprouts could have been boiled just a bit more. But then again, it's better to have Brussels sprouts that are still slightly hard than bitter, overcooked ones.
Overall, then, Nomada doesn't seem to be the sort of place that will pack up any time soon on a stretch that's notorious for ruthless competition. Versova Beach Road, in fact, is like a year on the calendar, in that it changes face almost every season. The restaurant industry is anyway an unforgiving one. Not many eateries have it in them to stand the test of time. Jamjar, which is right next to Nomada, is a notable exception, like we said earlier. But after the experience
we have had, we have a feeling that a number of its customers will now opt for the new neighbour.
At Nomada, 8/A Aram Nagar, Versova, Andheri West.
Time 1 pm to 12 am
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