Restaurant Review: Asian-themed restaurant replaces one-time favourite in Khar
An Asian-themed restaurant replaces a one-time favourite with the aim to please gourmands of Khar
The nip in the air is perfect, and the high walls of the newly-opened space manage to drown out the sound of traffic outside, as we sip on a glass of mazi me (Rs '550) - a red wine, fresh fruit, basil and kafir lime sangria.
Yellow curry prawn dumpling. Pics/Sneha Kharabe
We move indoors and the refreshing drink, combined with the dimly lit interiors, prep us for a long tasting session at 12 Union Park, the new Asian restaurant that replaces Shatranj Napoli. The owners are the same - Ashok Datwani and Kishore David Frederick (with Suved Lohia as the managing partner) - and the interiors see few changes in terms of flooring and the outdoor section.
Head chef Jugal Pradhan says he is inspired by his travels to Europe, especially to Nobu Monte Carlo, which made him add the miso black cod (Rs 500) to the menu. The earthy sweet miso enhances the flavours of the delicate meat, making it one of our favourites on the menu; such that we nearly ignore the black rice and baby spinach that accompanies it.
Other favourites come from the appetiser section, mushroom medley sate (RS 395) and crispy lotus stem (Rs 425). Pradhan uses shiitake and button mushrooms, coated in an umami dressing that is smooth perfection. The lotus stem discs are spicy and the crunch to it is addictive. The larb gai (RS 360) salad softens the burst of flavours in our mouth with its crackling rice and mint dressing. It features chicken cooked with date and jaggery, which gives the dish a sweet undertone.
Grilled pepper beef
It's time for the sushi to roll in, and the options are many. We try the ebi sushi roll (Rs 685), and volcano tuna roll made with spicy tuna. Already full, the seafood suimai (Rs 390) is thankfully light on palate, as is the yellow curry prawn dumpling (Rs 360). The grilled pepper beef (Rs 425) appetiser mildly layers our taste buds with the heat of the pepper but the texture of the meat remains the highlight of this dish.
Miso black cod
The menu also has oft-seen options such as burnt garlic noodles and sichuan chicken, but we suggest you let the chef help you with reccos and try something new instead. We end the meal with a honey walnut tart, and hope they get more Asian-inspired desserts on their menu soon.
Be it beef, chicken, seafood or pork, the restaurant has many options for meat lovers (we plan to eat their double-cooked pork belly soon) and vegetarians won't be disappointed either.
Opens Today, 6.30 pm to 12.30 pm (will be an all day soon)
At: 12 Union Park, Khar West.