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Updated: Dec 30, 2019, 07:54 IST | Phorum Dalal | Mumbai

The menu at Ministry of Dance in Versova is well choreographed, but needs to master the moves

Three-way hummus
Three-way hummus

Food: Varied
Ambience: Snazzy
Service: Attentive
Cost: Reasonable
Verdict: 1/4

’Tis the season to be jolly. So, when we walk into Ministry of Dance on December 27, the signs of an after-party are evident. Tables have stains, and the staff coaxes us to order only Asian food as the tandoor and continental chefs are still on their way. It is past noon and we insist on ordering from different sections and don’t mind the wait.

Margherita regina pizza
Margherita regina pizza

Started by celebrity dance choreographer Remo D’Souza and wife Lizelle in partnership with fellow dancer Krunal Shah, the restaurant’s al fresco section has swing-chairs and a garden lounge vibe. Inside, the decor is tastefully done in hues of pink, blue and white, with vintage furniture. The monotony is broken by high tables, tall chairs and golden chandeliers.

Our order for a three-way hummus (R320) and a drink called, you got served (R345) arrives relatively quickly, but we are served leftover, refrigerated hummus, in which a sourness has set in. The drink takes over 30 minutes to arrive because it is a molecular preparation, we are told. It is a concoction made with whiskey, chocolate and popcorn muddle. Liquid nitrogen pours out of the fish-bowl-shaped glass it comes in and the drink is full of molecular theatrics. And though the dish is palatable, we wish it was stiffer. We can barely taste the spirit, learn to savour it through the course of the meal.

Chimichurri prawns
Chimichurri prawns

The margherita regina pizza (R345) has a thick coat of stringy cheese with a pleasant and tangy sauce tucked underneath. The sun-dried tomatoes, olives and roasted garlic make their presence felt in every bite. It’s the perfect pizza — a warm, melting cover on a crisp base. The black olive and sesame chicken tikka (R350) is worth the wait. The subtle nutty flavour of the well-cooked meat comes coated in an olive and tahina rub tasting like a treat. The plate has splatters of beetroot and green sauces and looks pretty, too.

Our last dish is chimichuri prawns, roast potatoes and beurre blanc (R470). It’s a colourful preparation because each of the elements on the dish have been plated as adjacent rows. The vegetables are crunchy and the prawn has a herby finish. The white wine, vinegar and cream sauce is peppery, but has split and could have been smoother. For dessert, we eye the lemon meringue and fruit tarts, but are encouraged to try the sizzling brownie (R300) instead. This is a dessert that took Mumbai and our palates by storm in the 1990s, and we remember relishing it as a kid at iconic places like New Yorkers and Cream Centre first, followed by Bombay Blue.

We have stopped ordering the indulgent treat because of how it has been disrespected across establishments. And as feared, the brownie here, too, comes burnt on an over-heated hot plate. You can smell the disappointment from afar. We send it back and request the server to not charge us for it. Which reminds us. Dishing out a perfect sizzling brownie is an art, and unfortunately, not everyone has taken the effort to master it. So, if you do know of an eatery that does a good sizzling brownie, count us in to join you.

At Ministry of Dance,
Remi Commercio, Shah industrial road, near New Link Road, Andheri West.
Time 12 pm to 1 am
Call 50645962

1/4 Exceptional, 3/4 Excellent, 2/4 very Good, 1/4 Good, 0.5/4 Average. Ministry of Dance didn’t know we were there. The Guide reviews anonymously and pays for meals

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