There's shroom for more

Updated: Sep 25, 2019, 08:54 IST | Suman Mahfuz Quazi

After modern culinary icon Rene Redzepi went all-out sharing his discoveries of unique and strange mushrooms, we did a little scouring ourselves. Here's where to savour uncommon variants of the fleshy fungi

Danish chef René Redzepi is a little like the Andy Warhol of the global F&B industry. He’s the kind of person who can serve food on a stone and make it “cool”. An imagination so vivid (however bastardised at the hands of his contemporaries) that it can inspire creativity. “What’s this foraging?” you say — ask René.

mushroomRedzepi posted a video of this mushroom aka shaggy ink cap

Over the past five weeks, Redzepi, also the founder of the two Michelin star restaurant Noma, went quite literally wild discovering a host of gorgeous and peculiar variants of the fungi, including lion’s mane mushroom, which looks like a Nordic porcupine with fleshy spines and a lolly-shaped beauty called shaggy ink cap.

The delicious images set in motion a thought, and then, a hunt for dishes with weird mushrooms right here in Mumbai. Here’s what we found.

Let it snow

mushroom

Snow fungus, or tremella fuciformis, is a tropical mushroom, mostly sold in its dehydrated form. Popular in Southeast Asian cuisines, it is available at this restaurant, where it is used while preparing the teriyaki stir-fry wild mushrooms, along with porcini, enoki and oyster mushrooms. “It adds a crunch to this combination of different types of fungi, all of which are wok tossed with garlic, sake, spring onion and chilly oyster,” shares chef Rohan D’Souza.

mushroomChef Rohan D'souza

At Estella, Nichani Kutir Building, Juhu.
Time 6 pm to 1 am
Call 7999998212
Cost Rs650

Totally bamboo-zled

mushroom

It is a hollow fungus that grows on bamboo plants, found mostly in the Yunnan province in Southwestern China. Also called sea treasure, this is usually more expensive than the darker specimens. Because of its lacy fibres and porous texture, it absorbs flavours like a sponge,” says expat head chef at an Asian diner, Raymond Wong, while speaking about bamboo pith, a type of mushroom that they import from Thailand. The Chinese wild mushroom soup they are used in also features wolf berry, crunchy carrots and lettuce.

mushroomChef Raymond Wong

At Hakkasan, Waterfield Road, Bandra West.
Time 12 pm to 4 pm
Call 61378005
Cost Rs685

The world is your...

mushroom

... oyster mushroom, which you can find in the nabemono, a Japanese one-pot dish available at this Japanese restaurant. Chef Lakhan Jethani says, “The mushrooms we use are grown locally by Rohini Farms, near Vasai-Virar. They are organic and have a mild taste, with the subtle flavour of oyster.”

mushroomChef Lakhan Jethani

At Mizu, Atria Mall, Worli.
Time 12 pm to 11.30 pm
Call 9372023641
Cost Rs2,200 to Rs2,800 (for eight people)

Go for-age it

mushroom

“Mushrooms are a lot more than just fungus. They’re low in sodium, have almost no fat or cholesterol and are a source of Vitamin B,” chef Livingstone Shaiza of Goa’s Meiphung Northeast Bar and Restro, which has a temporary home at a Lower Parel venue until the end of next month, tells us. At the pop-up, the potato/chicken with wild mushrooms feature langphong, a foraged type that is found underneath trees or on dead trees. “They smell and taste like the forest that gives the broth a rustic and earthy flavour when combined with king chilli and garlic chives,” Shaiza informs.

At Cameo Kitchen, FLEA Bazaar Cafe, Oasis Complex, Lower Parel.
Till October 31, 12 pm to 1 am
Call 9152017990
Cost Rs250 (for veg Rs320 (for chicken)

King-ing onto this

mushroom

Abhishek Bindal, vice president – operations at KA Hospitality, which owns an Asian diner in BKC, swears by the meaty texture of king trumpet mushrooms. It is used in the hot and sour soup, a simmering broth that also makes use of bamboo shoot, enoki mushrooms, tofu, toban sauce, dark soy, red chillies and rice vinegar. “They have a hearty base flavour that makes them an appealing stand-in for meat for many vegetarians. They are distinctly juicy and nutty, and almost comparable to seafood such as calamari, abalone, or scallops,” he explains.

mushroomAbhishek Jindal

 At Yauatcha Patisserie, Raheja Tower, BKC.
Time 12 pm to 11.30 pm
Call 9222222800
Cost Rs470

Also try

mushroom

The sour and spice mushroom dimsums with white fungus, shiitake, chestnut and carrots, all wrapped in tapioca and steamed. “Popularly known as snow fungus, it has many medicinal benefits. It is commonly used in soups and helps clear out lungs and soothe dry coughs,” Kaneesha Jain, co-franchisee holder of a healthy café, tells us. 

At Santé Spa Cuisine, BKC, Bandra East.
Time
11 am to 12 am
Call 26532299
Cost
Rs420

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