There's shroom for more
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.
Redzepi 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
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.
Chef Rohan D'souza
At Estella, Nichani Kutir Building, Juhu.
Time 6 pm to 1 am
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.
Chef Raymond Wong
At Hakkasan, Waterfield Road, Bandra West.
Time 12 pm to 4 pm
The world is your...
... 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.”
Chef Lakhan Jethani
At Mizu, Atria Mall, Worli.
Time 12 pm to 11.30 pm
Cost Rs2,200 to Rs2,800 (for eight people)
Go for-age it
“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
Cost Rs250 (for veg Rs320 (for chicken)
King-ing onto this
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.
At Yauatcha Patisserie, Raheja Tower, BKC.
Time 12 pm to 11.30 pm
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
Catch up on all the latest Mumbai news, crime news, current affairs, and also a complete guide on Mumbai from food to things to do and events across the city here. Also download the new mid-day Android and iOS apps to get latest updates
Sign up for all the latest news, top galleries and trending videos from Mid-day.comSubscribe
Don't miss the Butterfly festival in Mumbai this weekend!