Time to say 'Provecho'
Chef Bhakti Mehta and restaurateur Nikita Gupta are gearing up to serve hot and spicy Mexican food
It all started about a year ago when chef Bhakti Mehta and restaurateur Nikki Gupta went vacationing in Hong Kong. In a span of six days the two friends tried 22 restaurants. "We were blown away by all the amazing dishes we tried and ingredients we discovered. We came back with a lot of ingredients, too and that became the starting point for our first Cantonese pop-up back in November 2017," says Gupta, one half of The Two Aprons, who curate and host authentic and experiential meals, in the lead-up to their first Mexican pop-up scheduled for this weekend.
The name is symbolic not just of Mehta and Gupta's camaraderie, but also of the two facets of fine-dining — front-end customer experience and back-end kitchen specifics. "We try to curate a 360-degree experience by giving decor, ambience and music as much importance as the food itself. This is where I come in, whereas Bhakti spearheads the kitchen," Gupta shares.
The foodie besties will be serving up authentic Mexican dishes ranging from tacos, enchiladas, tamales, bowls of guacamole, icy margaritas and intriguing dishes such as salmon avocado mango ceviche and tres leches, a coconut and tequila-flavoured churro. Chef Mehta vouches that the experience will be unique. "We are sourcing ingredients all the way from Mexico, including chillies. There are going to be eight types of salsas, plus this will be the city's first seven-course Mexican meal," she says.
Gupta tells us that the two are also sourcing ingredients such as currant tomatoes, purple sweet and orange potatoes, and butternut squash among others, from farms across India. When asked to pick two highlights from the menu, Mehta picks the tamale and the tacos. "Tamale is a dish made with seasoned maize flour steamed or baked in maize husks. We have our own take on it and are working further with some interesting fillings such as jalapenos and Mexican cheese and chillies. For the tacos we are working with a mix of blue and yellow corn for authentic masa harina. Fillings will vary from cataifi shrimps from Cambay, to jalapeños to marinated pork."
Chicken chipotle tostada with avocado and sour cream
The mention of blue corn makes our ears stand and Mehta explains, "Blue corn masa is traditional blue corn ground to make mass flour for tortillas. So we are using the same for our tacos, too." Speaking of why the two thought of a Mexican pop-up, Gupta keeps it short. "I mean we could survive just on tacos," she exclaims.
On: August 10, 7.30 pm; August 12, 12.30 pm
At: The A Club, One Indiabulls Centre, Lower Parel.
Log on to: instamojo.com/twoaprons
Cost: Rs 3,200 (food); Rs 1,500 (drinks)
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