With love, from Lola
Kamala Mills' newest Italian restaurant serves delectable dishes that will make you come back for more
Crystal lights hang from the ceiling as a faint reminder of what used to be Talaiva at Kamala Mills. But the many black-and-white photographs of bosomy women eating pasta will give you a not-so-subtle hint of what the new property, La Lola, has to offer. At its helm is 21-year-old Ayush Sahani, who’s fresh out of HR College of Commerce and Economics. “I always believed that I was capable of starting something that offered a great experience to people, so age wasn’t a barrier.
Pollo e formaggi pizza
Even though opening a restaurant was a serious challenge, I knew that this was my break into the industry and I couldn’t let it go,” the debut restaurateur tells us excitedly over the phone after our anonymous visit. Sahani, who has no experience in the F&B space, explains that he picked Italian cuisine as he personally loves how the culture merges music, wine and good ambiance with food to create an experience. Also, Kamala Mills was lacking a good Italian restaurant, and he felt opening one would give him an edge over other properties in the F&B hub.
Back at the restaurant, we pray for the food to turn out well and call for an assorted bread basket (Rs175) and truffle tiki cocktail (Rs700), as we eye the other dishes on the concise menu. By the way, we are loving how newer restaurants are editing their menus to offer few but well-made dishes, rather than a khichdi of different cuisines.
Truffle tiki cocktail
While we wait for our special cocktail to arrive (ask them for their signature cocktails, as the menu does not list them), we order prawn tortellini (Rs575), torched brie crostini (Rs415) and pollo e formaggi pizza (Rs575).
A beautiful whiff of warm bread announces the arrival of our basket, served with a bowl full of butter. It includes two pieces each of sourdough, dark rye and focaccia bread, all of which are addictive. The dark rye stands out with the beautiful aroma of the grain and is worth breaking a no-bread rule in case you are following a diet. The cocktail, with notes of coconut and strawberry, and a drizzle of truffle oil is good, but not path-breaking.
Assorted bread basket
All’s forgiven when we bite into the crostini, a perfect 10 of a dish with pomegranate molasses, candied walnuts and cheese — though heavy on the pocket, every bite makes us want to order one more portion. As the prawn tortellini arrives, our instinct tells us that it’s all the way up from here on, as we can’t have enough of the smooth saffron sauce, and the mildly herbed prawn filling.
As a perfect finish to the night, our pizza comes in. While we don’t care much for the mini chunks of herbed chicken, we happily overlook it as the crust (made with organic flour) is perfectly crisp and stable to hold the mozzarella, gorgonzola and cheddar, with some rocket leaves and bell pepper reduction pulling it all together like a good symphony.
Though it is empty when we visit, the great food, warm service and groovy music make it a fun night for us, and we can’t wait to come back and try their slow-cooked pork belly or just a piece of the gooey chocolate cake.
At Level 3, Trade View Building, Kamala Mills, Lower Parel.
Time 12.30 pm to 3.30 pm (Friday, Saturday and Sunday); 6 pm to 1 am
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