Is the spurt in fusion foods and molecular gastronomy leading to authentic, fine dining restaurants losing their charm? Misbaah Mansuri takes a sneak peek at fine dining restaurants which still reign on hearts and minds of customers despite of not adopting hyped trends.
Ingenuity in crafting a gourmet experience could sometimes take away from the authenticity of a palate. On the contrary, it might help transcend borders facilitating a unique culinary excitement. While a plethora of restaurants have adopted the ‘fusion fashion’ and molecular gastronomy trends, there are few others which believe that beauty lies in embracing culinary ethos and living upto the true charm.
Retaining old-world charm, the Gallops is one of the most legendary fine dining outlets in the city. Apart from the breath-taking décor which gives a feel like an English tavern, the food too here is finger-licking good. A hidden gem, the food at this restaurant will make you go weak in the knees. Starters like the Lasooni Jhinga and Pahadi Kebab are a melt-in-the-mouth affair however it is the Nalli Nihari which is its crowning glory. Robust Indian flavours will tantalize your tastebuds. The undisputed Yakhni Pulao is another delight. “At Gallops we believe in good wholesome food, prepared using traditional recipes and we’ve been doing it that way for 29 years. We use the finest ingredients and source our spices from across the country to bring an authentic, fulfilling experience to the table,” explains Chef Yajush Malik, Head Chef at Gallops. A regal dining experience at restaurant conveys a tale of culinary originality in its most pure form.
Address: Mahalaxmi Race Course, Mahalaxmi, Mumbai
Phone: 022 30151130
Sahib Room and Kipling Bar:
Although this restaurant isn’t too old, its colonial charm and unmistakable Indian cuisine doesn’t seem to strike a chord then we don’t know what else will! The British Raj inspired setting with a monocle glinting on the signboard, ornate candelabras and an old-fashioned telephone will transport you back in time. The Gilawati Kebab and Rajma ki Tikki apart from the Kacche Gosht ki Biryani can tug over the most cynical heartstrings, making you appreciate the magic simple food can do. “If a customer wants Chanaa Masala, we prepare it for him even if it’s not on the menu and prefer cooking it how it is meant to be rather then transforming it,” explains Chef Vinod who spearheads the operations for the restaurant.
Address: The St. Regis Mumbai, 462, Senapati Bapat Marg, Lower Parel, Mumbai
Phone: 022 6162 8422
Maritime by San Lorenzo:
Chef Alessandro Bechini whips magic with the exotic flavours and delicate aromas that elevate the dining experience. Spaghetti Portofino and pan seared pomfret fillets will win you over and so will the warm hospitality. The mélange of traditional recipes and fresh preparations make this a must-visit for a splendid fine dining experience.
Address: Taj Lands End, Bandstand, Bandra West
Phone number: 022 66681234
Honesty in culinary preparation can enthral you more than anything else! That’s exactly why Punjab Grill comes into the picture. An establishment owned by Lite Bite Foods, this restaurant scores high with its plush setting and good ambience. The velvety kebab platter, Murgh Lababdar and the ravishing Dal Makhni will make you swoon at our country’s culinary repository. In multiple outlets, the restaurant is definitely a must visit for ardent fans of traditional food. The culinary delights make unaltered Indian food a complete pleasure to gorge on.
Address: Ground Floor, Morya Landmark – II, Opposite Infinity Mall, Off Andheri New Link Road, Andheri West, Mumbai
The home of legendary gourmands, the Masala Kraft never fails to attract customers to keep walking through their doors. The elite class interiors make you feel like you are sitting in the Land of the Giants. From the succulent Tandoori pomfret to the prawns biryani, everything entices you about the place. “We prefer sticking to the originality of the cuisine which is paramount rather than playing with its essence,” explains Chef Apurva Panchal.
Address: The Taj Mahal Palace Hotel, Apollo Bunder, Mumbai
Phone: 022 6665 3278
A beautifully crafted plate and satisfied palate is what Le Cirque at the Leela delivers. Be it the Pumpkin Tortelli with butternut squash or the Mille Foglie, a white chocolate mousse served with caramerlised eggplant discs, everything defines exquisite fine dining. Brace yourself to devour the best French fare in the city!
Address: The Leela, Andheri-Kurla Road, Andheri (E), Mumbai 400059
Phone: 022 66911344
Culture on our palate:
Fusion and experimentation could be a make or break and informed caution is imperative so as to not sacrifice on the culinary heritage of food in a quest for instant fame. However, as we know exclusivity is the pull. It is essential to break monotony and make these experiences into a culinary adventure. “Molecular gastronomy has endless possibilities. We get to explore and experiment with a wide range of ingredients and techniques. In the process we create something uniquely creative. To keep up with the increasing competition in the industry, creativity is what sets us apart. It’s appealing and appetising at the same time,” says Aditya Gupta, owner of Spiceklub and vegetarian Quattro Ristorante chain.