Fairly priced with proper portions, gourmet dishes prepared with fine ingredients make Soi Kitchen a haven for lovers of vegetarian oriental food, writes GITA HARI.
Ever wondered if vegetarian fare in oriental cuisine can ever tempt you to distraction? As is wont, curries and gravies of Pan Asian food are mostly concomitant with seafood and meat. Belying this myth is the gourmet Asian menu at the fortnight-old pure vegetarian casual diner Soi Kitchen with an extensive selection of hand rolled sushis, momos, curries and noodles that promise to tantalize the palates of staunchest of carnivores. Soi Kitchen, the newest culinary offspring of Mihir Desai and Amit Singh of Corum Hospitality, is a green turnaround by the owners of The Bar Stock Exchange and Masala Zone popular for their non-veg delicacies.
The stairs leading to Soi Kitchen on the first level of Destination building in Ghatkopar has multi-hued wooden strips visible from inside the restaurant too which creates an arty look coupled with carvings and symmetrical ceiling in wood. Chrome lights emanating
from spherical hanging lamps create mood lighting just right to visually gorge the striking food presentations in colourful casseroles. The restaurant sports two types of seating – four-seater tables and boxed sofas on the edges. The French windows allow a view of the pedestrian and vehicular activity below.
Chilli Pepper Cottage Cheese had soft paneer tossed in Asian sauces with peppers and spring onion greens. Dry Cottage Cheese Manchurian was delectable with paneer balls tossed in lots of finely chopped ginger-garlic green chillies n soya sauce. Crispy potato fingers mingled with chilli, pepper and crushed peanuts to generate a nice crunch in the mouth. The restaurant panders to Tibetan taste buds with Thupka – a dense vegetable soup and Momos. The latter though disappointed us with thick uncooked covering producing a raw taste to an otherwise interesting filling of corn chilli with cheese. On the beverage front, we choose the fresh Watermelon granita – a soothing drink to complement oriental specialties.
If you like your dishes hot and spicy, try Indonesian Jackfruit pitched with coconut milk and peanut butter or Chiang Mai Mushroom with red curry paste – both are fiery.
For main course, Mix Veggies in Lemon sauce – wok tossed mix vegetables with crushed black pepper in lemony sauce with Fried Rice were passable. You can choose your sauce (black bean, Hunan, Schezwan, Shanghai) in Chin Chow Vegetables of exotic veggies with green and red pepper cooked in shredded ginger, chilli and soya sauce.
The Burmese one-meal dish Khow Suey at Rs.285 was fantastic with creamy coconut milk gravy and crunchy trappings of fried onion, cashew nut, peanut, chilly, coriander, scallion and lemon wedges. Curiosity made us order Laav se Taav to find rich golden gravy with vegetables and cashew nuts. Red Hot Cottage Cheese Steak is a Shanghai style preparation which tasted sweet, spicy and sour with a hint of garlic. Massaman, Malayasian and Thai curries, Pot Rice galore at this specialty place.
To wind off, Choco Lava Rolls is a fitting plate comprising six rolls filled with hot liquid chocolate accompanied by vanilla ice cream. Other temptalicious desserts are Death by Chocolate and Chocolate Avalanche.
Service needs to buck up as appropriate sauces for soup and starters went missing from the table. Fairly priced with proper portions, gourmet dishes prepared with fine ingredients make Soi Kitchen a haven for lovers of vegetarian oriental food.
Restaurant: Soi Kitchen
Dinner for Two: Rs.800
Cuisine: Pan Asian