Trend Watch: The experimental palette

Breaking away from the constraints of a conventional meal out are chefs, entrepreneurs and diners. Misbaah Mansuri discovers this and delves deeper into the trend of un-restauranteering.

Breaking away from the constraints of a conventional meal out are chefs, entrepreneurs and diners. Misbaah Mansuri discovers this and delves deeper into the trend of un-restauranteering.

Experiments and innovations run strong in the food world. The emergence of experimental spaces is a manifestation of this. What has to be understood is the fact that these are not your conventional dining experiences, with each of the concepts being unique in its own way. Great for the experimental chef and the diner, the concept is surely pushing culinary boundaries.

Magazine Kitchen

Magazine Kitchen
Magazine Kitchen

When the space that currently houses Magazine Street Kitchen came up for grabs, it got the owners thinking about doing something other than a restaurant.“We recognised that this would be a unique space and the first of its kind. With the growing number of people venturing into food, there is a dearth of great cooking spaces for non-restaurant chefs to use,” says Gauri Devidayal, Partner at The Table & Magazine Street Kitchen.

She explains that the kitchen is the real star at MSK, with an 80-20 split in favour of kitchen and the space gives the idea of dining in an open kitchen a whole new meaning. What’s more is that you can literally see the entire kitchen space from the dining area and watch the food being prepared while you eat. MSK is a services driven project. The aesthetic quality, which reflects this endeavour, is supplemented through retention of existing structural elements, hardiness of the materials used and by maintaining the spatial expanse,” explains Anand Patel, the architect of the 2,500 sq ft space.

At the end of this month, the Magazine Kitchen will be hosting a Food with Benefits event which will feature a 9 course meal with each course being prepared by a different chef, taking inspiration from a country they’ve recently visited.

Address: Gala No 13, Devidayal Compound, Near Britannia Company, Magazine St, Gupta Mills Estate, Darukhana, Byculla East, Mumbai

 Silverspoon Gourmet Studio

Silver Spoon Gourmet Studio
Silver Spoon Gourmet Studio

Neha Manekia, who along with her husband Joshua D’souza launched this gourmet catering company in January 2012, decided to open up the central kitchen near Lower Parel station, taking the cue from the international trend of pop-up restaurants and supper clubs.“The idea behind the Silverspoon Gourmet Studio was to create a space that is industrial, experimental and has a fun atmosphere,” explains Manekia.

The space is beautiful with curved ceilings the pillars all add a little old world charm to the place. The culinary studio allows patrons to experience hands-on cooking. Fresh ingredients are used to make cooking fun. Also, the recipes are known to draw out the flavour in the food.  The studio also lets diners cook their own meal and conducts a number of MasterChef events where contestants are given a pantry, they have to select the ingredients and prepare two dishes. There are also food demos and cook along classes apart from the stunning private dinners.

Address: Shop-4, Block A3, Dhanraj Industrial Estate, Sitaram Jadhav Marg, Lower Parel, Mumbai

St Jude Project

An initiative by restaurateur Riyaaz Amlani, St Jude Project at Bandra was previously to be made into a bungalow instead of an experimental kitchen. Gresham Fernandes, group executive chef at Impresario, Amlani’s company looks into the experimental space which is literally experimental as cooking is done on fire.

The dinners are called Doobious Dinners and the place has its norms. The space discourages cutlery and encourages eating with hands. Culinary practises include sour dough in charcoal, and serving with crème fraiche; patrani machchi steamed with nasturtium leaves; carrots for kanji roasted on coffee beans. The idea behind Doobious Dinners is to cook what chef wants rather than only what the customer wants. For those wanting to dine here, meal comprises a minimum of 12 courses over two hours for about Rs 3,500 per head. And the minimum number of people they cook for is 10.  Also note that atleast one person dining with you needs to have dined there before.

Address: St. Jude Bakery, Waroda Road, Ranwar, Bandra (W), Mumbai

Flavour Diaries by Anjali Pathak

Flavor Diaries Dining Spot
Flavor Diaries Dining Spot

Flavour Diaries is the brainchild of UK-born chef and food author Anjali Pathak. It is a luxurious interactive foodie events space designed for hands on cookery classes, chefs table dinners and private celebrations over food and drink.

“I built Flavour Diaries to bring foodies closer together through social dining as well as a space for chefs to collaborate and share their love of the industry with others. It’s not just for me, but more of a food community space perfect for hiring for all your food and drink desires,” shares Pathak.

When you enter the space you will see that it has been well thought out and designed for interactive experiences. With a purpose built central island countertop, Flavour Diaries feel very much like a large open kitchen dining room with beautiful sleek designs where cookery classes are held and there are private dinners held almost every evening.

Address: 3rd Floor, Rohan Plaza, 5th Road, Off S. V. Road, Khar West, Mumbai

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