Restaurant review: Levantine cuisine comes to Mumbai at Sette Mara in St. Regis

Sette means seven and Mara means seas. Mara was also the name of the queen in the pre-historic era who loved her food and beverages and found her love while traveling the Levant region

Shruti PanditUpdated:Sunday, May 08, 2022, 09:04 PM IST
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Cheese platter and Lamb and bellpepper Souvlaki with Passion Fruit Negroni |

While the name intrigues you, the place welcomes you. Sette Mara’s inclusion in the portfolio of the St. Regis Mumbai was an endeavour to offer the guests something that they had never tasted before. As their Director Culinary, Paul Kinny and the EVM, F&B Kevin put it, “The seven countries across Mediterranean and Middle-East have food that can delight the palate… Sette Mara aims at exactly doing that… delight the palate of the guests!”

Sette means seven and Mara means seas. Mara was also the name of the queen in the pre-historic era who loved her food and beverages and found her love while traveling the Levant region.

Rubiyan Qalat Daqqa

The Negroni Bar at the entrance of the Sette Mara serves myriad of negronis and other innovative cocktails. If you are a Campari or a Negroni fan, then this bar is a must stop. The idea was again to offer something that the city had not seen. But… that is another story.

Chef Reuben Bhat of Sette Mara and his assistant Chef Nitin explain the nuances of the food enthusiastically. “It’s the food of the Levant region with a little modern twist. For example, we have the Roasted Corn and Jalapeno Hummus or the Hummus Phoenecia which has avocado in it… or the Harra… a normal Harra is of potatoes, but we have all root vegetables and it’s served on the bed of Red Tahini that’s prepared in-house,” Chef Bhat expounds. “And the twist to the Falafel – we have added sweet potato to the traditional falafel mix.”

Zhoug n Truffle Oil Khachapuri

The Roasted Corn and Jalapeno Hummus is superb in texture. It has the well-unified corn and chick peas (imported from Middle East) taste. The choice of breads served with it is quite good as well. They serve root vegetable chips with the regular hummus as another innovation. The non-vegetarians should try the Humus Bin Dijaj, which is minced chicken and chickpeas hummus. The sweet potato added falafel is deliciously different while being rooted to the traditional taste.

They have a wide choice in hot mezze too. Chef Nitin serves the Lamb and Bellpepper Souvlaki with the Passionfruit Negroni and explains that these flavours compliment each other. And he is right. The mildly spiced souvlaki lingers on your palate and washed off well by the negroni.

Skip the soup and choose something from the Georgian Khachapuri Bar. Traditional boat-shaped breads topped with traditional and some unique toppings are sure to titillate your tastebuds. Vegetarians should try the Imeruli, Zhoug & Truffle Oil and the non-vegetarians should go for the Tshvari. The Zhough & Truffle Oil Khachapuri is topped with roasted baby tomatoes, halloumi cheese, kashkaval cheese and, if available, kasseri cheese as well on the bed of the traditional zhoug sauce. It’s finished off with truffle oil leaving your palate and nose fragrant of the oil.

Next stop is the Mangal Grill — a typical middle eastern open charcoal grill. You are spoilt for choice. Choose the shrimps — Rubiyan Qalat Daqqa.

Adroitly marinated in the Levant seven spice, the tiger shrimps are perfectly grilled on charcoal that adds to its flavour. It’s served with a sweetish prunes and apricot dip. But we recommend you should have it without the dip to savour the true flavours. The grilled cauliflower marinated in zhoug, served on bed of red tahini with crumbed feta and toasted hazelnuts.

In the mains, seafood connoisseurs should surely try the Falafel Crusted Halibut. Their home-made harissa is a perfect marinade for the halibut. The traditional falafel crusted fish is then shallow fried

15 day claypot aged negroni

to perfection. Don’t miss the Israeli Couscous Risotto. The mushroom risotto is made from the Israeli couscous, which has a sago kind of a texture and size. It’s a delectable dish that comes with black and white sesame sweet brittles.

Avoid the baklava, but don’t miss the Knafeh and Muhallabieh ‘Pull Me Up’. The ‘Pull Me Up’ is a traditional middle eastern cream cheesecake with a twist. It’s rose water flavoured. The extra cream cheese that flows an icing flows on to the cake after you literally pull the cover up! Knafeh’s vermicelli cover add the crisp bite to the soft pistachio paste interiors.

Finish off with Turkish Coffee Affogato!

Price: Rs 6,500 for two (includes alcohol)

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