Singkong replaces Tangy Tangles just above Sanchos. Led by a winding wooden staircase, Singkong fails to make a spectacular impression as you enter. Walls and pillars covered with woven grey felt and plastic creepers dangling from the walls don’t help lift your spirits. But I am more interested in the food (and rightfully so)
Singkong attracts an eclectic crowd of sophisticated urbanites. On a Sunday afternoon the place was swarming with kitty party ladies, friends catching up, noisy bunch of teenagers, a few couples lost in each others’ company and kids running amok. If you desire peace, I suggest you walk all the way to the end of the restaurant and grab the table on your right (don’t mind the plastic creepers on the walls!). And on the way there you will also notice the live Sushi table and the open show kitchen.
I love these show kitchens! It almost feels like these restaurants have nothing to hide. No more does a dish magically appear from behind a closed door, with no indication of how it was made! After years of hearing of food horror stories that can make you throw up, I love this new found transparency (against the mystery).
Back to Singkong. If you have the jones for Sushi or Uramaki, Singkong won’t disappoint you. I tried the California Uramaki (Rs 445). The crabstick, avocado and sesame seeds had the right level of crunchiness. Its vegetarian version had asparagus, avocado & cucumber (Rs 395). Fuelled by the Japanese adventure I ordered chef Vikas Seth’s novel invention – the steamed open buns. A messy indulgence the Pan Roast Black Pepper Chicken Steamed Open Bun (Rs 185 for two portions), was slightly shy on the expected fire. Nevertheless it’s a nice option for people who want to go light for the main course. (I am not one of them). By the way the bun are served on a stone grey slate.
I noticed that Singkong takes great effort in its presentation. Dishes elicit a wow when they brought to the table. Take the Oriental Shrimp Nest (Rs 395). Fried shrimp wrapped around a sugarcane stick embrace crispy vermicelli to make a stellar impression. Each piece comes in its own shot glass with a sweet chilli sauce dip. The taste doesn’t disappoint either. The sweet and spicy dip perfectly marries the crunchy shrimp. Yum.
Though I am not a big paneer fan I do check out this option for my vegetarian friends. The soy and chilli dipped cottage cheese wrapped in Pandan leaf (Rs 275) was flavourful. If I were a vegetarian I would be a fan.
The dishes are reasonably priced (considering the other Pan Asian joints in Mumbai). The Maki is Rs 395-445 for 8 pieces. Din Sums are Rs 185-245 for 4 pieces. Talking of din sums I loved the lightness of the Steamed Prawns Spinach, black bean (Rs 245).
The only outright disappointment was the Grilled Lemon Grass Chilli Basa (Rs 345) The fish came swimming in a lackluster sauce that hinted at the fact that the chef forgot to season it. Such travesty to Basa!
Food consumes me so much that I forgot to tell you about the liquid indulgence. I love watching co-diners to see what’s popular. This led me to the Thai basil margarita (vodka, fresh basil leaves, coconut syrup, pineapple juice; Rs 375). This light green drink was making the rounds of many tables. One sip and it was easy to see why. Mildly potent and highly refreshing it is the perfect drink to grab if you wish to get back to work. The vodka-based Galangal & Lemongrass Martini (Rs 375) was sadly insipid.
The servers at Singkong are sweet and smart, but they need to finesse their pacing. A misplaced sushi platter found itself on my table before being grudgingly pulled away. Sometimes the starters and the man course land almost simultaneously on the table. But that could be attributed to the newness of the setup. I visited Singkong in its second week of operation.
I rounded off the meal with Choco-Walnut N Caramel Brownie (175). But you must try the Signature Sesame Honey Mini Cones (Rs 175). Cute little cones topped with ice-cream of your choice is both seductive and sweet.
Who says a restaurant that offers everything cannot be destination restaurant? I’d make the trip to eat here.
Where: Pinnacle House
Level 1, P. D. Hinduja Marg
Off Linking Road
Tel: 022- 67094444
Meal for two: Rs 1200 (without alcohol)