Ministry of Crab
Get your bibs out as chef Dharshan Munidasa’s iconic restaurant—Ministry of Crab finally takes off in Mumbai. While the original one is sheltered in the renovated 400-year-old Dutch Hospital in Colombo, the Mumbai Chapter is housed in a three-story building with an outdoor patio in Khar.
Serving only mud carbs from Odisha, Kerala and Tamil Nadu, the crustaceans are shipped alive to the restaurant, which are prepared only after you place the order. There are fresh oysters too on an ice bed.
The signature dish is the Garlic Chilli Crab but do try the Clay Pot Prawn Curry and Kani Chahan (a Japanese-style crab fried rice). The flavours are light and fragrant, intended not to overpower the delicate sweetness of the meat. A new nibbles menu for the Mumbai outlet has been curated by Chef Munidasa. Unlike the Colombo outpost, the Mumbai restaurant has some nice vegetarian dishes such as Goan curry, Avocado and Tomato salad, wok-tossed greens and also a vegan desert. Go with deep pockets as a kilo crab will set you back by Rs 1,995, while a medium size will cost you Rs 3,395 and (hold your breath) a crabzilla for Rs 14,395.
Trèsind Dubai has made its much-anticipated India debut with its first outlet at BKC, Mumbai. The menu showcases traditional Indian dishes with avant garde flair. For now, the restaurant serves a nine-course tasting menu which is both sleek and playful. Like the khandvi flavoured ice-cream topped with fafda and papaya chutney. The innocuous looking watermelon rasam is perfectly balanced between sweet, sour and fiery. My dutiful admiration for the cucumber soared when I tasted the Rajasthani cucumber curry. Even the presentation in a copper gilded oval tiffin is beautiful. The non-vegetarian options include delicately spiced kosha mangsho with pea stuffed puris.
The best part about the food at Trésind is the fact that it manages to be both earthy and elegant at the same time.
Desserts include a pineapple carpaccio stuffed with coconut and presented like a sadhya on a banana leaf. Prompt service rivals food in its sumptuousness. The guys at Trésind have skillfully crafted a culinary experience that engages all the senses.
Mumbai’s dining scene has a new addition with an upmarket Latin American restaurant. Sanjay Shetty in partnership with Dhaval Udeshi (London Taxi and Butterfly High) along with Pawan Shahri have opened Oi in Khar with Chef Anuroopa Banerjee Gupta manning the kitchen. The menu goes beyond the usual empanada and ceviche. Expect beautifully crafted salads, sous vide mains and desserts from the live counter. Vegetarian masterpieces include mushroom & manchego croquetas, crispy pancetta and crispy aubergine served with spiced organic honey drizzle, pickles and miso.
Meat eaters will love the Arroz Meloso—creamy rice with seafood, sous vide pork ribs and mole, pulled duck tacos with a tangy salsa and topped with cheddar and grilled scallops on a bed of creamy truffle and mushroom sauce. Liquid libations include classics such as Pisco Sour and Chicha Morada (Peru’s traditional drink made with purple corn, green apple, fresh pineapple, cinnamon and), from Brazil, the famous Caipirinha made with Cachaca. By the way Oi is a warm welcome, a casual term to say hello or call out to someone in Portuguese.
Thai cuisine fans can now heave a sigh of relief as Chef Seefah Ketchaiyo of the erstwhile The Blue sets shop at Soi 69 in Breach Candy. ‘Soi’ means street in Bangkok and the most famous street for lip-smacking culinary delights is Street 69, and hence the name, Soi 69. Seefah’s menu includes the quintessential Thai delicacies along with a live sushi bar and Japanese dishes courtesy Chef Karan Bane (Seefah’s husband).
Must-try dishes include the hugely popular Deep Fried Chicken Lemongrass with Sweet Chili Sauce, the delectable and messy Thai Chili Mud Crab as well vegetarian delights such as Kinu Tofu Carpaccio Gouchujan Dare, Thai Herbs Avocado Salad, Stir Fried Eggless Noodles with Thai Chilli Paste and more. The Five Spice Duck Rice will compel multiple visits to Soi 69. Desserts include something that Seefah was hooked to on her last trip to Thailand—Honey Toast with Black Sesame.
By Nivedita Jayaram Pawar