Only if you've been living under a rock, you haven't heard of Aallia Hospitality's newest upmarket addition - Arth. We were sure it'd be a phenomenal restaurant given that it's been designed by Gauri Khan's decor. While everyone has been speaking more about it, we were, to be honest looking forward to what Chef Amninder Sandhu had to offer on the menu.
Split over two levels, the lower one is a bar and on the first, it's a restaurant. This place exudes a chic vintage vibe with a monolithic bar and stunning chandeliers, metallic accents, high chairs - the works! Instantly taking you back to the 70s. We were seated at the bar while we awaited a table upstairs in the dining room and sipped on Marigold Lady
followed by Nitro Stout.
These beautiful cocktails were the start of our meal here. Marigold Lady is a sweet cocktail with citrusy, floral and fruity notes, while Nitro Stout was a potent blend of nitro coffee, Irish whiskey, and cream.
Our amuse bouche
was Panipuri Explosion
and we were quite surprised by it. Laid in a shell, these were little bombs of flavour. Spiced water is ensconced into a ping pong ball sized white chocolate sphere. Once it touches your palate, the white chocolate melts and you experience a literal explosion of flavours.
were served on a bed of crushed walnuts. Lusciously creamy morels with a delightfully subtle smokey flavour complimented the nutty walnuts. Rhododendron Seekh
was an intriguing take on the vegetarian variants one sees on usual kebab menus. Mutton Kakori Kebabs
are stone ground to such perfection and made so well that it disintegrated as soon as we tried to get a forkful to it. This could be meat butter, we thought to ourselves as we happily finished it.
For mains, we tried their Deomali
, a favourite from the North East. Chunks of mutton smoked in bamboo and served with Jasmine rice. We think the flavours here, were good no doubt, but it could've been better if it the curry had some more spice.
Desserts - the happy ending came in the form of Angoori Rabdi
and Paper Sweet
. Spongey pieces of chenna doused in soothingly sweet rabdi, perched atop delicate phyllo nests are best enjoyed with your eyes closed. Paper Sweet - this Andhra inspired dessert is an ensemble of super thin rice paper sheets filled with clarified butter, almonds and pistachios was something.
La Folie Lab, Lower Parel
Over the years, our very own Pastry Queen - Chef Sanjana has taken the city by storm with her desserts. We learned to appreciate new flavours and we admit we were slightly curious about the new La Folie Lab - her venture into gourmet eats and chocolates, apart from the ones at La Folie Lab, Bandra. So, we took the first opportunity we could to see what we could find here.
Nestled right between Cafe Coffee Day and Bar Storck Exchange, this quaint little cafe done up in pretty pastel shades.
Watermelon Pineapple Cooler and Vietnamese Coffee
We sipped on Watermelon Pineapple cooler and Vietnamese Coffee. Rich cold brewed concentrate and condensed milk balance make it a refreshing delightful beverage perfect for the caffeine fix. The cooler was a fresh cold pressed juice took us back to the tropics.
House Cured Salmon Tartines
House Cured Salmon Tartines were next. These were a play of flavours on our palate. The pungency of wasabi was balanced well with tangy capers and tzatziki while the salmon was delicious. We tried to refrain from Eggs Benedict but found ourselves eating Chilli Cheese Eggs, which, in our defense, was not Eggs Benedict but came close to it. Thecha Brioche, with a sunny side up French Onion and Three Cheese Sandwich, is a perfect dish after a long day at work. An amalgam of gooey cheese with the sweetness of caramelized onions made us smile, it's something we couldn't get enough of.
For mains, we had Lamb Pappardelle, a fine mince cooked in an aromatic spice mix with a slightly over cooked pappardelle. Next up was Rogue Velour and Caramel Fleur De Sel for dessert.
Caramel Fleur de Sel is a wonderful dessert where the caramel-y sweetness is cut through with the salt. Lemon genoise cake layered with strawberry compote and creme, this dessert was a slightly tart and completely wonderful!
After the meal, as we headed back with a smile on our faces, we thought to ourselves, Chef Sanjana doesn't let us down. We liked the food, having said that if only they could do something about the of flies.
Hidden in the by lanes of Kalaghoda, in the lane opposite The Nutcracker is this restaurant that assures you have fresh food - Henpecked. Focusing on the 'Farm-to-Table' principle, they promise to get you some good food. We were curious.
Peri Peri Calamari was something that caught our eye, however, it was a little too chewy, even for Calamari texture but the batter was crisp. The Mezze Platter is a great ensemble of the Black Hummus, Baba Ganoush, Tzatziki, Chicken Shish Touk and Pita Bread, of course. The highlight of this board was the chicken sheesh touk, where the spices had seeped into the moist tender meat.
Spaghetti Aglio Olio
We started our mains with Spaghetti Aglio E Olio and Freedom Pizza. With the pasta, we liked how they substituted goat cheese for Parmesan and even though well made, it has quite some room for improvement.
Ours was a no sauce pizza, even though a relatively new concept to India, it brought together tanginess of sun dried tomatoes laced with honey and bitter arugula leaves and slightly salty goat cheese, very well. It was a well-executed amalgam of flavours were not over powered another. We do think, the toppings should have been used liberally.
For desserts we opted for the Golden Snitch (guilty for being a Harry Potter fan), unfortunately, it was unavailable, we were told. We settled for a White Chocolate Cheesecake. It was no doubt, good but what left us spell bound was the supple consistency and the garnish of the fruit compote.
All in all, this place is wonderful to catch up with a bunch of friends while you're in the art district and in their defense, they have some great locally sourced food.
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