Member Review: Chef’s Table Week at 212
Mumbai has been experiencing a nip in the air, which for Mumbai standards, is extraordinary. Taking advantage of the weather, we decided to seat ourselves al fresco at a table adjacent to a prepping part of the kitchen, guarded by a large glass window, behind which I could see an ideal kitchen- rustic stone wall, a big wood fired oven and a wooden shelf bursting with food bibles and cookbooks! Perfect way to see and feel the kitchen. Bliss. Chef Sahil Narvekar was in top form. He came out, greeted us, understood out dietary restrictions, and more importantly, our preferences, and course by course, wooed us beautifully.
1. Fennel Cappuccino - Cream of Fennel, Sambuca Foam.
A beautiful creamy first course, served aptly in an espresso cup and just the right quantity to warm us up and leave us wanting a bit more. Although I must admit, I didn’t really get any of the sambuca flavour.
2. Mushroom Baklava - Mushroom Parcels in filo, Rocket, Sun Dried Tomato, Balsamic Glaze.
Delicate, airy and baked to perfection, parceled with finely chopped and herbed mushrooms. This is ultimate hors d’oeuvres. Gobbled them up J. My dinner mate enjoyed herself some scallops, which she said were executed beautifully.
3. Ribbon-Ed Zuccini - Zucchini Fettuccini, Shaved Truffles, Saucy Broth.
Don’t let the picture fool you. I ate all the truffles and then realised that I hadn’t taken a picture! This was a gorgeous light and flavourful dish, and gluten free, swimming in a light almost creamy broth/sauce. Definitely worth adding to the menu.
4. Sorbet - Strawberry, Lemon & Vodka.
Strawberry was unimpressive, more like a version I could easily make at home by freezing some sugared strawberries and crushing and keeping frozen. But the lemon vodka definitely hit the spot! Not too strong, and perfectly flavoured to effectively cleanse the palate, leaving us excited for the entree!
5. Quiche - Bell pepper and American Corm, Rocket And Balsamic Salad.
Rich cheesy and corn creamed quiche, sizzling hot with golden brown peeking through, with bell peppers to cut the heaviness of it all, along with a rocket salad. I never knew I could like American corn like this! Sweet yet perfect with the dish, a well matched feast for the tongue and eyes. The alternative was another magnificent dish, I am told, of Chilean Sea Bass with Truffled Asparagus and Hollandaise Sauce.
We had to miss it on account of fear of stomach burst. I have no doubt it would have been fab! Next time!
7. Ecuadorian Chocolate Cake - Dense Chocolate Cake, Cookie Crumb Base, Cream Cheese icing, hazelnut & dark chocolate sauce
The cake was layered a bit like a cheesecake, with a crumbled chocolate biscuit base, sandwiching the ultimate chocolate cake using what I’m sure is excellent Ecuadorian chocolate, topped with a luxurious sliver of cream cheese frosting and Jackson Pollock-ed chocolate and hazelnut sauce.
8. Baileys Mousse Cake - Baileys Mousse, Mascarpone Cream, Cocoa, Tiramisu Ice Cream
The cake was soft and fluffy, and the cream was massively (but a good massive!) bailey’s doused, accompanied by an espresso-esque tiramisu ice cream which satiated our espresso desires and made us almost doze off on the journey home. All vital signs of a truly satisfying meal.
Even though my favourites such as the rocket salad, the baked Camembert and the wood fire oven pizzas weren’t on the chef’s table experience, I have to say in retrospect I am so very pleased that the chef didn’t stick to the regular menu favourites, and went all out and developed one for this night!
All in all, I have to say, stand alone, this was a brilliant effort. Compared to last year’s experience at Vetro, I have to say this was exemplary- the food, service, ambiance, attention to dietary restrictions and above all, interaction with the chef. I even managed to get a shot of him adding his personal touch to our desert! This is truly what I would have envisaged to be a Chef’s Table Experience. Well done 212, Restaurant Week and Chef Narvekar. We’ll definitely be coming back for more. Bon Appétit!
A big shout out to my ladies for joining me
- Review by Puja Shah, writer of the blog Joie de Vivre