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HOTSPOTS

Dine in Style

Mumbai is a melting pot of myriad cultural and geographical influences. Urvashi & Taraana Vaswani take you on culinary journey through some of the city’s nouveau dining options

The menu at Mezzo Mezzo has been carefully devised in accordance with Indian palate preferences.

Celestial Cuisine
Literally meaning heaven, Tian, as the name suggests, is a paradise for gastronomes with a penchant for Oriental cuisine. The white and glass panelled five-storey structure showcases Pan-Asian cuisine and is the most-talked about addition to Mumbai’s burgeoning inventory of specialised eateries. The cuisine on offer intrepidly extends beyond the perennially popular Chinese and Thai preparations to include exotic delicacies from Japan, Malaysia, Indonesia and Korea, though the flavours have been tempered to suit the Indian palate. The Tian lounge bar features an elegant, minimalistic bar with a comprehensive beverage list. Skipping the cliched, but flavoursome curries, we’d suggest the more unconventional entrees for discerning tastes. Try out the tear-inducing Paneer Methi Chilli Fry, the crackling Pepper Blasted Prawns, Pomfret in Ginger and Chinese wine or the coconut milk-infused Burmese Kauswe. To taper off the meal, we’d recommend substituting the desserts with the delightfully light, Dutch-style pancakes served with butter and honey. For those with an insatiable sweet tooth, the Lychees Darsan - lychee mousse with flat fried noodles topped with cointreau sauce, as well as the Bebinca - a rich Goan coconut pudding - are amply satisfying.

Tian is a paradise for gastronomes with a penchant for Oriental cuisine.

Veg Bonanza
Mezzo Mezzo literally translated would mean half and half. However, at JW Marriott’s new Italian brasserie, there are no half measures. Each element of the tastefully-appointed dishes is a study in thoroughness from the extensively detailed wine list to the imported ingredients sourced from their land of origin, the traditional copper kitchenware that is presumed to impart a deeper flavour to the food cooked in it, and even the highly knowledgeable staff who are perfectly conversant with every detail of the place. The first thing that strikes you, upon perusing the menu, is the predominance of vegetarian selections. Master chef Daniel Galli reasons that the menu has been carefully devised in accordance with Indian palate preferences. For those that encounter a lack of variety in vegetarian fine dining, Mezzo Mezzo is virtually a boon.

Classic Rain
Here, the modern mingles with the traditional almost seemlessly, be it the cuisine, decor or ambience. Essentially a whole new concept rather than just another restobar, the interiors can be best described as neo-classical in a very contemporaneous sense with a combination of dark wood and antique German mirrors counterbalanced by exposed metal and honed concrete to achieve the ‘New Age’ look. The heart of Rain is its bar with a vast array of house specialities to choose from - Rain Martinis, Cocktails, Classics and Shooters, most of them classics with a dash of the unconventional.


At Rain, the modern mingles with the traditional
almost seemlessly, be it the cuisine, decor or ambience

The same is applicable to the cuisine. A large number of offerings display classic tendencies with something new to jazz up the palate. Favourites among the starters include the Spicy Corn, Mozzarella and Cheddar Samosette with a spicy pesto dip, and Tijuan Chicken Tikka, fired with Tequila and served with Jalapeno sour cream. The veg entrees display distinctly Italian influences, while the non-veg entrees are somewhat more adventurous.

In the Pasta and Risotto section, the Tortelloni filled with cheese and mushrooms on a val d’aosta fondu is nothing remarkable, in fact easily avoidable, though the crisp Risotto cake topped with Barolo wine is an unusual version of the all-time favourite rice dish, and is well worth sampling for its sheer ingenuity. Further, the Pizzas and Al Tranico will definitely find flavour with the most ethnicised tastes. A must mention is the buttery, crisp garlic bread that offsets and enhances the meal to a pinnacle of perfection as does the extra virgin olive oil. Last, but not the least, the Tiramisu is simply unmissable.

Prima Parabola
Located at the Rodas Ecotel in Powa Parabola, this 24-hour Southeast Asian and Continental cuisine restaurant is perfect for the business traveller with many elaborate as well as simple dining options to choose from. Taking you on a culinary journey, the cuisine touches upon even the innermost recesses of China. The tantalising menu blends unexpected ingredients in a highly original manner, with visually-arresting results. Spiced with flavours from the Orient, the cuisine serves up an incredible diversity of taste and texture. The highlight amongst the appetisers would have to be the Prawn Salad Suzie Wong with lychees, pineapple and almonds and Smoked Salmon Golden Phoenix (smoked salmon parcels filled with a variety of succulent meats and fresh vegetables grilled to perfection). Attention to detail is a highlight of the cuisine and a plethora of imaginative, intensely flavourful accompaniments and marinades bring alive the hidden nuances.