-By Rashmi Uday Singh
First the good news. Then there's more good news. A few days ago, I ate twice at a brand new superb yet well-priced casual cafe. And I did so with Tetsuya Wakuda one of the world's greatest chefs (no exaggeration, please read the box to the right) and the gorgeous Raageshwari, the most spiritual and peaceful of all entertainers. Read on, it only gets better: not only did Tetsuya and Hong Kong based knowledgeable consultant Jonathan Glover give it full marks but we also had a fun afternoon.
You're glowingly happy. Are you in love?" we asked Raageshwari. "Yes, I'm always in love, maybe not with men (laughs) but music, art, literature, poems, dogs and horses. And of course Japan!" and that sparked off the most vibrant conversation with the Japanese chef. Her Tibetan Rites DVD is getting rave reviews, her Sufi album is eagerly awaited and she is flooded with concert and TV proposals.
Go on. Don't be put off by the narrow crammed, winding, dusty street that leads to this two-week-old cafe in Lower Parel. Walk in and wham! Daylight bathed expanse of space, exposed brick walls, sturdy wooden tables, a smattering of sofas, book racks, a large open bar, a pastry and deli counter charm. I eat here twice and each time notice a slender attractive lady, a charming Belgian man and a young bearded chef bustling around in the packed cafe. I find out much later that they are the owners Tarini Mohindar, Jeremie Horowitz and Viraf Patel.
Tetsuya and I both agree that overfussy and overcute food by chefs who try too hard is highly avoidable. Thankfully, Chef Viraf Patel's food is not about fanciful conceit or adornment but the focus is on simplicity and on enhancing the centerpiece ingredient. The clean taste of the large bowl of clear chicken broth with matzo balls, the fluffy, light scrambled eggs, Chicken grilled to moist perfection, fish in brown butter and almonds delight. Plenty for veggies. The pasta is tasty not stodgy. Light and right creme brulee and panacotta, superb cheesecake too. Isn't there anything you didn't like? I ask Tetsuya. "Yes," he answers immediately, "the Hollaindaise sauce with the Salmon Wellington was unnecessary and they ran out of tiramisu."
It is open through the day, affordable (average meal per head 500-800). It is international, cool, informal (wifi too). The service can get slow, but we love the way the proportions are fine-tuned, flavours sharpened and the accent is on comfort food and simplicity. "I only hope they don't start serving fancified restaurant food but stick to the cafe fare and to its simple yet perfect cooking," says Tetsuya.
TETSUYA: SYDNEY, SINGAPORE
He is an acknowledged global genius. His restaurants have reigned on the top of world lists. An American food critic suggested (rightly) that you book a table at "Tetsuyas" (Sydney) the day you are born. Here, Tetsuya Wakuda's classic French technique based on the Japanese philosophy of natural seasonal flavours has the world eating out of his hands. I am as blown by his sprawling twin-levelled Zen temple in Sydney as I am by his mindblowing 8000 sq ft (which seats only 25) "Waku Ghin' in Singapore. Both are multi-sensorial pamperings everyone should be blessed with at least once."
Review posted within last 6 month
Café Zoe opened its doors to Mumbai almost a year ago and took the crowds both North and South by storm. Great drinks, great vibe, great everything and right where North meets South- Lower Parel. Dahling, everyone's always there!
What this means is that it's always packed and the weekends are a nightmare. I've managed to catch nibbles there once or twice and even managed a late Sunday evening brunch (yes it's still brunch if you eat at 5pm) but never had the opportunity to have a proper sit down meal.
Imagine my excitement when a friend announced early dinner and drinks at Zoe at an actual TABLE! My last meal before leaving for an extensive work trip was 6 people, two and a half hours, and a lotta lotta food.
For the full review go here: http://twicebake-d.blogspot.in/2013/02/go-e-zoe.html
Favorite Dishes / Drinks: Canneloni, Prawn & Calamari Ajillo
Review posted more than 6 month ago
This is the latest addition to the culinary scene in Mumbai. Its become the city's latest hot spot and I'm told their reservations for the week end get filled up on a monday ! I'm very curious to know what all the hoop la is about so after months and months of listening to tales of the tremendously fabulous cafe zoe, its time I dine there.
I consider my self lucky to get an 8pm dinner reservation and off I go. I'm slightly put off by the trek to the restaurant as its waay inside the Todi Mills Complex but pls don't let that fool you. Walk in through their doors and you can't help but feel delighted. Its large enough with high ceilings and has an extremely casual approach to it. ( I was expecting something rather fancy) I'm glad because I like the casual feeling.
the foo dI have to say is simple but delicious. Nothing overtly fancy but taste wise- its right on the money ! Judge all you want but honestly I loved their portion of fries as not only were they crisp outside and warm moist inside but were accompanied with a delectable cheese dip with home spices. drool worthy I tell you !
The fish and chips was superb, not the oil soak fat fish with a thick crust but a well cooked soft tasty fish. the mini lamb burgers would have been the dish of the day except they ruined it with this pungent extremely sharp sauce like thing inside which made absolutely no appearence on the menu while describing the dish. I had been a second time to cafe zoe and also eaten their famous and rightly so - Brie and Caramelised Onion Sandwich. I have to say, if I really must pick a veg sandwich this meatlover will happily eat the brie n onion one. melt in your mouth fantastic ! I'm not a fan of their desserts, I skipped it the first time but the second time I tried the orange panacotta and orange chocolate cake. cake was average and I've eaten a better panacotta, not that it was bad, just not the greatest.
Will i come again ? yep ! maybe this time I'll spend some time sampling their drinks menu :)
for my detailed review pls check my blog -
Favorite Dishes / Drinks: fish n chips
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