Saturday, 30 July 2016
Twist of India Pop Up Restaurant Preview | Yiamas The Experimental Space | The Gourmet Kitchen & Studios
Having been a huge fan of Masterchef Australia, I have been fascinated with the idea of Pop Up restaurants for quite some time now! Amalgamation of creativity and science ensues as brilliant Chefs conjure up something unique for gastronomes and aesthetes. Food Gods smiled as I got the chance to be a part of a sneak peek of 'Twist of India', a pop up restaurant at Yiamas The Experimental Space, a brainchild of Chef Harsh Shodhan of The Gourmet Kitchen & Studios in the august company of some food bloggers and gourmands of Mumbai :)
This was an experience to remember for ages for the idea behind it, the ambiance it was conducted in and of course, the food itself. Chef Harsh Shodhan was kind enough to have a personal session with us explaining his vision behind the event. He is most comfortable with vegetarian cuisine and aims to present something unique while preserving the traditional roots of every dish. We often think that Indian cuisine is not experimental enough and go all ooooh and aaah over contemporary fusion food from the rest of the world. It is to Chef Harsh Shodhan's credit that he has adapted classic Indian recipes to modern culinary experimental phase in such a way that we cannot help but love the twist behind it all :)
Yiamas is actually one of the most soul satisfying ambiances one can come across. Situated in Mumbai's art heritage district, Ballard Estate, it instantly transports one to another era. We walked in to be greeted by grand wooden staircase, followed by vintage balcony with hanging bougainvilleas, Corinthian pillars supported by wooden beams and beautiful white walls with colonial windows. All together a pretty classic British-era minimalist piece of art in itself which can be used for any event,be it wedding, engagement, birthday party,fashion show or indeed,a pop up restaurant :) Unlike traditional banquet places that serve a cut-and-dried ambiance to conduct events in a set format, Yiamas provides us with an empty canvas that can be painted with any color of festivity, hence proving to be a true experimental space!
Twist of India thus is the perfect event to be a part of at this outstanding place in the heartening monsoon amidst art, music and delicious food shared with loved ones. While the actual event is happening on 6th and 7th August, we were offered a preview of the same with a Masterchef worthy menu of the day. We started off with the spicy and refreshing Masala Soda in cute little bottles that would make anyone's day.
Arrabiatta & Burrata Dosa with Sambar Reduction & Chutney drizzle brought a new sour-y twist to the usual dosa, I loved the Sambar, very dense and flavorful. Caramelized Kanda Bhaji on Soft Shell Taco was the unanimous favorite among the starters, absolutely rich flavors and crispy texture, perfect for monsoon!
Kacha Kairi Jello Shot came in as a palate cleanser before the soup & main course, an interesting concoction followed by Ribbon Salad with Gunpowder Gremolata where the salad in itself was crunchy enough but turned into something else with the accompanying dip, very much recommended!
When it comes to soups, we don't really know of many options beyond the usual tomato/minestrone or mulligatawny, we were thus so glad that Chef thought up of mixing the refreshing and tangy lemongrass with Mung Daal to create a brilliantly warm, satisfying and herbal-y soup served with Cracker & Chilly Butter. Anyone fearing that they might be coming down with cold or cough in the monsoon? Feed them this. Works just like grandma's remedies :)
My personal favorite was Lasooni Fada Khichdi with Tuver Daal Reduction & Phool Makhana, something to rival all those famous risottos is here with this homely yet gourmet level dish. I could have this all day long and not get bored, oh Khichdi, my Khichdi :D
Wondering what was there for dessert? Thandai Panna Cotta. Smooth,not too sweet, fragrant, mildly cold, very creamy, just a hint of Thandai, refreshing, lovely :)
Chef explained to us how he has tried to present India's essence while giving them an exciting twist and in the process, tried to do away with all the misconceptions that vegetarian Indian food is boring or non-progressive and we say, he has succeeded completely. This is some hearty food with full on textures, flavors, top-notch ingredients and beautiful presentation. In short, this is a dining experience worth having :)
Twist of India Pop Up Restaurant is a pre plated 6 course Fusion Vegetarian Meal happening on 6th and 7th August 2016 at Yiamas The Experimental Space. There will be a different menu for each day so there are surprises galore for all! Tickets for the same can be booked at Townscript Twist of India and do check these out for more details :)