Tuesday, 13 September 2016

Fine Dine In Finest Ambiance At Veranda | Food Restaurant | Restaurant Review

Veranda has created a storm in Mumbai ever since it appeared on its food scene less than a month ago. All the chatter surrounding its food and ambiance had made us curious too, so when our bloggers group was invited over for a food tasting session, it was a no-brainer that we would jump at the opportunity :)

Situated inside the beautiful Hotel Executive Enclave in Pali Hill, it is quite easy to reach via google maps. Just keep 5 Spice on left and keep moving straight, about 600-700 metres ahead, the hotel pops up on the right. The real fun starts when one walks in. An astonishingly beautiful ambiance awaits us. Right now, if anyone asks me where to take one's date or go with friends or even family to celebrate a special occasion, I would say 'Veranda' hands down. Spacious with neatly planned separate areas of semi-private dining rooms, bar, long community table with high chairs, all adorned with exceedingly beautiful artworks. One of the finest ambiance ever seen, made even more special with the fact that they put up little personalized nameplates on booking a table :)

Gorgeous ambiance comes entwined with superlative service and a cohesive menu with traditional Indian delicacies presented in a contemporary form. The staff takes care of every table with same warmth, add to that the fact that the Chef himself takes feedback on everything and one can see why this place is gold :)

We started with some drinks for our table, with Whiskey Sour and Watermelon & Basil Mojito being quite decent while Kala Khatta Margarita, Watermelon & Mint Sangria, Lemonade & Indian Sunrise Mocktail were stunning. I am not into alcohol but Kala Khatta Margarita was so beautiful in its texture and tasted just like the Kala Khatta gola we all love that I actually finished this drink :D

Roasted Pumpkin Soup started our evening on a deliciously warm note. Who knew Pumpkin could ever taste this good, just like a grandma's embrace :) It has Blue Cheese croutons on the side which I am not a fan of but if you love Blue Cheese then it would just enhance the soup. Oh, also the Amuse Bouche was the inhouse refreshing Aam Panna with Mini Dravidian Idlis, little treats both of these, given complimentary before each meal.

Loved Baby Beetroot,Arugula & Quinoa Salad with Feta, Citrus Fruit and Honey Mustard Dressing because they have taken my favorite Quinoa and created a mildly tangy, mildly sweet delicacy out of it, especially the hung curd inside the beetroots was outstanding!

Deconstructed Dahi Bhalla with Baked Yoghurt, Pomegranate reduction and Tamarind gel is a must-have as the baked yoghurt takes this dish to another level altogether, mind you this is on a sweet-ish note :)

For those wanting a more spicier note to their meal, go straight for Palak Bhindi Chaat, a perfect chakhna as unanimously voted by our table. Crispy fried palak and bhindi lathered with Indian spices, bit of yoghurt & tomatoes, this one gives the same high as having spicy bhajjiyas with family during monsoons :D

Mushroom lovers can go for Tandoori Mushroom Car Pacino with a creamy mix of Mushrooms, Asparagus, Edamame and Cherry Tomatoes playing wistfully together while retaining a healthy crunch, I wish a little bit more mushroom flavor would come through.

Paneer Lovers have succor in the form of Cottage Cheese Trilogy with 3 different types of soft Paneer cubes, one in strong Tulsi flavor, one plain creamy Malai and one very mildly spicy Zafran Tandoori, served on a bed of micro greens and olives for a tangy kick. We would like Paneer to be a bit more marinated to give a more prominent smokey flavor, nevertheless it was easy to polish it off :)

Baigan ka Bharta, Lasooni Palak Paneer and Maa ki Daal were brilliant choices for main course served with quite decent Basil Pesto and Sundried Tomatoes Kulcha. I don't like Baigan at all but the version they serve here is lip-smacking, reminiscent of home cooked goodness. Maa ki Daal is the hearty kaali daal, goes very well with Kulchas or on its own. Lasooni Palak Paneer had amazingly soft chunks of Paneer, but what I really loved was the Palak, not fried, rather very fresh and dense in texture. People used to normal Palak Paneer would probably find it bland, and search for more Lasooni flavor, but I loved the healthy bit it brought to my plate :)

So much hearty food, yet a little bit of space left for desserts = real mark of a foodie :D True to my reputation as a foodosauraus, I jumped with delight at the first sight of Gulkand Chocobar. Creamy Chocolate Mousse served as an icecream candy with a delicate layer of Gulkand inside and silver coated betel nuts sprinkled outside, yummylicious.

What followed next was crazy good - White Chocolate Souffle with Chocolate Chip Ice creamWe dug in that warm souffle which oozed with milky goodness with such wild abandon, it is near impossible to share this with anyone :D 

We went in wondering if the noise around Veranda was worth it and got our answer loud & clear - Yup, this Veranda deserves our repeat visits :)

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