Koregaon Park’s newest ‘place to be’ is filled with good news, literally. The indoor area has a ceiling with many, many frames each one with a piece of good news from around the world. We happened to visit the place on a rainy evening, so there was a technical problem that prevented the projector to display the ‘good news of the day’ on the white wall outside. But if you want to get away from all the negativity around, and not to mention loud Bollywood music which is the current fad at the hangouts in the city, this place is where you should head.
To kick off the damp evening, we ordered a Cleopatra, a refreshing concoction of basil, mint and cherry spiked with gin and a muskmelon-flavoured liqueur called midori. After having our spirits lifted, pun intended, we began our meal with a Black Quinoa Chickpea Salad. A vegan recipe featuring chickpeas, black quinoa, orange segments, snap peas, pomegranate, dried cranberries, mint, pumpkin seeds, orange and tahini vinaigrette, this salad is not only delicious but also filling.
Curious about the puff-pastry section on their menu, we ordered the Pollo Funghi E Jalapeño variety, which had bite-sized puff pastry base topped with a mix of diced chicken, mushrooms and jalapeños, sautéed in cream cheese, and English cheddar cheese. Creamy, flaky, and a little meaty, these appetisers got us ready for a serving of Chicken and Bacon Sliders. The mini buns are made fresh in-house and you’ll realise it the moment you sink your teeth into the slider. The filling is messy, but the chef manages to make them so tasty that you won’t bother about the crumbs dropping on your plate as you finish the slider in two to four bites.
Soon a serving of something vividly green came along. It was Asian Curried Stuffed Potato — cottage cheese stuffed potatoes cooked in a creamy coconut and coriander root paste — a favourite among the vegetarian clientèle, we are told. But if there’s one thing you cannot miss when you visit the place, it is the Champagne Mushroom Fricassee. These pockets of wild mushroom sautéed in champagne vinegar with parmesan cheese were wrapped in delicate yet crunchy filo.
Word is that they are planning to bring out another menu which caters to vegans and would also be Keto-friendly. But many of their existing dishes are also dairy-free, vegetarian and diet-friendly.
For the main course, you can choose from a variety of vegetarian and non-vegetarian noodle bowls. But we gave it a skip and opted for a Hearty Quinoa Steak served with oven roasted vegetables and mushroom sauce, sprinkled with porcini dust, and Moroccan Lamb, which came with a portion of herb rice. The steak is a hit with those who like quinoa. Since quinoa is so delicate to work with, the steak is soft, just like the diced mushroom in the sauce. Though there’s a lack of difference in texture, the combination of flavours is enough to make you finish your serving. If you’re not familiar with Moroccan flavours, be informed that they’re not very different from Indian flavours. The lamb preparation is like the Moroccan cousin of our very own Ghee Roast, but tangier.
A special mention must be made for the Beurre Noisette John Dory. Pan-roasted Australian white fish served with a plum tomato and kaffir lime risotto in a caper and butter lime sauce is spoon-licking good. This is one of those dishes that you should order when you’ve had a terrible day at work. As soon as you inhale the fantastic citrusy aroma half your tensions disappear, and when you take your first spoonful of this creamy risotto with a portion of the crispy fish, the other half of your worries melt away.
Now that we were in a blissful state of mind, the only thing that could make our happy stomachs happier were desserts. Remember not to decide on sharing the Flourless Dark Chocolate Mud Cake or you’ll regret. The Wildberry and Pink Peppercorn Panna Cotta also is not something you’d let the love of your life take a small bite from your plate. Talking about sharing, you could get the Ricotta Cheese and Chocolate Chip Filo with a mixed berry compote, which are as delicate as the Champagne Mushroom Fricassee, but with a filling of ricotta cheese and chocolate.
ST READER SERVICE
The Daily All Day, next to State Bank of India, Lane 7, Koregaon Park, open between noon and 1.15 am