The new year has started with a bang. One of the first new restaurants to hit the city is indeed a special one by renowned chef Atul Kocchar. NRI which stands for Not Really Indian is a lovely casual space that lists various dishes with an Indian element or flavour but with their own little twist of taste. While the latest craze in the city is all about redefining Indian food and dabbling with molecular gastronomy or using quirky gimmicks while plating, this restaurant is a breath of fresh air.
Owned by Michelin Star Chef Atul Kocchar ( he was the head chef at Tamarind when it won its star in 2001 and his own restaurant Benares received one in 2008 ) who incidentally is also the first Indian receive it for his restaurants in London, NRI is different from his British eateries. The food at NRI highlights how some classic Indian dishes have travelled all over the world but had to be localized. People that migrated to different countries took their recipes and flavours with them but had to adapt and use local ingredients as well which turned into a unique concoction that's Indian but at the same time, not really Indian. The menu takes inspiration from such dishes from different countries . The South African Bunny Chow, Mombasa Zeera Chicken, Sri Lankan Potli and the Caribbean Goat Masala are just a few examples from the menu that highlight what NRI aims to focus on.
“NRI is going to star dishes that Indian immigrants took with them to far corners of the British empire, adapting the recipes to locally available ingredients. Each dish has a beautiful story and I believe it’s a good time to bring them home,” say Chef Kocchar
In a city that's bursting with restaurants and small eateries serving all sorts of Indian food, NRI gives the diner a slight taste of India but with very different dishes that have evolved over time. The restaurant doesn't forget its staunch Indian food fans and also has a small section aptly called ' India wale' that includes popular dishes like chicken tikka, biryani, paneer makhani etc. There is an adorable dessert cart that is wheeled around where you get to pick your dessert from options like Masala Chai Baileys Brownie or the Jaggery Bread Pudding.
The restaurant opens doors on the 10th of January in BKC and is ideal for families or large groups.
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Better known as the Tiny Taster, Roxanne is an internationally respected blogger and expert on the Mumbai food scene. She has hosted many events, including the Upper Crust Food & Wine Show and travels the world, sharing her knowledge and gaining more experience.