For the foodies who have gotten used to abstain from going out on town in search of grand dining adventures, the news of Qualia reopening its Lower Parel doors is a happy change of pace that couldn’t have come any sooner. And if you are someone who has been good throughout the past year, then dining at the uber-luxe Qualia is the fine experience you need, nay deserve!
Helmed by Famed Chef Rahul Akerkar, Qualia is named after a philosophical concept that means the quality of a sensory experience, and seeing that the place is flawless in the quality of both, gastronomy and interior design, we feel that the name fits the bill!
Besides the food, design is another element that makes this place extraordinary. The glass façade fills the space with streams of sunlight that bounce off long braided metallic chains that break the space into discreet areas. All that coupled with plush red sofas, pitted against dark wooden interiors, and a stellar bar gives the entire place a sophisticated opulence.
The food here is a culmination of various cultural experiences gathered by the Chef over the years on his travels around the world. So, the cuisine curated on their menu can be described as European favorites with a whole bunch of Maharashtrian, Gujarati, and Keralite influences.
Simply put, they serve good-looking & delicious soul food with a touch of surprise element thrown in by way of unexpected pickled elements. The entire menu has this whole sweet-meets-sour profile going on, making pickle a ubiquitous ‘ingredient’ that gives an interesting acidic dimension to the food. There's something pickled in almost every single dish.
A great example of the kitchen’s many fermentation experiments is their delectable ‘Yellowfin Tuna Loin’ preparation featuring a Kerala-inspired curry leaf and sesame rub, a wonderfully creamy avocado pachadi, and tangy pickled beets.
Their popular meat dish- ‘Coimbatore Pork Chops’, served in a cider cumin glaze with white beans, succulent candied tomatoes, and topped with sage leaves, is quite the crowd puller, impressing patrons with its fresh ingredients & crisp flavors.
Their plump selection of gourmet burgers on the menu is a revelation. Our absolute favorite from the listing is the ‘Nutty Mushroom Burger’ featuring a thick mushroom almond patty, brussels sprouts, onion jam, lots of Rombay cheese, and served with a side of ‘Accordion Potato Crisps’.
Another great classic dish bursting with fresh flavors is the ‘Grilled Watermelon’ with whipped feta, heirloom tomatoes, and cantaloupe gazpacho.
Other noteworthy preparations on the menu include ‘must try’ classics like ‘Steak Tartare with Pickled Veggies’, ‘Charred Chicken Wings’, 'Cured-Egg-Yolk', and 'Duck Neck Sausage’.
Indulgent yet light and fresh, you don’t have to be an expert connoisseur to enjoy the subtle blend of varied flavors and textures in the food of Qualia. Each preparation on the menu here stands on its own and in our honest opinion, speaks volumes of the effort, expertise & love gone into their creation.
Gargi Bisht is an event copywriter/conceptualizer turned writer currently working with EazyDiner Pvt. Ltd. Compulsive eater, book hoarder, dog lover and pop culture enthusiast with an innate love for storytelling. Usually the quietest person in the room, Gargi is an introvert who loves her own company. When not eating, can be found in front of her laptop watching movies. Knows a thing or two about art and literature.
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