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Indian diaspora cuisine is what you can expect to savour at Michelin starred Chef Atul Kochhar’s first outpost in India. This place with a chic and trendy setting and abundant natural light offers an eclectic menu. The dishes comprise hot, cold, clay oven and robata offerings, apart from the signature delicacies. The bar menu is exhaustive. The food largely prepared using local fresh ingredients has been given an interesting twist but is not gimmicky. Replete with familiar flavours, the dishes are aesthetically presented and often take the palate by surprise too.There are ample choices for vegetarians here. Mofogasy - the Paniyaram inspired amaranth dumplings are delightful. Meat lovers can relish the well-cooked and fiery Andhra Mutton Roast. The Ikan Bakar is grilled to perfection with the flavours intact. One cannot leave this place without sampling the hearty Sri Lankan delicacy- Kandy black pork curry. The bunny chow too boasts of great flavours and textures. The Carrot Baklava among desserts gets my instant vote, although the Sri Lankan Vathalappam is tempting too. The staff is helpful and polite and the service efficient.
Chefs are finally leaving their global stints behind and coming back home to what they love best – Indian food. They have realized there is so much more they can do with Indian cuisine and have decided to give it a whirl. Latest voyager to come back home is Chef Atul Kocchar, who after imprinting the world with his serious cooking skills have firmly established his roots back in Indian soil. The chef has not let his menu to be fixated with expected Indian fare of butter chickens and kebabs, rather he has handpicked the best of India has to offer in one place, his restaurant ‘NRI – Not Really Indian’. Nestled at North Avenue at Bandra Kurla Complex in Mumbai, NRI is a place one to watch out for.
The restaurant is one of the finest places to dine at in Mumbai and is famous for its innovative take on generic Indian food. Expect to see the dishes you don’t normally witness on an Indian menu and take advantage of the Chef’s brilliant cooking skills that simply transforms the menu. Food is authentic and high quality, not to mention, expensive, but that has to be expected. Taste Imli jeera caipiroska, a yummy cocktail of vodka, tamarind and cumin or ask for a pot of gourmet tea. Pair with it nibbles like, ikan bakar, mishkaki, kalimiri prawns, butter msuhrooms, Andhra mutton roast, Indie Brit fish & chips, mirch malai broccoli and piri piri wings. Take this splendid culinary trip one step further with, nasi biryani, bunny chow, paneer tikka masala, chicken Peranakan curry, vegetable mitori, raan, mofogasy, kofta Kandahar, Caribbean goat curry and matar paneer.
Break a piece of blue cheese barista naan or a roti canai to mop up the curries. They even do a Jain version of the menu. Splash a shot of liqueur in your coffee and sip it alongside your final sweet course, desserts. The chef offers, carrot baklava, vathalappam, yucca tresleche and saffron phirni. Or you could indulge in a bowl of ice cream. Do ask the staff for recommendations, they are well versed. Décor is simple yet chic and connects with outdoors through large floor to ceiling plate glass windows. Interiors are earthy toned and contemporary. Tall street lamps are placed about the room to throw in the light. Sit next to the window, they are the best seats in the house.