It is always a pleasure to dine outdoors in Mumbai and what better season than now? It was a delight to step into Flames, the al fresco dining place at Hilton Mumbai. The restaurant had just opened in November and will be open till March.
Chef Merajjudin Ansari, Executive Sous chef has decided to give the menu a makeover. This year, guests will be able to indulge in inventive kebabs and biryanis inspired by Awadhi spices and flavours. I was intrigued.
The menu looked wholesome and appealing. An interesting amalgamation of kebabs, biryani, served with dal makhni. A complete meal. Of course vegetarian and non vegetarian options abound. Chicken kebab marinated with cardamom and cashewnuts, called Noori Kebab is what we started with. The marinade was flavourful and unique. Kesari jhinga was again a delight for the taste buds. The prawns were well-grilled and the saffron added the right zest to it. Chapli Kebab, lamb mince kebabs flavoured with dried pomegranate were exquisite. On the lines of a shammi kebab, yet, different. For vegetarians, Firdousi aloo is delectable and Vegetable Galouti Kebab, made with yam, plantain and pumpkin spiced with black cardamom was a real culinary treat. Chef Meraj, clearly believes in innovation. None of the kebabs had overpowering spices. A lot of emphasis was laid upon presentation too.
The bread basket comes with the kebabs and had warqui, laccha, methi parathas, roomali rotis. The chicken dum biryani, which came last, was the best part of our meal. One of the best biryanis I have eaten in Mumbai. The spices were well-blended to create a magical flavour. It was moist, zesty and not at all oily. We were satiated.
Desserts include delicious creations like Barwan Gulab Jamun filled with Dark Chocolate, Jalebi sticks with Chocolate Rabdi, and Butter Milk and Star Anise Panna Cotta with Grand Marnier Chantilly. I personally did not enjoy the gulab jamuns as I felt the chocolate interfered with the gulab jamun’s indigenous flavour, instead of enhancing it. The baked yoghurt with mascarpone cheese and saffron was delicious and a class apart.
Flames is open every day for dinner, from 7.30 pm to 11.30 pm. So, if you like to dine under the stars and sky, trust me there can be no better place and the Awadhi delicacies too are unparalleled.