Monthly Archives: January 2015

Of Sofrito and Soulful food: Asado

When a new cuisine makes an entry into Mumbai, the mecca for foodies, the excitement is palpable. Naturally. There was a bounce in my step as I made my way to Asado, Mumbai’s newest and only Latin American fine dining restaurant for a preview. I felt lucky and privileged.

A 65-seater venue spread over 1500 square feet, including both indoor and outdoor dining, Asado’s chic and vibrant ambience bowled me over completely. The décor has been modelled to resemble the streets of Latin America and the cuisine is meant to be an authentic reflection of the region.  It is obviously completely in keeping with its name. After all ‘Asado’ is a term used for a range of barbeque techniques or the social event of having to attend a barbecue in Argentina.

The bright and cheerful service staff got us seated and ensured we were comfortable. Impressive beginning.

One look at the menu and we could see an array of modern European and Cantonese dishes. And of course there were authentic Latin American cocktails like Mate and Caipirinha and a mind boggling selection of over twenty different kinds of tequilas.

Trimaan Singh Chandock, Director of Concept Development informed us that the concept of the cuisine at Asado centres around the latest contemporary cooking techniques of ‘Sous Vide’ and ‘Lava Stone Grill’, which will be experienced for the first time in Mumbai.  Well, one has experienced that in Five star hotels before, but for a standalone, a first, yes.

The Quinoa salad, we began with was a treat. Generous portion and fresh, good quality ingredients further enhanced the experience. The creamy cauliflower soup with gorgonzola was of the right texture. The cheesy flavours were subtle and not overpowering and meshed well with the cauliflower. Full marks to the chef here. Teased our taste buds sufficiently.

Baked Parmesen Polenta_ASADO

But what mesmerized my taste buds was the Baked parmesan polenta with chipotle fig relish. It was an absolute treat.  A world class dish, made to perfection.

Asado’s menu reads like a foodie’s delight. It has something for everyone -Lava Stone Grill, classic Grills, or Latin Sizzlers to name a few. Prawns, Cheese Jalapenos & Dates, Braised Filllet of Turbot Scallop and Garlic Herb Marinated Shrimp Skewer are some of the sure-shot highlights. The tipple lovers can enjoy international and domestic alcohol along with some exotic wines.

Katafi Pastry Prawn_ASADO

The Katafi pastry prawns, which I absolutely relish, met with my expectations. The pastry was crisp and the prawn filling, soft and succulent, juxtaposing the two contrasting textures perfectly. The enchiladas were nothing to write home about.

Just when I thought I had savoured the best, the Edamame & truffle risotto took me by surprise.  One of the best I have ever tasted. Too much of good food in one evening.

The Tresleches was the grand finale. Sweet, but not cloyingly so, creamy and an apt option to round off the exotic meal at Asado.

While the portions, quality, taste and variety of the food is undoubtedly unquestionable, I am a wee bit sceptical about the price. Much as Mumbaikars are food lovers, connoisseurs and ready to pay for a good meal, they do seek value for money.

A meal at Asado is definitely going to burn a hole in their wallet. Result: It might become a once in a while dining experience on a special occasion. Maybe Trimaan needs to take stock of that?

A meal at Asado is definitely going to burn a hole in their wallet. Result: It might become a once in a while dining experience on a special occasion. Maybe Trimaan needs to take stock of that?

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An Interesting Mex-Asian Experience: Kurries & Burries

It is not too late to wish everyone a Happy New Year is it? So, Happy New Year everyone. Have a gourmetastic 2015!

I began my year by visiting a cute, no-frills, QSR Kurries & Burries in South Mumbai near Wilson College.The sincerity and earnest effort of the Proprietor Kushal Todi has got to be lauded. Under his mother’s guidance (who is a great cook) he has started this initiative. Kudos!

The menu is exhaustive and this Café Mex-Asian serves interesting Mexican and Asian food. And all vegetarian. Quite a challenge, but one that is met adeptly by Kushal. A lot of the items on the menu can easily be served as Jain dishes too.

One can look forward to relishing Mexican, Thai, Burmese, Oriental and Chinese food, at pocket-friendly prices. We began with the flavourful Mexican soup made with Mexican beans. The spice element added the right amount of zing to it and the creamy texture was perfect. A good beginning. The crackling spinach with paneer which Kushal recommended was different. Only the paneer pieces were too generous and filled the mouth, with the spinach getting lost somewhere. Else the concept was exceptional, I thought.

Kurries & Burries - Naked Burrito

The Mexican Mex-wich was filling. The mexican beans, cheese sauce, sour cream and salsa teased our palates. A bit too heavy but completely value for money. Sandwiches, Wraps, Noodles, Rice, an array of Mexican dishes. This place has them all. Oodles of paneer, baby corn items on the menu. A vegetarian could not ask for more.

The Indian touch in the food is unmistakable but unpretentious too. K&B is very affordably pried and is bound to be a haven for college students and office goers. It has a visit ratio of 2 – 2.5 times as compared to any other food eatery at the same cost. The platters are an excellent way to try out a lot more.

I was skeptical about a vegetarian Khow suey but it turned out to be good. Authentic flavours and great toppings. And the coconut milk was not overpowering. We enjoyed it. The chef is obviously good.The ingredients are of a good quality and fresh too.

The dessert – Mexican sweet cup was disappointing. Very grainy and synthetic. Maybe we should have tried the chocolate nachos instead. Maybe next time?

Overall a place for good food, but personally, am not a great fan of Mexican food and hence would not dream of mixing it with Asian, my fav cuisine for sure.