Bubbles, vapours, air, unusual mixtures and textures, and more, is what I went expecting at lunch at Chemistry 101, the fun, gastro bar at Kamla Mills, Lower Parel; Mumbai. Of course I am all for the drama and excitement, molecular gastronomy brings along, provided it is done well. But alas! there was nothing dramatic or unwarranted here.
Cardiff based, Award winning Rosette AA Chef Stephen Gomes, obviously has got his food right. He may have played around with flavours and textures, but he knows them well and has thus succeeded in creating a unique dining experience for his guests.
My lunch arrived. The menu was limited, being a set menu, naturally. Yet, offered me sufficient options. Skipping lambs and prawns, we opted for butter chicken and shorshe bata mach. Being from Kolkata, this had to be tried. And again, for a Punjabi, Butter chicken cannot be missed. That is sacrilege.
Vegetarians can opt for Veg Jaipuri with Cheese Foam or Kashmiri Dum Aloo with Ratanjot Foam or Paneer Makhani with Cream Foam or even Muttar methi malai with Cream Foam. Plenty of options.
The chilled buttermilk ravioli, was gulped by us in a jiffy. I loved it. Size matters, yes, but this one albeit small, was potently refreshing and the perfect hors d’oeuvre.
The kiwi cooler was welcome, given the warm weather outside.
The kung fu paratha with egg, caviar rice, dal and butter chicken with sundried tomato foam were a part of my appetizing thali. Well-presented, these were a medley of colours, and yes, flavours and textures too, as I discovered in due course.
The butter chicken, despite its avant garde presentation, was true to its flavours. The creaminess was unmistakable. A Punjabi can vouch for that. Equally flavoursome was the somewhat, mild, sosrshe bata mach, not as pungent as the original though.
The dal was well-spiced and tempered to perfection and had a home-style feel to it. Just the way I love mine. The caviar rice was a treat for the eyes, colourful and attractive. Equally comforting to the palate with the dal.
The paratha, though sinful, was delicious and paired perfectly with the butter chicken.
What do I say about the khari biscuit ice cream with jalebi mousse? A spoonful, and I was sold out. A work of art and innovation. The astute manner in which the humble khari biscuit had been elevated and used in the ice cream, was praiseworthy. The not-so-sweet jalebi mousse was the exact contrast of the ice cream in flavour and textures. Together, they wowed my palate without a doubt.
I had been procrastinating and finally paid a visit to this place. And I loved Chemistry 101.If a simple lunch was so good, the dinner with tapas et al will be even better am sure.
Affordably priced, this thali is a steal, given the quality of food, its presentation and portion sizes.
This place is worth making a beeline for lunch some day soon.
Rating : 4/5