Sunday, October 31, 2010

Vineet Bhatia's Ziya

Ziya in MumbaiMichelin stars in Mumbai? Well, not quite. However, Mumbai has suddenly begun attracting starred chefs from Europe and America. Just this month, Chef Nobuyuki Matsuhisa flew down with a 26-strong entourage from London for culinary performance lasting a week. The price? Rupees 24,000 per person (approx. USD 550). Then there is Vineet Bhatia, who has two Michelin stars for his restaurants in London; probably the only Michelin starred Indian food restaurants in the entire world.

Vineet now runs two restaurants in Mumbai: Azok at Oakwood Premier in Juhu and Ziya at The Oberoi in Nairman Point. I had a chance to try Ziya during a recent visit and here are some impressions from that dinner.

Ziya at The Oberoi Mumbai
Ziya at The Oberoi MumbaiThe decor, like the food here, is contemporary fusion. Indian staples but with a modern twist. I chose the prix fixe option listed as the Gourmand Menu and sat back with a glass of wine.

After arranging small bowls of chutneys and papad rolls in front of me, they quickly brought out an amuse of jal jeera with mushrooms fritters.

Chutneys at Ziya
Jal Jeera Amuse at ZiyaThe Starter was exceptional. A Crisp Roti Wrapped Prawn served with Bloody Mary jelly, mint raita and white tomato soup. The Roti seemed to be made with a thin coating of semolina (not sure) and was very tasty. The soup was tangy and the Bloody Mary jelly really worked on the palate!

Appetizer at ZiyaNext came the Wild Mushroom Khichdi with Makhni Ice-Cream. Now isn't that interesting, or what? While the dish was made well and combination did work, I did not find it particularly exciting.

Wild MUshroom Khichdi at ZiyaThe Varq 23 carat Black Spiced Chicken Tikka was served next. The chicken came with crisp milk fritters and Saffron Upma! Now this dish was quite detectible. As interesting on the palate as it was on the plate with the gold varq shining on top. While I have consumed a lot of silver varq (which is standard on many Indian sweets), this was my first gold varq.

Varq Chicken at ZiyaA champagne sorbet as a palate cleanser came next before the first entree. The Grilled, Chilli and Curry Leaf Lobster was served in lobster sauce and brocolli khichdi. They dusted it with spiced cocoa powder at the table. The lobster was fantastic! This dish was the best so far. Great khichdi, crunchy lobster with a distinct South Indian flavour that worked very well.

The next entree was a Smoked Tandoori Lamb Chop with a silken potato mash, lamb samosa, spiced lamb & mint jus and lemon grass foam. I am a sucker for lamb chops and liked this dish too.

Lamb Chop at ZiyaBefore the dessert, they served me a a portion of cardamom baked yogurt that was quite delicious. Then came the Grilled Saffron Pineapple with Kheer Ice-Cream and Warm Coconut Basundi. I loved it!

Baked Yogurt at Ziya
Dessert at ZiyaThis was a fun dinner for me and very different from the typical Indian fare. It was fun to experiment with the combination of Chicken Tikka and Upma, Lobster and Khichdi, etc. While not every dish was a standout, overall this was a positive experience for me.

Please note that this restaurant serves pre-plated food that is not meant to be shared family-style unlike most Indian food restaurant. Prices are at the high-end but that is to be expected given the chef's reputation.

1 comment:

Gaurav said...


sorry to nitpick.. the nobu trip didnt happen...just as well. as much as i love the restaurant 24000 a head is just indecent..