Chef Gome Galily (32) learnt at an early age that to be good at his craft, he had to create a signature style because of which people would recognise him. The Israel-born chef, who has had stints at Michelin-starred restaurants Noma (Copenhagen, Denmark), and Nahm (Bangkok, Thailand), came up with a different approach with his Goa restaurant, Matsya Freestyle Kitchen — one where there’s no menu.
At his first pop-up in Mumbai, this weekend, Galily will create an eight-course menu, with each course inspired from a particular region. It will bring in dishes with ingredients and techniques from Monaco, Bangkok, Beijing, Rome, and Goa.
But the catch is, just like at his restaurant, there will be no menu, and prior booking is mandatory. You call in, make a reservation, and will be asked if you are a vegetarian or a non-vegetarian. You then share your preferences and dislikes, allergies and expectations. After that, you wait for Galily to surprise you at the table. “Diners can call and request for the rough menu which will give them an idea of what they’re coming for. But the menu is subject to change depending on tastes, preferences, and availability of produce,” says Galily.
His restaurant in Arambol, Goa, was away from the tourist madness. So, Galily developed this idea to pique the interest of diners. “There was hardly any movement around, and I thought that a new concept would be intriguing for diners,” he says. It worked. People started coming in due to the sheer curiosity of not knowing what to expect. “But some never understood the concept and thought it was too vague,” he says.
Galily has a word of advice for the diners: don’t come with toddlers. They might get bored looking at their parents gorging on an eight-course meal. And call up and ask for all the information you want. “What I love about this is that I feel like I’m cooking for myself. I don’t have to please anyone,” he says.
Be there: Gome Galily’s pop-up will take place on March 10 and 12, 7pm onward
Where: Magazine Street Kitchen, Devidayal Compound, Byculla (E)
Price: Rs 4,500; Rs 5,500 (with wine)
Call: 2372 6708