Looking for a beautiful sunset dinner by the sea? Try Estella
The food is not memorable, prices are high, but the location is the next best thing after a Goan getaway.health and fitness Updated: Jan 07, 2017 08:55 IST
There’s no argument the Estella is a gorgeous restaurant. How could it not be, considering it’s a rare beachfront property that lets you dine looking out on to an inky-black ocean?
Divided between a glass-fronted dining area and an open-air, sea breeze-kissed deck, it’s the next best option to a Goan getaway. Connecting the two dining spaces is a long island bar that faintly resembles the wraparound bar at Theory in Parel, which was designed by the same architect.
The deck area expectedly gets booked up quickly and though they’re currently open only for dinner, it’s a matter of time before this becomes a popular sundown spot.
The low lighting is perfect if you’re there to sit back, enjoy a couple of drinks and look at the stars. It’s quite a challenge when you want read the menu — challenging enough for the restaurant to equip the service staff with flashlights.
It’s a challenge if you’re trying to see what you’re eating too. And at these prices, you want to look at your food!
The small plates, which dominate the menu, are priced upwards of Rs 375, with the meats hovering around the Rs 700 mark. Vegetarian main courses start at about Rs 700, with the seafood going up to Rs 2,850.
We started with the small plates. The double-baked goat cheese soufflé with braised leek confit and cranberry pickle sounded inviting. The soufflé was beautifully browned, light and airy; the cranberry pickle added a welcome touch of acidity. But it was missing the characteristic tanginess of goat cheese.
The beach salmon and beet carpaccio maki rolls, a blend of Asian and European flavours, represented the Modern Australian sensibility the restaurant aspires to, but the maki didn’t stand out in any way.
Opting to stick with the small plates we tried the burrata citrus — two pieces of plump burrata on a crisp salad of heirloom tomatoes, broccoli and pickled beetroots. The zestiness of the vegetables was a great foil for the richness of the creamy cheese.
Skipping the main course we plunged straight into the desserts, choosing the plum and frangipane tart with house-churned vanilla ice cream and the strawberry mille-feuille with vanilla cream. Unfortunately, both sounded and looked a lot better than they tasted. The tart was flaky and sweet; the mille-feuille, crackly and crisp.
And that really seems to be the problem with Estella. The food is entirely competent, technically faultless, but it’s like a grammatically correct sentence devoid of poetry. By the end of the meal, we had nothing to complain about; the quality of the produce was evident, the portion sizes were generous — after four plates small we had just about enough space for dessert.
But a few hours later, we were hard-pressed to remember anything we had eaten.
And that’s a real pity because the service was excellent, even before we were recognised and offered our complementary dessert, and it’s a wonderful space that you’d really like to revisit, if it gave you reason enough to.
RATING: 3 / 5
WHERE: Ground Floor, Nichani Kutir, Juhu Tara Road, Juhu
WHEN: 7 pm to 1 am
COST: About Rs 7,000 for two with one drink each
CALL: 79999-98232 / 79999-98212