All of Chef Farrokh Khambatta’s restaurants — Joss, Amadeus, Café at NCPA — cater to a certain class. From the décor to the food to its pricing, they all spell
up-market. Naturally, the average visitor that you will find wining and dining here is likely to come from SoBo money, or at the very least, be an arriviste.
The latest addition to the list is the pan-Asian Umame, which replaces Valhalla in the Eros Theatre building at Churchgate. The menu promises “Joss standard”. The wooden floor, the bar at the end, the just-brighter-than-dim lighting gives you the impression of walking into a fine-dining restaurant. The only thing that’s odd is the seating — a table for two will have you sitting at the far ends, so you will end up speaking louder than usual. It also makes sharing a main-course rather difficult.
But then, that isn’t very fine-dining, is it?
We start with the Balinese Minced Lamb (Rs680) that comes on sugarcane skewers. The six pieces of succulent minced lamb are hard to fault, except for the rather small portion size. The thick, sticky-sweet chilli dipping sauce, however, is the kind of stuff you wish you could put in a bottle and take home with you.
For the main course, we go with Miso Chicken Piccata with Sesame Sauce and Asparagus Spears (Rs650) and Singapore Chilli Prawn with Scallions (Rs760). The beautifully cooked chicken sits in a generous bed of gravy, just the way a Piccata should be. The prawns are big and juicy. We reckon they were the tinned and not the freshly caught variety, but that takes nothing away from the dish. The portions, this time, are big. They would, however, be perfect if they came even with a small portion of rice, which you have to order separately (Rs320). The indulgent Walnut and Hazelnut Tart (Rs350) that ended the meal only reaffirmed that Umame lives up to the “Joss standard” it promises.
What we like
We don’t like
Weird table layout, starter portion