Ostrich, emu, quail, rabbit, duck, turkey, venison, it’s wild out there for those with an appetite that goes beyond menus whose non-vegetarian sections end with chicken dishes.
Most Mumbaikars who are new to game meat (animals that are hunted for the purpose of food and not generally domesticated) are warming up to them as more and more city eateries are adding them to their their menus.
“People feel curious when they see rabbit meat on the menu, and more often than not, they even go ahead and order it,” says Bruce Rodrigues, owner of Bandra’s chic, meat-friendly eatery joint, Imbiss, which barely has two vegetarian options but remains packed through the week. The restaurant serves a special rabbit terrine on weekends and
special occasions, which the patrons seem to love. “We currently have duck sausages and pickled quail eggs on the menu too, and are looking to add more such exotic items to our menu,” says Rodrigues.
Suresh Kumar, managing director of Emu India Agro, a seven-year-old company that supplies emu meat to restaurants across the city, says, “We already cater to a few and are looking to adding more places to that list.” Even regular patrons can order raw or cooked emu from their website (www.emumeatindia.com) and have it delivered to their doorstep. “We have a farm in Thane and we deliver the birds depending on the demand so that you get the freshest meat,” says Kumar. On the menu are Emu Tikka Biryani, Emu Kadai and even Emu Kebab. The bird also finds a place in the menu at Bandra’s popular Chinese eatery, Stomach, where they will replace chicken or lamb in any dish with emu meat, if you request it. Similar is the case at Good Luck Café, where they also serve Emu Kheema-Pav.
Where to buy
You can place a special order for turkey and duck at Nature’s Basket, www.foodesto.com and HyperCity
Rabbit, duck, quail and pheasants are sold at various Crawford Market butcher shops
Emus can be bought online at www.emumeatindia.com
Just your duck
However, of all the game meats, it is duck that finds favour with most five stars and plush standalone eateries. “We get two varieties of duck — the one from Holland is used in our Roast Duck and the other is locally sourced, which we use to make our Peking Duck,” says G Anoj, executive sous chef, Grand Hyatt Mumbai. “On an average, we have a demand for eight ducks every day at China House. And the demand has certainly increased in the last few years.” India Jones at the Trident, Royal China in Fort and Bandra, and The Tasting Room in Lower Parel are some of the many Mumbai restaurants that serve duck. Quail is another bird that the Hyatt serves during special promotions. Taste
Of Kerala in Fort, too, has a quail (kada) roast and fry — dishes that are quite popular with regulars. Hakkasan in Bandra, which opened to much fanfare in 2011, and counts the city’s who’s who among its regulars, is another place where you can try some game. In addition to their popular Peking Duck, they also serve stir-fried ostrich and venison. During Thanksgiving and Christmas five-star hotels and high-end standalone restaurants have special turkey menus as well.roast duck with white wine jus
n 2.2 kg whole duck with skin
n Half an orange n 6 gm mix herbs (rosemary and thyme)
n 30 ml olive oil n 50 ml white wine jus
For the spice mix:
Salt n 2 gm black pepper powder n 5 gm paprika powder n 5 gm cajun spice n 3 gm chopped orange zest n 2 gm garlic powder n 2 gm onion powder n 2 gm rosemary
3 gm chopped thyme
Mix all ingredients and create a spice mixture. Rub the duck thoroughly with the mixture and stuff it with the orange and herbs. Place duck in roasting pan along with finely chopped celery, onions and carrots. Pour white wine and olive oil. Cook in a pre-heated oven at 180-degree C for an hour and half. Once duck is roasted and skin is crisp; remove and allow it to rest for 10-15 minutes. Cut into pieces and serve with white wine jus.
Recipe by G Anoj, Executive Sous Chef, Grand Hyatt Mumbai