From Instagram to your plate, four chefs’ answers to ‘What’s for dinner?’ | mumbai news | Hindustan Times
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From Instagram to your plate, four chefs’ answers to ‘What’s for dinner?’

So what’s the wishlist for dining out in Mumbai? What are the ingredients, trends or cuisines they’d like to see in our city? Take a look...

mumbai Updated: Jun 27, 2017 16:50 IST
Anesha George
Our dining scene has evolved so much. But it’s time to take the next step and add truly new elements to the table.
Our dining scene has evolved so much. But it’s time to take the next step and add truly new elements to the table.(Shutterstock)

You wanted affordable sushi – you got it. Regional dishes in Indian restaurants – those appeared too. Fresh ingredients - check. Foreign produce – check. Artisanal, locally grown, foreign ingredients – check, check, check.

So what’s the wishlist for dining out in Mumbai? What’s yet to make the jump from Instagram to the local café/bistro/gastropub/fine dine/patisserie? Four restaurateurs tell us what Mumbai is now ready for.

AD Singh, managing director, Olive Bar and Kitchen

Peruvian food: It’s something I’ve been looking for, having tried it at Coya’s Mumbai pop-up, hosted by the Taj Mahal Palace Hotel in May. I feel it’s something the Indian palate will easily relate to. I loved the fresh flavours of the pale pink sea bass with thick noodles, and felt as if the fusion is something we Mumbaikars can really enjoy.

Cauliflower in a starring role: When I went to Sydney on a food tour, I was surprised to find the humble cauliflower headlining some Western menus. It certainly needs to make its presence more felt.

Tasting menus: Over the years I’ve tried some great tasting menus including Tetsuya and Peter Gilmore’s in Sydney, Nobu in London and Indian Accent in Delhi. They’re yet to come of age here and are the best way to explore a new restaurant or understand a chef’s vision.

Chiptole flavour:It’s not just an ingredient but a trend in the US. La Bodega Negra in London is popular for its chipotle. It has clearly demonstrated that Mexican food, presented in an easy setting with a focus on ingredients and presentation, can be very successful.

A sushi conveyor belt. The belt has still not made it to our eateries. (iStock)

Neville Vazifdar, owner, Royal China restaurants

Middle Eastern cuisine: We don’t have any authentic Lebanese cuisine. It has many flavours that India can resonate with and has ample choice in vegetarian dishes. It’s about time we had our share of authentic fattoush and shish taouk in the city.

Heated salt blocks: Curing thinly sliced meat and fish with blocks of Himalayan sea salt is something we need to see. It can also be used with other quick-cooking foods to bring out their flavour without chemicals or additives.

Conveyor-belt dining: Instead of sushi, we could do it with dim sum and momos.

Creative fries: French fries served with a variety of different toppings like cheese, sauces or even meats, are a rage abroad. How about we come up with fries topped with chicken tikka masala sauce?

The amuse bouche needs to be on our tasting menus. Because the two together are a great way to explore a new restaurant or understand a chef’s vision. (iStock)

Pooja Dhingra, owner, Le15 Patisserie

Mexican meals: I’d like to see a good Mexican restaurant in the city, because we love all things spicy! The best Mexican food I’ve had is at a small taco place in Rio de Janeiro. It was a very flavoursome pork-belly taco that I remember gorging on. I’d love to get some of it here.

Flour substitutes: I recently started baking cookies with bottle-gourd or doodhi flour. They have high fibre, bind beautifully and are perfect for eggless recipes.

Better food trucks: It’s about time we saw more of them in a city where everything is on the fast-track. The parks in New York and Boston usually have several food trucks, making for a foodies paradise.

Cookie-ice-cream sandwiches: Those and cream-filled chocolate cakes popularised by the American brand Ring Dings is bound to find favour here.

Cuban cuisine has fantastic flavours and ingredients common with India. We need to add it to our repertoire. (iStock)

Pinky Dixit, owner, Soam

Cuban cuisine: Because it has an amazing range of dishes to offer. It’s got fantastic flavours and a few ingredients that we use here in India, but cooked and flavoured differently. Something as simple as Cuban sandwiches served with plantain chips can definitely fit into Mumbai menus.

More pickles: We need to encourage the use of pickled or cured veggies in our meals, which is a trend abroad. Beans in olive oil, or Korean kimchi need to be introduced as sides.

Hot pots: The oriental DIY hot-pot format is extremely interesting. You set a pot of simmering broth or stock in the middle of the table and place plates of meat, seafood, and vegetables, all prepped and ready to be cooked in it around it. Diners choose their combinations and serve themselves a bowl.

Small bites and drinks: Serving an aperitif (a drink served as an appetizer) with fresh unlimited amuse bouche (single bite-sized starters) is a trend I saw in Torino, Italy and really hope to see in India soon. All you need to do is buy a drink, settle down in a spot and wait for the chef to churn out fresh appetizers one after the other (a new one every 20 minutes!).