Fine dining redefined: Hemant Oberoi restaurant review
Hemant Oberoi’s eponymous eatery at Mumbai’s Bandra Kurla Complex promises the service of a five-star hotel and the warmth of a local joint.more lifestyle Updated: Jul 21, 2017 20:05 IST
We couldn’t help but be full of great expectations for Hemant Oberoi’s first standalone restaurant. After all, he is one of Taj Group’s legendary chefs, and for many, his retirement meant a major setback to their fine dining nights. However, the opening of his eponymous eatery at BKC spells relief for his fans and with good reason.
We stepped in to find a mahogany-wallpapered and high-ceilinged hall lit by old-fashioned soft lights. There was no music and the only sounds you could hear were of friendly banter from two large groups that were already there.
Once seated, we realised that, although the seating was plush, it wasn’t exactly cosy. A brunch menu minus any mention of prices was already waiting at our table, but we went for a la carte menu, as we weren’t prepared for an 11-course meal.
For starters, we ordered a Betterava (Rs 825), which was described as “different beetroots — different countries in one plate”. The colourful dish came with daintily placed beetroot pieces. Our attendant informed us that although it was not obvious, we actually had three differently coloured beetroots on our plates — red from India, pink from Holland and yellow from Sweden. These were succulent, juicy and refreshing.
Our main course, Norwegian Salmon (Rs 1,350), came garnished with caper berry and a side of finely sliced broccoli — almost unrecognisable in its transparent avatar — and hay-smoked potatoes sprinkled with ash dust. While the salmon was cooked to perfection and melted in our mouths, the crunchy caper berries were like celebratory crackers on our tongues. The potatoes tasted like regular mashed ones, and the broccoli added a tang to our palate.
Our dessert, Oreo White Coffee Cheese Cake (Rs 875), took a little longer to arrive than we’d have liked. It also irked us a bit to see two tiny black specks on the dessert plate. At a place where the staffs wear white gloves to preserve the glint of the cutlery and glassware, this was a downer. But one bite, and we forgave it all. This seemed like a creamier, richer hybrid of tiramisu and baked yoghurt. The fresh cherries were literally the cherry on top of our culinary experience.
While we waited for the cheque, the legend himself walked out and proceeded to speak with the guests. When we asked why the chef was in on a Sunday, our attendant replied, “He works all Sundays and usually takes just a day off between Monday and Thursday.” Clearly, hard work is one of the elements for the making of greatness.
All we say is, if you have an occasion that requires excellent food and service but won’t have you minding the price tag, this is the place for you.
HT pays for all meals and reviews anonymously
WHAT: Hemant Oberoi
RATING: 4 / 5
WHERE: Unit No. 5, Jet Airways Godrej Building, Bandra Kurla Complex, Bandra (E)
WHEN: 12pm - 3pm , 7.30pm - 1am
COST: Rs 8000 for two without alcohol
Follow @htlifeandstylefor more
The author tweets@iamsusanjose