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Food review: The Blue offers 5-star Asian fare at a fraction of the cost

Opened by two ex-chefs from San Qi at the Four Seasons, this is a tiny place that excels at everything from crispy crab to crackling pork.

mumbai Updated: May 27, 2017 10:06 IST
Antoine Lewis
Antoine Lewis
Hindustan Times
Bandra,Khar,Things to do
The Blue in Khar is tiny, but it’s been receiving huge waves of approval from city chefs and diners. (Aalok Soni / HT Photo)
The Blue
  • RATING: 4 / 5
  • WHERE: Shop No 1, Sai Pooja, 16th Road, Bandra (West)
  • WHEN: Noon to 3.30 pm; 7 pm to 11.30 pm
  • COST: Rs 2,500 for two. No alcohol served.
  • CALL: 2600-0888

“Have you eaten at The Blue yet?” a famous restaurateur who’s created many recognisable restaurant brands in Mumbai and known for his impeccable sartorial taste asks me at dinner. “You should check them out; they’re doing some fantastic stuff.”

It’s not often that you hear restaurateurs praising another restaurant, and I’m intrigued.

Opened by two ex-chefs who handled the Japanese and Thai food at San Qi at the Four Seasons, The Blue is extremely tiny. It seats just 14 inside and 8 outside. It’s so small that every time the woman behind me adjusts her seat, her elbow digs into my back. This size of restaurant is a popular format in the stretch between Bandra and Khar. One table is occupied by a group of vaguely familiar television actors who bitch about script rehearsals between discussing the culinary delights of Singapore.

The mushroom gyoza at The Blue are crisp on the outside and hold an almost mousse-like filling. They go well with the soy-chilli dip. ( Aalok Soni / HT Photo )

With just two cuisines to choose from, ordering is easy. We start with a plate of nigiri sushi. Thin, bright pink slices of tuna akami that look like slivers of raw steak are draped over sushi rice. The rice is slightly warm, a touch over body temperature. It’s unusual, but doesn’t detract from the taste or texture of the sushi. Our mushroom gyoza are crisp and brown on the outside with a mousse-like texture to the filling. It tastes even better with the sweet-salty-spicy soy-chilli dip.

The soft-shell crab tempura is coated in Japanese mustard. It’s one of the popular starters at the Khar restaurant. ( Aalok Soni / HT Photo )

I’m equally impressed by the texture of the Karashi mustard soft shell crab, batter-fried and coated in mildly piquant Japanese mustard. The crab is simultaneously, soft, crisp and crunchy. The salad though seems superfluous. We are quite pleased with all the Japanese starters.

For the main course we shift to Thai: a chicken green curry and a serving of crispy pork. It’s not easy to get a good green curry at a standalone place in Mumbai. Most use ready-made curry pastes, which flattens the flavours somewhat. What distinguishes The Blue’s curry is that you can not only taste the spices, but also the flavour of the vegetables. It also has faint citrus aroma which brings a zesty freshness to every morsel.

The Blue’s green Thai curry doesn’t taste like the usual pre-made pastes. You can taste the spices and the veggies, and there’s a refreshing hint of citrus. ( Aalok Soni / HT Photo )

Tossed with baby corn and zucchini in a spicy-sweet sauce, each cube of pork has a perfectly crackled skin. It’s more crunchy pork than crispy.

The only disappointment was the tub tim grob. Served in a glass bowl rather than a coconut shell, it looked rather unloved and the achingly underwhelming coconut milk left you a little heartbroken.

The Blue is doing some fantastic stuff indeed; it’s five-star hotel quality food at about one-fourth the price.

HT reviews anonymously and pays for all meals

First Published: Apr 28, 2017 19:32 IST