Wednesday 7 September 2016

Artisan at Sofitel - Bandra Kurla Complex, Mumbai.

There are people meant for higher things and people meant for falling down into the abyss. Those were my thoughts as I clutched the rope of the bridge. There was a strong wind around out us and it snapped the rope bridge into two. The three of us hung onto the bridge rope leading to the other end while a bottomless abyss stared at us from below. We hung below the other end and now had to climb up. We prayed that the rope doesn't snap as we slowly climbed upwards to an unknown place.

For two long years, I have been searching for an authentic French restaurant in Mumbai. I have heard many things before. Indian palates are not quite ready for French food. Indians like their food spicy. But that did not deter me from my quest which seemingly appeared endless. But everything that begins must end, and my search finally concluded at Artisan, Sofitel.

Artisan at Sofitel which is owned by the French Accor group brings a genuine French Bistro experience to the table. This is one of the world's most loved and popular cuisines by people who know French food. The new Bistro menu has authentic French dishes made the way they are supposed to be for the French. No Indian adaptations and tinkering with the flavor. Chef Manav Koul who has extensive experience working with French food was all too happy to curate the show.

The restaurant has a classy appearance combined with a party vibe. Its a fine dine that blends in contemporary with the sophisticated. At my time of visit, there was also live music with a singer dishing out jazz numbers and a guitarist paying homage to the 80's rock era.

So without any delay, Bon appetit. Heure du dîner.

The experience started with this welcome drink which was a cool looking Champagne cocktail.

This was an eight course dinner, nine if you count the drink. I must admit that this has to be the largest course I have ever experienced. A truly luxurious and a grand experience.

First Course - Butternut Squash Parfait was a creamy, savory little teaser that served well as a amuse gueule. It seemed to further my appetite as well.

First Course - Gougeres wild mushroom ragout was a mild flavored semi solid stew with a flavor that reminded me of wild herbs. It was served on a choux pastry or Gourgeres.

First mate : You're lucky that none of us fell into the pit. Your rashness almost killed us.

Captain : Ya know, its hard to climb with ye pressurizing me with yer trap. Be thankful, it could have been worse.

First Mate : How could it have been worse?

Captain : We could have been more than three.

First Mate : Ha ha, not funny mate.

Second Course - Creamy seafood Vol au Vent was comprised of a hollow puff pastry filled with creamy dreamy seafood. There were some greens at the bottom making the Vol au Vent resemble an egg on a green nest. This was smooth on the palate and naturally salty. Flavor oozed out with every bite. It was made of salty flavors that I had never experienced before. T'was a truly memorable course.

Third Course - Fish Almandine was made of mildly salty Seabass garnished with a lemon butter garlic sauce. The fish was soft, gooey and had a comforting flavor. This course seemed to make the weight of the world seem lesser. This was a dish extraordinaire.

Fourth Course - Crepe Ratatouille with Heirloom tomato sauce and Basil. Each vegetable in this dish was sauteed separately and then baked together. It was layered with tomato concasse and fresh basil. The dish was a wonderful mix of many flavors. Each veggie seemed to taste differently with the crepe. If you are a vegetarian then you will love this dish for its diverse flavors. This preparation had a wonderful aroma as well.

Before we moved to the main course, we were served with this palate cleanser which was made of lemon sorbet with a dash of Midori. This had to be the most pleasant palate cleanser that I have had till date.

Captain : Good Lord, this sure is a long climb. We could have reached Everest's summit by now.

Crewmate : These winds are a bother. What if this rope breaks too?

First mate : Then we fall and die.

Captain : You don't know that for sure.

Fifth Course - Jarret D'Agneau was a dish that I couldn't even google for an English result. It was a delectable braised lamb dish that surprisingly tasted like home cooked lamb. Soft and savory, this was easy on the palate. It was served with a Roquefort potato puree with a balsamic drizzle. It carried the essence of a Bistro in it with its home like flavor. Bistros historically were run by families. It paired well with a 2014 blend of Red wine.

Sixth Course - Fromage Platter. The first time that I came across the French word for cheese was as a child watching Dexter's lab on the telly. Omlet du Fromage, I heard it so many times that I went to a local library and used a French English dictionary to find what it actually meant. The cheese platter was made up of Roquefort, Brie and Comte served with a dip made out of honey and fig puree.

Seventh Course - Creme Brulee was a bit average, I have had better before. The chocolate mousse was dark, decadent with a great consistency.

Captain : I think I see the top. 

First mate : I have been wondering. How do we get back with the bridge out?

Captain : Lets get to the top first. 

The Profiteroles were a great eat and had a bit of visuals too. All credits go to Chef Siddharth Anand, the pastry chef for a wonderful experience.

The last course was made of Tea and Coffee which I skipped.

The service was excellent with the restaurant's manager Marshneil Fernandes personally explaining us each course, pairing wine and ensuring that everything was in its place. And it wasn't just our table, she took care of all other tables concurrently.

The pricing is like a good uptown restaurant but its lesser than what one would pay in restaurants inside other Five star Hotels. For an excellent French experience, the moolah is well spent here.

Located in BKC, Artisan at Sofitel is well connected to all parts of the city and is easy to reach. It offers an experience like none other and trust me its almost impossible to find French food in Mumbai, let alone good French food. So if you want to have French, do try the Bistro menu at Artisan inside Sofitel.

The Captain's Score : 9/10

Captain (Dusts himself) : Phew. We made it. There seems to be a dark path ahead.

First mate : We don't have a light. We have no idea where we are.

Crewmate : I have a few matches. 

Captain : There seems to be a bit of light oer here. Reason I could see it from below.

Firstmate : These rocks seem to glow a bit. Hope the place isn't radioactive.

Nina : Nya :3?

Captain : Hey Nina...NINA? How did you get here?


Map Co-Ordinates
Sofitel Hotel,
C 57, Bandra Kurla Complex,

-I was invited to sample the event menu by the Restaurant. My review however remains objective.-


Artisan - Sofitel Menu, Reviews, Photos, Location and Info - Zomato

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