Thursday 22 June 2017

Olio at Novotel - Juhu, Mumbai

Olio could mean a lot of things. It could mean Oil in Italian, Cooking pot in Latin or even a Spanish stew. But one thing is certain, it serves good food and that is in agreement with all of the above.

Located at Novotel Juhu, Olio is the classy western fine dine for those interested in an authentic western meal in a refined environment. Like Square next door which is Novotel's general purpose Buffet restaurant or the famed Chinese restaurant Sampan, Olio offers the guest a unique culinary experience.

I was part of a large chef's table that saw bloggers from around the town sample the food and express their opinion. The occasion was a revamped and upgraded menu.

Moderately sized with classy western decor that felt like a mix of Spanish and Italian, Olio had quite a comfortable ambiance. As opposed to overused Kenny Gs that I have grown up hearing in fine dines, this restaurant had live music and a guitarist who had an uncanny resemblance to Carlos Santana. I enjoyed his eighty's numbers. Anyone who loves the eighties has good musical taste.

A Four course Italian meal awaited me after I was done savoring the environment.

The dinner flagged off with this delectable Amuse Bouche which was made up of cheese and Italian seasoning.

The pickled watermelon and Arugula salad was quite flavorful. It paired excellently with Reviolo Grillo served along with it. It seemed to increase my appetite even more for the succeeding courses.

Lobster Tortellini in Salsa di burro di mandorie sounds like a quite a mouthful to speak but leaves you wanting for more when you eat. Soft melt in your mouth pasta with lobster and almond butter sauce was quite the smooth experience in the mouth. Paired with Reviolo Chardonnay, this course truly epitomized the spirit of a fine dine.

Chicken Di' Avolo was a main course with good old chicken breast, carrots and mashed potatoes. I  felt it was juicy and delicious at the start but a little bland at the end. The flavor did not feel uniform. Though paired with the Cabarnet Sauvignon which had a strong flavor, it felt quite perfect. The wine pairing was done by someone who knew their wine and food well.

The dessert platter which comprised of Tiramisu and Flour less Chocolate cake felt a little flat. The Tiramisu felt too creamy and the cream felt too thin. The perfect coffee bitter could not be perceived. And I have definitely had better Flour less chocolate cake before.

Barring the Dessert course, the other courses were quite exemplary. It was worth the long travel during rush hours. The service was professional as expected. The crew ensured that every member of the table was satisfied. The pricing could be on the higher side. While the food is good and the location is prime, the pricing could be a slight turnoff to patrons who are not hotel guests.

Combined with the pleasant location near the sea where the coastal breeze caresses your senses, the comforting indoor ambiance, classy music and high quality food - The pricing can be overlooked by a true connoisseur. At least one trip seems to be in order for food lovers all around.

The Captain's Score : 8/10

Map Co-Ordinates
Olio at Novotel,
Juhu Beach,
Balraj Sahani Marg,
Juhu, Mumbai.

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

Olio - Novotel Menu, Reviews, Photos, Location and Info - Zomato 

Tuesday 6 June 2017

Mango Dessert Festival at Sin in Hotel Marine Plaza - Churchgate, Mumbai

Mango, India's favorite food has the effect of driving the majority of the Indian population wild. As soon as the mango season begins, people crowd up at fruit stores buying them like hotcakes. Actually in India, one must say that hotcakes sell like mangoes.

I proudly declare that I am not in that majority. Nope, the fruit's presence or absence doesn't affect me. But Mango desserts are another story, they give me a high. I dropped by last week to sample a special menu of Mango based desserts at the Sin patisserie within Hotel Marine Plaza.

This seasonal special menu would last till the mid of June.
The Special Menu. 
At INR 375(plus Taxes) per dessert , the place actually offers cheaper desserts than the likes of a place like Indigo Deli. The desserts are made of premium ingredients and have a great flavor. There is no compromise on quality.

This platter would make most of humanity salivate in front of their screens.

Aam Ka Panna would be India's favorite summer drink. Sweet and sour in flavor, this spice filled beverage isn't really a dessert but one could never have a Mango themed menu in India without the mention of this.

Mango and Mint Panna Cotta was a delectable panna cotta topped with a thick Mango paste and Mint pearls. Though initially I was a bit disappointed that it was Mint and not peppermint, the rich flavor of the cream made up for everything. I gobbled this up in a jiffy.

Mango Baklava is probably something that the Ottomans and the Greeks would never have imagined. The chefs at Sin took this old world favorite and gave it a Mango Twist. The result was classical Baklava with a perfect mango infusion. Baklava itself is rare to find in the city and Mango Baklava may just only be available at Sin. Though not aesthetically pleasing as its colorful counterparts, this was one of the high points of the seasonal menu.

Mango Cheesecake in my opinion was the best dessert in the menu. It delivered in both visuals and flavor. Not only was it the prettiest of the lot, its flavor was quite amazing. Unlike Cheesecakes at other places where vanilla cheesecake is merely topped with a compote, this truly was a mango cheesecake. The cream cheese and Mango had been perfectly fused together. The texture was smooth and perfect. Mango's sweet and tarty flavor combined with Cheesecake's original sweet flavor was quite a party in my mouth.

Mango Chocolate Sensation was Sin's take on the popular melting chocolate ball. Though these balls have long lost novelty due to being too common, these still make an excellent dessert for a bunch of food shutterbugs. I was disappointed with this one though. The flavor of the mango was far too subtle and as far as Chocolate ball desserts go, this was too mediocre.

Mango Raspberry Criollo was a delicious comfort dessert. Made with a Mango mousse centred with a Raspberry compote, the hero of the dish was undoubtedly the raspberry. While the mango served as a nice and alluring exterior, the flavor profile was dominated by the Raspberry. The dessert was however one of the best on the menu. Again like the cheesecake, it was both visibly pleasing and quite delectable.

This seasonal menu is said to last till the Mid (15th) of June, 2017. That is about the time when the Mango season goes offline from India and the Monsoon sets in. If you are a dessert fanatic like me, don't miss this opportunity to sample things like the Mango Cheesecake or the Baklava.

The Captain's Score : 8/10

Map Co-Ordinates
Hotel Marine Plaza,
29, Marine Drive,

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

Sin - Marine Plaza Menu, Reviews, Photos, Location and Info - Zomato