Phone: 022 22647711, 022 22647700
Address: 123, Radha Bhavan, Nagindas Master Road, Kala Ghoda, Fort, Mumbai, Maharashtra India
Time: 7:00 PM – 1:00 AM
Meals for two: Rs. 2,500
Cuisines: European, Continental, Italian
Facilities: Full Bar Available, Indoor Seating
Is there hope behind the hype and hoopla? Alex Sanchez, celebrated chef, leaves the hugely popular ‘Table’ and mid-March, he sets up ‘Americano’ on his own. Excitement, speculation and expectations follows. South Mumbai’s foodies are atwitter (in the old-fashioned way, too).
In order to review accurately and check for consistency, I dined here three times over the past four months. Each time with a bunch of foodies to get their feedback: Globetrotting ophthalmologist super-achiever family of Padmashree recipient Dr. Keiki Mehta — Zenobia, Cyres and Vinifer. Visiting from London are fashion photographer Rustom Mehta and real estate finance Zubin Shroff. The discerning foodies share their palate opinion. Cyres revisited the restaurant several times. Our review follows…
Americano, Fort, Mumbai: Decor
Tucked into Kala Ghodas bylanes, ‘Americano’, with its soaring ceiling, jewel toned green marble bar near the entrance, potted plants in the main dining room with its cool beige and deep blue interiors, exudes casual sophistication. Most of the time it’s so packed and dimly lit that you may miss all the details. From behind the brighter-lit open-style kitchen, Alex gregariously chats with diners.
Americano, Fort, Mumbai: Food
Commitment to quality, seasonality, refined yet approachable cooking defines its menu of bar bites, sharing plates, pasta, pizzas and more. Textural and flavor contrast delight in many a dish: Potato Love Letters, crisp potato wafer roll filled with soft avocado and red onion creme fraiche, Sweetcorn ‘Ribs’, dusted with chatpata BBQ spice, scallion aioli, and lime. Love the sweet kiss of apple membrillo in the Spiced Baby Beetsand, and the chicken was roasted to perfection.
Napolitan style pizza (four day fermentation process) lovers are in for a treat. Pizzas, ringed with pillowy, puffy charred edges, which you must dip into spicy garlic aioli and salsa verde (served on the side). Ask for Pizza Kejriwal, inspired by the Willingdon club signature, with fior di latte, green chili, and a soft-cooked egg in the centre. Pasta aglio olio and cacio e pepe are flavourful al dente. End with a silkily-soaked in rum, chocolate-coated disc tiramisu.
Noisy. Very noisy when packed. Dimly lit. Some of the dishes were good during one meal and missed the mark during the next, like the caper, meyer lemon spiked Crudo of Sea Bass. Ditto for the brussel sprouts. The desserts were superb at our first dinner, and lacklustre and not sweet enough at the last dinner. Greasy, overcooked chicken wings. ‘Americano’ is only open for dinner.
Americano’s Alex Sanchez delivers something that’s very difficult to pull off: Food that’s sophisticated without being too clever, in a room that’s attractive without being flamboyant. Darren Crawford’s bar serves up many an exciting drink. There’s plenty for vegetarians, Alex’s Californian cuisine exalts the local and seasonal, it’s approachable and stays away from elaborate gimmicks, saucing and gut-busting richness.
Some of the cooking can be inconsistent, and the pricing is on the higher side, but it doesn’t take away from the fact that Alex Sanchez and Mallyeka Watsa have gifted South Mumbai a must-visit neighborhood restaurant with a claim to distinction beyond its neighborhood. A destination restaurant.