Address: 5, Ground Floor, Jet Airways Godrej Building, G Block, Bandra Kurla Complex, Bandra East, Mumbai, Maharashtra 400051 India
Time: 12:30 – 3 PM, 7:30 PM – 12 AM
Meals for two: Rs. 4,000
Cuisines: Continental, Italian, French, European, Japanese, Lebanese, Asian, Middle Eastern
Facilities: Wheelchair Accessible, Full Bar Available, Lunch Menu, Serves Cocktails, Wine Tasting, Kid Friendly, Free Wifi, Free Parking, Valet Parking Available, Private Dining Area Available, Group Meal, Wifi, Disabled Friendly, Gluten Free Options, Vegan Options, Brunch
It’s a delicious coincidence. I write from Paris, the French gastronomique capital of the world, and I review Mumbai’s most elegant, contemporary French fine dine restaurant. Former grand corporate chef of the Taj, Hemant Oberoi (who has opened over 100 restaurants in his four decade long career), finally opened his signature restaurant, Hemant Oberoi. Glitterati, Superstars, literati and chatterati (who he had been feeding over the years) rushed to dine here. Mixed reviews followed. I spoke to many of them. Finally, dined here twice – once, with the dapper, globetrotting gourmet (who I admire for his taste and his straight talk), real estate executive chairperson, Pirojsha Godrej. The second time, with a well-travelled, very young food blogger and instagrammer, Namrata Jaykrishna. “It’s a handsome restaurant, great classical cooking and BKC, the high-end business district, definitely needed a restaurant like this,” opined Camellia Panjabi, India’s most knowledgeable food guru and restaurateur with Michelin starred restaurants in London. My review follows.
Hemant Oberoi, Bandra Kurla Complex, Mumbai: DECOR
Handsome, elegant, comforting, high-ceilinged, black, reds and golds, polished wood paneling coddle. The young, brilliant architect, Ashiesh Shah strikes again and creates a classical and rooted in traditional European yet contemporary dining room. The perfect setting for the kind of food here…
Hemant Oberoi, Bandra Kurla Complex, Mumbai: FOOD
Attention to detail, drama and labour lavished on each dish and its presentation marks the contemporary French with Peruvian and Japanese touches. Light as air, dreamily creamy the Brie Truffle Soufflé Rs. 1,475 (improved version of Zodiac Grills’ Camembert Dariole Rs. 3,500) is the superstar dish. As is the supple, silky fresh Ravioli, velvety with Butter sage and pecan nuts cooked in a cryopak can. Innovatively served amuse bouche (see photo) and then many a dish with visual and gustatory star bursts. Sublime Crab Bisque, tender Chicken Pollo Brasa magnificently sparkled with cumin panko chillies. Snowy white Chilean Seabass enlivened with pickled chilli paste are all recommended. Plenty for vegetarians, too. Melon Gazpacho Coconut Pearls is like a cool summer vacation on a plate. Layers of heady Chocolate Mille-feuille make for a sweet finale.
Hemant Oberoi, Bandra Kurla Complex, Mumbai: MINUS POINTS
Inconsistency. The Onion Croissant was superb one meal and hard the next; ditto for the lamb. Hard, overdone Montblanc dessert. Lackluster Asparagus Parfait and too much of drama (sheesha serving Potato Leek Soup, Chocolate Shawarma) though it has become the most popular and sought after dessert, it didn’t go down well with the welltravelled gourmet. Lackluster, poached Lobster, three Mushroom dish.
Hugely expensive wines. 200 USD Sassacaia is for 70k here but Hemant explained that this is because he has duty paid prices to pay since it is his first year.
Hemant Oberoi, Bandra Kurla Complex, Mumbai: MY POINT
White-gloved service. Elegance suffused ambiance. Hemant Oberoi remains Mumbai’s most elegant, refined dining experience. And while it may not serve up only transcendent moments, it has a distinctive and important niche in the world of fine-dining and graciousness. While HO is grounded in France, he infuses vibrant spiciness from Peru. He needs to pare down on the unnecessary gimmicky drama in the food and tweak down price points (which he has already done). He sure safeguards a graciousness that deserves to survive all fickle fashions and trends.