Address: Gate no 5 , Amateurs riders club Mahalaxmi Racecourse, Mumbai, India
Time: 12:30PM to 4PM, 7PM to 1:30AM
Meals for two: Rs. 1,500
Cuisines: Asian, Japanese
Facilities: Full Bar Available, Valet Parking Available, Restricted Entry, Outdoor Seating, Serves Cocktails, Kid Friendly
I took a deep breath. And let out a slow, soft whistle. Of admiration! That was my reaction on seeing Mumbai’s latest new Asian beauty that has galloped into Mahalaxmi Racecourse. See the photo I shot (just before leaving for Paris). I’d heard that the Asian food at Keiba was being curated by the genius duo Seefah Ketchaiyo and Karan Bane (of The Blue in Bandra). Have they hit the jackpot? Sadly, the food was not up to the mark during our first experience. However, on my request, one of my ever-helpful, lovable foodie readers revisited anonymously. She loved the food but disliked the music.
Keiba, Mahalaxmi, Mumbai: DECOR
Cherry blossom artwork blossoms on the dramatically lit up white wall facade and kisses the night air with an irresistible charm. Varying seating styles, including a raised upper lever outdoor machan. Sumessh Menon strikes again. Raw, natural essence bristles through every square inch, stone clad pathway, trickling water feature et al. Mood uplifting music.
Keiba, Mahalaxmi, Mumbai: FOOD
An ambitious menu, which tries to soft-land Japan, China, Thailand, Indonesia and Vietnam into Mumbai’s Racecourse restaurant. It succeeds to some extent.
Fresh and finely sliced sashimi, impeccably rolled sushi (though the rice could’ve been less mushy) flagged off our meal. Unerringly cooked Prawn Har Gow (even though clasped in a thin skin, which kept falling off). Flavoursome Slim Roll of my favourite Mushroom-filled Cheung Fun, followed by the vibrantly flavoured and tender Hanoi Chicken. My secret spy foodie reader reported that Yang Chow Fried Rice with pork, Spicy Birds Eye Chilly Prawns, Pho-Spicy Glass Noodle Prawn Salad were very good.
Perfect touch of sweetness in the well-made Chocolate Fondant ended our meal.
Keiba, Mahalaxmi, Mumbai: MINUS POINTS
Fuzzy, unfocussed flavours marked many a main course. How can the Massaman Curry be so sweet, coconutty and vapid? The accompanying bread so dense? Soggy, gloopy Chestnut and Lotus Root dish. And why was the Hainanese Chicken Rice so inauthentic and gloopy? My reader pointed out: “Music indoors was unbearable, we couldn’t talk and neither could the waiters.”
Keiba, Mahalaxmi, Mumbai: MY POINT
Gorgeousness galloped into Mahalaxmi Racecourse at the start of 2018. Sadly, the food does not keep pace with it. As Raaj Sanghvi, my dashing young foodie and luxury consultant friend points out, “It was packed when I went, great crowd. Keiba is well-located, South Mumbai has few night spots and moreover, one of the owners, Ronak Rochlani is very popular with the young crowd too.” Powered by great music and cocktails, too, it’s sure to hit the nightlife jackpot. Now, let’s hope the food at Keiba (Japanese word for Horserace) jockeys its way to become a frontrunner.