Address: 4, Mandlik Road, Behind Taj Mahal Hotel, Colaba, Mumbai
Time: 12 Noon to 1 AM
Meals for two: Rs. 1,200
Facilities: Wheelchair Accessible, Full Bar Available, Valet Parking Available, Smoking Area
It’s official. South Mumbai’s restauarantscape has shaken off its snooty somnolence and begun to rock. In spite of being a SoBo resident, I’ve always loved the energy, vibrance and endless restaurant openings of the suburbs. Thankfully, SoBo is catching up. From the uber-glam Kode and POH to the brand-new Plenty. Several months ago, Lemon Leaf opened quietly. It snuggles next to Indigo and replaces Nikhil Chib’s Busaba. I dined in Lemon Leaf, just before leaving for NYC. It was a happy surprise. Not only was it the same team of Aoi (the unpretentious Bandra Japanese restaurant, which I enjoyed and which shut down) but also they had ensured the same unpretentious charm in Colaba’s Lemon Leaf. And this is exactly what (the well-travelled owners of two farms and school for rural adivasis) Nina and PK Vasa appreciated. As did Aruna Jehangir who runs an Ayurveda centre in Goa six months of the year. Our review follows.
Lemon Leaf, Colaba, Mumbai: DECOR
Vibrant, busy and welcoming ambiance. The small two-levelled space looks and feels much larger than it did in its Busaba days. Contrasting colours, bookshelves, modern Asian pop art, graffiti walls, knick-knacks, hanging airplanes, orange sofa… lovely!
Lemon Leaf, Colaba, Mumbai: FOOD
Succulent and vibrant, their spin on the traditional bao is enlivened with pickled vegetables and Gochujang Mayo.Plenty for vegetarians: From black pepper-sauced Crispy Lotus Root Fritters Bird Eye Chili Sauce sparkles the Cottage Cheese and Crackling Spinach. Delightfully refreshing and delicately flavored fish in lemongrass, steamed in banana leaf paired with Coconut Rice. Superbly dressed and crunchy Cucumber Salad. Delicious creamy black Sesame ice cream delighted. As did the Dark Chocolate with Sea Salt. So what if we’d never heard of the Filipino Chicken Sisig but enjoyed its robust flavors, bacon et al.
Lemon Leaf, Colaba, Mumbai: MINUS POINTS
Why was the Khao Suey so sweet? And why were the condiments not enough? Sadly, the Sushi was not at par with Aoi’s.
Slushy Katsu Curry. Overdone Wasabi Prawns though paired with a yum mango salad. Over-fried over-sweet Chocolate Sushi.
Lemon Leaf, Colaba, Mumbai: MY POINT
Filipino Chicken Sisig anyone? This comforting stalwart chicken dish with bacon and eggs says it all. Lemon Leaf keeps Pan-Asia as its compass but blurs boundaries to please Indian palates and does that well. It’s a pleasing, relaxed neighborhood eatery with plenty of comforting tasty food at very comforting prices.