Phone: 022 50646260
Address: The Park Hotel, Juhu – Tara Road, Shivaji Nagr, Juhu, Mumbai, Maharashtra, India
Time: 12:00 Noon – 3:00 PM, 7:00 PM – 12:00 Midnight
Meals for two: Rs. 3,500
Cuisines: Asian, Japanese, Thai, Malaysian, Beverages
Facilities: Full Bar Available, Table booking recommended, Indoor Seating
I never break rules… I only make my own rules, is my mantra. And, today’s column is dedicated to it. Not only does it apply to much of the menu of Meishi, Park Hotel’s brand new modern oriental and Japanese restaurant, but also to my gorgeous mother-daughter guests. Nineteen year-old singer songwriter Kaveri Kapur – even though a student at Boston’s college of music – has been making her own rules and tunes ever since she was nine years old. She has not only released three original composition videos but also made history by signing up with an international label recently. Her mother Suchitra Krishnamurthy, singer, writer, painter and ninja, believes in ‘One life. My life. My way’. Both love food, Suchitra cooks creatively sans recipes while Kaveri loves to dine out and experiment with different cuisine like her globally renowned film director father Shekhar Kapur. We eat our way through the menu… happily!
Meishi, Juhu, Mumbai: Decor
Set off the lobby of the new luxury boutique Park Hotel, the casual sophistication of the gleaming marbled greys and blacks, punctuated by gold and burnt orange, delights. Gold mesh curtain encloses the private dining area. Chandeliers shimmer.
Meishi, Juhu, Mumbai: Food
Asian, Japanese, Bhutanese and Thai flavors are distilled into the comprehensive menu of 58 dishes (half are vegetarian). Helmed by regional director Chef Sharad Dewan, the Pan Asian dishes are backed by the experience of the specialty chefs of the Kolkata and Chennai Park Hotels.
Two hugely popular stand out dishes from Kolkata. Datshi, the national dish of Bhutan, dense with Bhutanese cheese and fiery with its chillies paired with Echum (organic red rice), has our palate singeing and singing. The absurd sounding ‘Thai Biryani’ hot basil, hot thai chillies and hot green pepper corns, gently cooked in dum thrills when paired with a flavorsome pea-aubergine salan. Looking for the familiar? Ask for the plump and moist ‘Dragon Sushi’ or the crispy cheese bites sparkled with spice. Sweet and crunchy with peanuts, ‘Pad Thai and the Five Spice Peking Roast Chicken’. Intensely chocolate flour-less cake is an instant hit, as are the home-made honey ginger, black sesame ice creams.
Balance and harmony is lacking in some dishes – over sweet lotus root, avocado tofu carpaccio is low on flavor and small in size. Ditto for the the yellow-fin tuna tataki, lackluster brocolli pine nuts dimsum. While the quality of the burratta is superb, the Thai spicing falls flat. Our favorite coconut milk Thai dessert doesn’t have enough poached water chestnuts.
‘Thai biryani’? Sounds absurd? Sure! But surprisingly enough, it tastes sublime. The sophisticatedly casual Meishi refracts Asian flavors through a contemporary prism with great skill. It offers adventure to those who want it and comfort to those who don’t. Traditional Chinese, Japanese, Bhutanese and Thai varieties included in its comprehensive 58-dish menu. Some dishes need more punch and some of the portion sizes need to be enlarged.
The luxury boutique chain of Park Hotels makes its foray into Mumbai. Its high-octane chairperson, Priya Paul, ensures that Meishi pulls off yet another feat. It serves up keto, diabetic, organic, gluten-free and vegan dishes, too. Many a dish may not fit ethnically into the Asian paradigm but then, Meishi makes its own rules. Its dishes have oomph and the mix of savory, spicy, sweet… the perfect “fine gift” (‘Meishi’ in Mandarin) for Mumbai meri jaan!