Phone: +919619991166 / +912267363338
Address: 1B Ground Floor, Atria Mall, Dr. Annie Besant Road, Worli, Mumbai, Maharashtra India
Time: 12 Noon – 1 AM
Meals for two: Rs. 2,100
Cuisines: French, Bengali
Facilities: Wheelchair Accessible, Full Bar Available, Table booking recommended, Restricted Entry, Serves Jain Food, Serves Cocktails, Gluten Free Options, Vegan Options
Please take a look at the photograph I shot. It’s of my two favorite appetizers at this brand new Worli restaurant. It took me a while to balance both the fanciful French Oeuf Pochés à la Dijonnaise (Poached Eggs by Mustard) and the Sattvik Bengali Mochar Guley Kabab (Banana Blossom Kebab) before I could click the photo. Mumbai has very few restaurants serving either of the two cuisines. Kudos to Mustard for not only serving up both cuisines simultaneously but respecting “East is East and West is West”. No fusion. No confusion here. Thankfully!
Mustard, Worli, Mumbai: Decor
Charm and elegance suffuse the pastel-hued room. Bengali grace blends with French flair seamlessly without resorting to cliches by award-winning Sumessh Menon. French-louvered doors, chairs with soft floral fabrics, local artwork done by artists from Pondicherry complete the decor.
Mustard, Worli, Mumbai: Food
We ate our way through the menu… at two dinners. Ask for the Pesto Mustard sauce enlivened Poached Egg on perfectly baked Brioche. And though the Banana Blossom Kebab (no onion or garlic) does not look as flamboyant as its French companion (in the photo) its unique flavor and texture are both velvety and fleshy. The Banana blossom preens as the star of the vegetables, and the Mochar Chop infused with spices and whole Bengal gram is a must-try.
Sultan Allauddin Hussain Shah would’ve surely approved of “Hussaini Curry”, which teases a rich succulence from its boneless mutton-bathed in stock-rich gravy.
My first time taste of Bengal’s tribal dish, sweet and spicy seesaw deftly in the Til-tel Kathi (Charcoal roasted Pork Cubes) in black sesame paste. Mustard buffs (count me in), don’t miss the Shorshay Batar Jhol (Vegetarian Mustard Curry) or the gently steamed fish Paturi.
We love the interplay of sweet and tart and the supple, silken textures of the Duck in port wine jus. Mumbai’s best rendering of Cordon Bleu, with the right amount of filling and done-ness. Must end with the gleaming, shiny, intensely chocolatey perfect Warm Chocolate Tart and the sensuous soft flavorful Kheer with seasonal Fruit.
Note: Great value for money: All Bengali mains are served with a portion of rice or a choice of breads, vegetable, and the dal and chutney of the day. Chutneys and mustard deserve a special mention as do the cocktails and well-stocked bar.
Mustard, Worli, Mumbai: Minus Points
The supposedly home-style presentation, in many a dish, slides into being an unappetizing one. The starter of Bengali mezze flags off the meal on a mishmash note, with the brinjal (Eggplant), cottage cheese and even the Bombay Duck being made into a pate. I’m a posto (poppy seed) fan and the Potoler Doi Posto has a yogurt overload and not enough poppy seed paste. Tartine à la Provençale needs calibration of flavors, eggplant, red pepper, zucchini, goat cheese and what not.
Overcooked mussels and no shukto are the other downsides. The most exciting sounding absinthe soufflé turns out to be a cold wobbly dessert. Avoidable almond tart.
Mustard, Worli, Mumbai: My Point
Let’s forget the long kahaanis about why this brand new restaurant is named “Mustard” (mustard is used in both the cuisines served here etc). Let’s skip over the reason why they chose to serve Bengali and French cuisines (similarity between cuisines, cultures etc, etc). Simply because none of these cerebral explanations and tutorials (no matter how apt and how well worded) make any sense if the food is not good.
It took me systematic eating at two dinners to reach this conclusion… The food is worth going back to. Kudos to food historian Pritha Sen and French chef Gregory Bazire. The ambiance (kudos, Sumessh Menon) complements and magnifies the experience.
Sure, some of the dishes need fine-tuning, (as does their presentation) but it does take guts to serve up French and Bengali (both synonymous with superior cuisine) under one roof. And Shilpa Sharma and Punam Singh’s Mustard does so in the most straightforward, honest way, without any tweaks and spins. A rarity in this day of molecular, fusion, fussy, gimmicky food. Mustard? Must try!