Phone: +912249193100, +917838229917
Address: S-3, Second floor (Above Mango Showroom), Skyzone, High Street Phoenix Mall, Lower Parel, Mumbai, Maharashtra India
Time: 12 Noon – 4 PM, 7 PM – 1 AM
Meals for two: Rs. 2,500
Cuisines: Chinese, Asian
Facilities: Full Bar Available, Table booking recommended, Smoking Area
First, the good news: It’s a first of its kind clever concept, which focuses on dishes cooked in typhoon shelters around Hong Kong. This “Typhoon Shelter” washed ashore on the second floor of a shopping mall six months ago. Now the questions: Would you want the immersive experience of dining in the middle of an approaching typhoon? That too with slow, brooding music and fast-moving changing clouds above? Does this Typhoon Shelter whip up merely a publicity buzz? Does it serve authentic fare? To find out, I subjected myself to impending typhoons and dined here thrice.
Typhoon Shelter, Lower Parel, Mumbai: Decor
Stacked bags of stone chips from quarries, fast moving clouds and changing colour of sky on the ceiling… high-tech, spatial elements, visual art and music recreate the immersive experience of sitting in the middle of an approaching typhoon. Thankfully, we don’t have to huddle together, but have seating options (booths, center tables and highchairs). A brilliantly recreated theme restaurant.
Typhoon Shelter, Lower Parel, Mumbai: Food
Interestingly, this Typhoon Shelter cuisine involves simple cooking (steaming, boiling, frying), which is done on boats with limited long storage resources (soy sauce, garlic, white pepper etc). Having paid lip service to the theme, let’s begin with the complex, theatrical, expensive desserts, which cause a culinary typhoon. Be it the Zen (brilliantly crafted edible stones of caramel-vanilla, and hazelnut crunch, Rs. 1,195) or Luna (dramatic sugar ball holding mango sticky rice served along with a moonshaped lamp, Rs. 995).
In the small plates and mains, it’s the bold, vibrant, robustly flavored dishes that take center stage. Australian Lamb Chops enlivened with chilli paste and cumin and kissed with the sweetness of honey, fleshy Eggplant with chilli butter are must-trys. As is the soy garlic infused Hakka Pork Belly steamed for three hours. Cashew nuts add the crunch to the spicy tasty Kung Pao Prawns. Many must-try innovative cocktails and super-attentive informed service here.
Typhoon Shelter, Lower Parel, Mumbai: Minus points
The ever-changing kaleidoscope of images on the wall and ceiling and the feeling of an impending typhoon is not conducive to a relaxed dining experience. The more delicate dishes turn out to be more show than go. Tuna Tartare with Avocado Fish Roe served on a Himalayan salt chunk plate being a case in point. As also the thick-skinned beetroot infused Ruby Dumpling. Over sweet sticky Lotus Roots. Dry Chengdu Chicken and the Crab Bolo Bao with sweet undertones are avoidable.
Typhoon Shelter, Lower Parel, Mumbai: My Point
It creates a typhoon of expectations for sure. Kudos for the meticulously and dramatically themed Typhoon Shelter ambience (light and sound projection, et al), but the menu needs fine-tuning and it also zigzags to include many a usual suspects. The continuous projections on the wall and ceiling distract from a relaxed dining experience. Drop anchor for innovative, dramatic desserts… Oh ho! Stop being a finicky purist, never mind if they couldn’t possibly have served these elaborate desserts in a typhoon shelter. However, it is definitely a port of call for a lively, themed, innovative bar (great cocktails). Cheers!