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Home Health & Fitness Restaurant Review: Avartana Brings Its Soulful South Indian Experiments To Mumbai

Restaurant Review: Avartana Brings Its Soulful South Indian Experiments To Mumbai


I by no means knew I might get pleasure from rasam poured from a French press right into a Martini glass. I did not realise my papad may lend wonderful crunch to my dessert. I by no means imagined I might style doodhi within the type of spaghetti. This was till I dined at Avartana at ITC Maratha in Mumbai. My current meal on the preview of ITC’s flagship modern South Indian restaurant was eye-opening in additional methods than one. The unique Avartana at ITC Grand Chola in Chennai was ranked thirtieth amongst Asia’s 50 Greatest Eating places in 2023. It was one in all solely three Indian eating places to be featured on the distinguished checklist. Its Mumbai outpost continues its legacy of celebrating the paranormal but fashionable aromas from Southern India.

Photograph Credit score: Avartana

Avartana presents 5 tasting menus, every impressed by totally different motifs and storytelling aims: the seven-course Maya (mystical), the nine-course Bela (stunning), the chef-special eleven-course Jiaa (soulful), the thirteen-course Anika (grace) and the thirteen-course seafood particular Tara (glowing). On the preview, we loved a choice of dishes from every menu, aptly united beneath the title of “Kimaya” (divine). We had chosen to strive the vegetarian menu and had been happy to notice that the variability and ingenuity had been equally matched with that of the non-veg part.

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Potato Nest. Photograph Credit score: Avartana

The amuse bouche was a mini Potato Nest topped with a pineapple and mint sphere. It broke aside with satisfying crispiness, flooding our palette with a refreshing burst of flavour. The primary true style of Avartana’s signature fashion was within the Distilled Tomato Rasam that adopted. The broth was poured over recent coriander leaves and cherry tomatoes in a French press. It was then served to us in Martini glasses. Two sips had been all that had been wanted to persuade us – we may have this each day! The understated warmth of the black pepper and the smoothness of the rasam mixed to present it a uniquely therapeutic impact.

The rasam epitomised the pleasant steadiness that Avartana manages to grasp – the presentation of components is unfamiliar, however the style is undeniably healthful. The dishes are experiments with a soul. They aren’t fancy reinterpretations that confound and go away one scrambling to discover a silver lining. Creativity and thoughtfulness radiate from the menu, plating, service and decor. 

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Tempered Bottle Gourd. Photograph Credit score: Avartana

After making a psychological notice to request rasam refills, we started with the programs. For vegetarians, the primary to reach was the Tempered Bottle Gourd. The common-or-garden doodhi was nearly unrecognisable on my plate in its spaghetti-like avatar. I used to be virtually suspicious. This sense of unfamiliarity is a contrived one, Chef Deepti Jadhav tells us. She explains that Avartana goals to create that imprecise dissonance between the standard and the unconventional. It isn’t right here to ship what we’re “used to”. It’s right here to problem our notions of what these easy, on a regular basis components will be became. However when you dig in, Chef Deepti assures us, you may discover the roots.

Drumstick Dumpling

Drumstick Dumpling. Photograph Credit score: Avartana

She was not mistaken. The dish in entrance of us was manufactured from doodhi. However we had a newfound appreciation for its texture and coolness. We (delicately) slurped it down with plum chutney and a multi-seed crisp. The Andhra mango ginger used to flavour the gourd is one in all a number of hyperlocal components that the restaurant takes delight in together with. A number of of the important thing components are immediately sourced from the Southern areas, because the group desires to duplicate the appeal of the unique Avartana, Chef Deepti clarifies. The subsequent novelty was the Drumstick Dumpling with moringa broth. Indians are not any strangers to totally different vegetable stuffings inside dumplings and dim sums. Though unusual, allow us to let you know, that the selection of a drumstick filling, like this one, works marvellously.

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Crispy Chilli Potato. Photograph Credit score: Avartana

Subsequent, we feasted with childlike enthusiasm on the superbly Crispy Chilli Potato – who may resist? It was spiced with Andhra-style vepudu masala and adorned with a buttermilk sphere. One other favorite was the Asparagus & Coconut Stew served with Idiyappam. Asparagus isn’t one thing one would often discover on South Indian menus. Chef Nikhil Nagpal, the model custodian, defined how the vegetable was chosen for its skill to maintain the concentrate on the flavours of the stew. Moreover, we found that the stringy idiyappams pair fairly properly with the crunch of asparagus too.

Asparagus & Coconut Stew

Asparagus & Coconut Stew. Photograph Credit score: Avartana

The atmosphere supplied a harmonious backdrop to our culinary experiences. The banana leaf – the quintessential South Indian image – is a recurrent motif integrated into the decor. The brilliant lighting is supposed to symbolize the colourful daylight that graces the Southern states. The flooring has been impressed by conventional designs present in temples over there. The chandelier brings to thoughts the design of the cove of houseboats on the backwaters of Kerala. The crockery additionally serves as a reminder of the restaurant’s roots. Among the programs are plated on granite serving dishes sourced immediately from Mahabalipuram. One of many extra vibrant items is crafted with resin from Pondicherry. Diners can thus count on a genuinely holistic expertise. 

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Photograph Credit score: Avartana

As we savoured the programs, we sipped on a beautiful mocktail referred to as Pickle Jar – a concoction of uncooked mango, celery, coriander and lime juice, with a touch of crimson chilli powder. It was barely tangy and wholly refreshing and did not go overboard with sourness. We liked the contact of serving it in a glass that really resembled a pickle jar. The identical will be mentioned of the beautiful lemon leaf sorbet, which was served subsequent because the palate cleanser.

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Spinach And Curd Cheese. Photograph Credit score: Avartana

Our enjoyment of the meal didn’t waver at any level. We had been fascinated but once more by the delectable transformation of an on a regular basis veggie when the Spinach And Curd Cheese arrived. The inexperienced leaves had been formed like a potli and enclosed a yummy dahi tempered with mustard seeds and onion. It was served with an aerated rice cake and South Indian-style salsa. The dish as an entire was not like any palak sabzi or snack we have tasted. Even choosy eaters will not complain about greens on this scrumptious kind.

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Uthukuli Morel. Photograph Credit score: Avartana

The subsequent course was all about indulgence. The Uthukuli Morel was among the many most memorable components of our night. The wealthy sauce pays homage to Uthukuli, a small city in Tamil Nadu famend for its butter. It’s served with butter toffee and mini Malabar parottas, which had been additionally slathered with butter. This was the one course that felt heavier on the system however we had no regrets. The flakiness of the parottas and the beautiful quantity of butter, when relished in such a setting, reminded us of the decadence of croissants and fantastic French pastries. However there was one thing particular about seeing an Indian indulgence within the highlight on this particular method.

Jackfruit Rice with Okra Yogurt

Jackfruit Rice with Okra Yogurt. Photograph Credit score: Avartana

After this buttery binge, the Jackfruit Rice, steamed in a banana leaf, had a grounding impact. The jackfruit was fantastically cooked and fell aside simply as we scooped up the rice and okra yoghurt. The delicacy has a hometown feeling connected to it. Even for those who’re not from the South, the dish looks as if one you’d eat and cherish at a grandparents’ home.

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Uncooked Mango Pudding with Ghee Candle. Photograph Credit score: Avartana

Each the dessert programs we tasted had theatrical components to them. Flavour continued to reign, so we couldn’t complain. The Uncooked Mango Pudding comes with a ghee candle that may be really lit. Because it melts, it lends the candy a fast jolt of heat. Make sure you shortly crush the accompanying papad over it and relish the pudding.

Fennel Panna Cotta

Fennel Panna Cotta. Photograph Credit score: Avartana

The subsequent course was extra hands-on. The Fennel Panna Cotta is designed like a chook’s nest. The sparkly nest is crafted with caramelised sugar and shelters a candy, delicious egg. The egg ‘white’ is the panna cotta, whereas the shell is manufactured from cocoa butter. There is a yolk as properly, made utilizing mango and ginger puree. A small hammer is used to crack the egg and out flows the yolk! It is a pleasing visible spectacle; however even for those who’re not impressed, the mastery demonstrated within the steadiness of sweetness will win you over.

Avartana breathes magic into mundane components at each step. We frequently evaluate a implausible eating expertise to a journey full of discovery and journey. This metaphor has by no means been extra becoming than within the case of Avartana, Mumbai. We’d gladly retrace our steps and make the voyage once more.

  • The place: Avartana, ITC Maratha, Mumbai – A Luxurious Assortment Lodge, Sahar Airport Highway, Andheri East, Mumbai – 400099 (Close to Worldwide Airport, Ashok Nagar)
  • When: Dinner Solely All Days, 7:00 pm to 11:00 pm (Prior Desk Bookings with Menu Choice are really helpful)
  • Worth: INR 2500 – 4750 plus taxes, per visitor, relying on the course chosen.

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