The grand culinary tour of India has to come to a close at some point and what better way than at Ziya in the Oberoi Mumbai on New Year’s Eve?
Chef Vineet Bhatia is world-renowned and the first Indian chef to win a Michelin star, both loved and reviled in his native India for his creative, modern twist on India’s cuisine. He drew the ire of some when his first restaurant did away with the family style portions that are part and parcel with Indian cooking and instead served pre-plated, single portions. At Ziya he has perfected his gourmand tasting menu and approach.
The room itself is a bit too business corporate (as is this Oberoi, the only one to disappoint), tables spaced out and the muted colors reminding one that most people who come here probably do so on the company credit card. The clientele itself, at least on this evening, is a mix of those out to celebrate the new year and those who seem to be on a never-ending circuit of business conventions.
In fine new year’s eve fashion The Monster allows himself just a smidge of champagne, perhaps a glass or two of fine wine and then for dessert a cocktail or three. So while he can tell you the meal proves exquisite, he can also say that nary a note was taken. And while the food dazzles, The Monster’s memory sadly doesn’t.
The menu features grilled fiery fish banana leaf wrapped with garlic tempered vataana chaat, tandoori wasabi lobster with masala couscous and lobster-lentil soup, sundried tomato chicken tikka with chili-tomato pipette and black olive chuntey khichdi, mandarin sorbet with champagne, smoked ‘bedva’ prawns rum flambéed with chili garlic, beetroot Galauti and smoked white tomato sauce and finally Alphono mango-green mango bar with almond seviyaan kulfi and mango-chili spaghetti.
Amazingly, the meal ends up being even more delicious than it sounds. This is a chef who melds traditional India flavor with modern plating and panache and does it on a world-class level.
Service is stupendous as are the tariffs.
Why go? You have the company credit card.
Monster rating: 5/5 Monsters
Oberoi Hotel | Nariman Point, Mumbai, India