Avni Mehrotra

reformed journalist

disgruntled restaurant marketer
 
always hungry, always foolish
The veggie havens of South Bombay-Spice Klub and Quattro

The veggie havens of South Bombay-Spice Klub and Quattro

Why Spiceklub and Quattro-

I have often heard people say that there is only a knowledgeable, well-travelled class of audience which appreciates molecular gastronomy, bite-size cuisine and other ‘fancy’ forms of food presentation. But we laud Spiceklub and Quattro for creating magic on the table, with simple dishes, which regular Indian diners understand at a regular family eatery, at affordable rates which successfully tells us how stylish our food is.

Chef Manish Mehrotra once told me, when I questioned him about the ‘gimmicky’ aspect of food presentation, that however brilliant a dish tastes, if it doesn’t look good, no one will put it in their mouth. But also, he mentioned, there has to be logic behind whatever you present.

At a time where dishes are clicked from at least 10 angles before consumption and foodporn is a legit word, it is imperative for restaurants to focus more on presentation to create a ‘surprise’ element with each dish. It gets increasingly difficult, when you just have vegetarian ingredients and comfort dishes like pasta and pao bhaji to be converted to creatively edible preparations.

While restaurants have increasingly started realizing the importance of presentation, Spice Klub and Quattro take simple Indian staples, with easy to understand dishes, that Indians are used to ordering and eating, at their ‘comfort-dining’ restaurants.

Here are the recommended must haves

Spice Klub

Seasonal fruit on the rocks-

This signature drink was served to us in mango flavour, this one’s recommended for the fresh taste

Dahi ke kebab- Your regular kebabs with a blob of dahi on top using spherification

Naanza- a combination of a cheesy pizza and naan

Pao Bhaji Fondue- the bhaji comes as a fondue and miniature paos come as paos, this one’s authentic and stylish

Pani puri- Though there’s no logic behind it, you get 5 tests tubes filed with jaljeera along  with regular pooris and moong daal, while the chutney comes in a syringe. Tastes the usual, only no street side pani-puri vendor would have done this innovation.

Pan mousse- a signature dessert, this one’s has a cheesecake filling inside a paan flavoured crust

Flower pot- The perfect play of edible utensils, in flower pot, you get frozen rasmalai topped with chocolate soil, in an edible chocolate pot, with chocolate spoons and holy basil on top, sprinkled with pistachio dust. Sounds fancy? Tastes excellent too!

Quattro

Minestrone soup, which comes as a tea set, with edible plastic bags. Pour hot water on top, and the plastic dissolves, creating a fantastically flavoured soup

Caprose di Quattro                                   

Kiwi cola cooler

Frozen green apple ice tea

Chocolate explosion (ignore the jarring sound, but here goes a glimpse of this signature dessert)

Common verdict-

Kudos to Spiceklub and Quattro, words like molecular gastronomy and spehrification, liquid nitrogen are reaching a regular diner’s dictionary. The USP of these places lies in the reasonable price points taking simple Indian food, which we are used to eating since ages and converting it into a visual delight. Even if you don’t like the taste, just eat them for the sake of experiencing how a pao bhaji can be converted into a fondue and soup can be brought in edible plastic sachets. Since the restaurants plays with regular dishes, I am bringing my comfort food loving, pure vegetarian parents here every other Friday!

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