A random question about good Non-Indian vegetarian restaurant in South Mumbai, posed by one of our Mumbai food freak members, reminded me of this interesting Mexican-Italian Vegetarian restaurant I had visited about 2 weeks back. I commented on that post not really knowing whether the restaurant has stood the sands of time and maintained its quality. So with the misses in tow, we headed off to Lower Parel and decided to give the place a try.
Despite entering the place early at 7.30, we found it quite full and had to struggle to find a decent table. Once settled, we proceeded to browse through their massive menu. The first thing that struck me was the amazing variety of both Italian and Mexican dishes displayed on the menu. Theowners have managed to keep an amazing variety of vegetarian dishes in the menu covering a good range of Italian (Read: Pastas, Pizzas, Risottos, Lasagñas) and Mexican (Read: Tacos, Enchiladas, Quesadillas and yes…..Tamales!)
While my wife, who is a vegetarian, was gloating in foodie’s heaven, I was having a tough time in choosing the dishes that may keep my mind off steaks, chicken and other meaty morsels that I was missing out on that night. We started off our evening with a Torta Formaggio (Rs. 375) a platter of cheese tarts with cheese mousse, grilled asparagus, cherry tomatoes and olive and the Tex Mex Loaded Potato Skins (Rs. 275) an interesting topping of asparagus, corn and cheese with chipotle sauce in crispy potato shells. The cheese mousse in the Torta formaggio was creamy, savory and reminded of pâté, the cherry tomatoes and asparagus adding to its zing. The potato skins were a well loaded, with a spicy chipotle kick. Both the starters had aptly whetted our appetites and we moved on to our main course.
The choice for the mains was indisputably the Mexican Tamales de Ranchero (Rs.465)– I seldom find this dish in restaurants around India and when I do, very few of them actually do justice to the flavor and the seasoning of this dish. I also ordered the Taquitos (Rs.305) as my choice as the lighter option as I didn’t want to stuff up. If you like spicy, tangy tomato based sauces, my recommendation is to dive right into the Ranchero Tamales. The freshly ground corn paste steamed and served in a tangy tomato sauce, coupled with grilled veggies and Mexican rice was delightful and helped me forget my non vegetarian woes for the evening. The taquitos, though quite wholesome with fresh salsa, sour cream and cheese filling, were a bit dull in comparison to the tamales. I guess the taquito flutes could have used some warming up as they were served cold, but all in all the flavours were spot on.
With decent portion sizes, we were quite stuffed and a bit confused if we wanted to have desserts, but the bong sweet tooth won over the rational mind and we went ahead and ordered a portion of the Chocolate Dunkers (Rs. 285) – Crispy flaky filo pastry, oozing with gooey chocolate and served with a scoop of butterscotch ice cream. We loved the textures and lapped it all up eagerly.
The long queues at the entrance waiting to be seated, by the time we left, were testaments enough of the massive popularity of the place. However to add to the same, the wonderful array of dishes from Italy and Mexico, all of which vegetarian is a feat well accomplished. Keeping the taste quotient of each of these dishes unique, consistent and fresh over the years, deserves definite applause and despite being a hard core carnivore, I would not mind re visiting the place again and again.
Ratings out of 5
Food: 4.0 | Ambiance: 4 | Service: 3.5 |Overall: 4.0
Meal for two with alcohol :INR 1800 + taxes (Without alcohol)| Alcohol: Only Wine and Beer | Credit Card: Yes
Timing:12 noon to 12 midnight
Address: 7, Janta Industrial Estate, Opp. Phoenix Mills, SenapatiBapat Marg, Lower Parel (W), Mumbai -400 013.
Telephone :+91 22 67496444