I don’t know why I had avoided dining at Mistral despite hearing good things about the restaurant. Maybe it had something to do with its location in a mall. But when I do finally try it out, I can’t think of a single reason for not going back!
Located on the 3rd floor of the Ambience Mall in Vasant Kunj, Mistral is tucked away in a plush corner that also houses PVR Director’s Cut. The restaurant is seamlessly divided into three seating styles – a casual café, a regular restaurant and a luxe lounge. The vast menu offers everything from breakfast and café food to finer fare inspired from varied cuisines including Italian, Indian, Mediterranean, Moroccan, Thai and the most recent addition of Japanese. I am usually not too hot on restaurants serving so many options because one or the other often gets messed up. But Executive Chef Mayank Tiwari lives up to his illustrious background. Having worked with some of the finest restaurants in the country – Olive Bar and Kitchen, Olive Bistro, Smoke House Grill and Smoke House Deli – he sticks to the “fresh and simple” tag line of Mistral. Most of his creations are exactly that. And I am particularly impressed that each dish does justice to its origin.
We start the evening with a salad sampler comprising three salads. The Beetroot and Goat Cheese Salad with French beans and balsamic, Tabbouleh of Quinoa and Crab Meat and Prawn Salad with avocado, fennel slivers and anchovy vinaigrette. While all three salads are certainly fresh, I would prefer a tad more dressing on each.
Despite an impressive wine list, I order a cognac based Hot Toddy while my companion goes for the Rusty Nail, a cocktail made with whisky and Drambuie. Both the drinks are made well and ideal for the season.
While we wait for the next course, we are served Koobideh Kebab, a Persian minced lamb preparation with salad and pita. The kebab itself is succulent and the salad served in a pita pocket complements it perfectly. The portion of this appetizer is enough for a light main. Then comes the pizza. Although the restaurant doesn’t usually serve a two-in-one pizza, as an exception we are served a half-and-half Porky and Farm Veggie Pizza. Although the Porky has liberal toppings of yummy pork sausage, pepperoni and bacon bits, the Farm Veggie outdoes it, bursting with flavors of spinach, corn, jalapeño, mushroom, broccoli, sun dried tomatoes, olives and mozzarella.
Before moving on to an array of mains, we try the Spiced Mushroom and Lemon Grass Soup. The flavours in this zesty broth have been enhanced with Japanese influenced soy sprouts and wakame. Our mains include a Braised Pork Belly with Orange and Celery Risotto and sautéed greens. While the risotto is downright delicious, the belly would certainly be better if it were crisper. The vegetarian option of Roast Almond and Spinach Ravioli features thin parcels stuffed with a delightfully warm and nutty filling topped with a delicious tomato based sauce flavoured with kalamata olives, capers, basil and chunky slices of garlic. The Lamb Shank is a pure comfort dish with meaty goodness, mashed potatoes and a rich sauce that is actually enough to dunk every bite of the big shank into! And finally, the Maple and Mustard Glazed Norwegian Salmon is served with ratatouille and caper and dill sauce. I like that the flavor of the marinade permeates through the fish, but again would prefer a crispier skin the next time around.
The signature Steamed Orange Pudding with Vanilla Custard is passable since I can barely taste the orange in it, although the custard has the perfect consistency and is made with fresh vanilla instead of the essence. The Raspberry Chocolate Mousse with Hazelnuts and Crisps on the other hand, offers a beautiful play with textures. The mousse with a jelly-like raspberry slice through the center and accompanying crisps and nuts make me realise something that I have seen in every dish tonight – each element is carefully thought through to offer well balanced dishes.
Considering the quality of food that is served here, Mistral could well be a fine dining restaurant but also offers attractive deals for all day dining and set meals.
Ratings (Out of 5)
Food: 4.0 | Drinks: 4.0 | Ambience: 3.5 | Service: 4.0 | Overall: 4.0
Meal for Two: Rs. 1500 (Without alcohol) | Credit Cards: Yes | Alcohol: Yes | Timings: 11am to midnight.
Address: Mistral, Level 3, Ambience Mall, Vasant Kunj, New Delhi
Telephone: 0114087 0750/51
Disclaimer: This review was done on an invitation from the restaurant. Due judgement and care has been applied by the author to remain objective and unbiased in the review, but readers need to consider this review keeping this fact in mind.