Discover endearing Indian cuisine at The Sahib Room & Kipling Bar at The St. Regis Mumbai in India
KISHORE AND SMITA IYENGAR discover endearing Indian cuisine in the svelte vintage environs of a truly sophisticated fine wining and dining landmark at the grand St. Regis Mumbai.
UPPER CRUST APPEAL
A grand spiral stairway lands at the doors of this beige, sienna and matt amber toned fine dining landmark. As we were ushered in, artistic mirrored enscons greeted our appreciative gaze, Venetian mirrors, gilt, brocade, Osler chandeliers and rich upholstery in an expansive layout lending sophisticated European verve. Decadence comes alive yet unobtrusively in a synergy of shades and seating covers as the gracefully modern blends with nostalgic recall in the plush interiors encapsulated within wide glass look out windows, inspiring the feel off a grand living room from India’s colonial heritage.
It’s a fine wining and dining haven of distinction that uplifts Indian cuisine from its clichéd trappings and stereotype identity to carefully crafted spreads of innovative authenticity brought to the tables as tempered, seamless and eclectic gourmet repertoire quite distinctly unique.
In an age of increasing gastronomic sensationalism crowned with pseudo-complex culinary terminology that flummoxes most eager and discerning gourmands, the dishes here are honest names of the intended creations and endear with commanding pelf on palates with their wonderful flavors.
The leit motif inspiration of the perfect, well educated and suavely groomed Sahib –a gentleman of class and respect translates aptly into the entire experience of fine wining and dining here, we found. The Sahib’s core preference of fine tastes, fine arts, elegance and grace encompassed the haloed environs of candelabras, chandeliers and twinkling crystals.
We had our come alive moments, as the chilled and aromatic ‘Vignobles Andre Lurton, Chateau Goumin Blanc, Entre-deux-Mers from Bordeaux’ – France opened out it’s mellow floral bouquets and green apple assertion.
CREATING CULINARY CLASS
Our kabab starters lit up our fine wine and dine symphony. Kandhari Paneer Tikka – mouth-melting patties of kidney beans flavored with clove, saffron and rose petals, accompanied with Sahib Ki Khaas Gilawat – avocado and bamboo shoot patties, citrus mango chutney offered amazing contrasting tastes.
Fostering authenticity in creative passion, their Nadroo Ke Shammi –braised lotus stem patties cooked on a griddle along with a super Broccoli Daak Bangala –broccoli marinated in Philadelphia cream cheese and Kasundi mustard left us ingesting with admiration. This classy combo did well with our peppery and truffle scented red wine, -‘Joseph Drouhin, La Foret, Bourgogne Pinot Noir, Burgundy, France’.
Starter sensations abound in other equally robust yet invoking creations as spirited and erudite Chef De Cuisine Dane Fernandes gently urged us to experience. Equally distinguished among these, we’d tick mark the inviting Baluchi Seabass Tikka- Chilean Seabass marinated in yoghurt, green garlic, cumin and young scallions and Kaali Mirtch Murgh – slow-grilled chicken marinated in cracked Kerala pepper. The spice blended succulence teases your taste buds as the myriad flavors entice in a relay of surprises.
Also among The Sahib’s top preferences are Mahi Gulnar Tikka -coal-roasted fish fillet marinated with mustard and crushed pepper and Gilawati Kebab -the famous Lucknowi lamb kebab with a distinct flavor of cloves! The wine to match would be a premium red, – Masseria Altemura ‘Sasseo’ Primitivo Salento from sunny Puglia, southern Italy’.
Our experience with the main courses and The Sahib’s distinction(!) lavished by Chef Dane Fernandes left unforgettable dining memories. It would be indeed a shame if you didn’t relish these unusual gourmet wonders…. Multani Phool -char-grilled cauliflower tossed in asafetida and rock salt spiced house gravy and Jhinga Anari -fresh shrimp, spicy tomato salsa, pomegranate pearls and ginger. Each ingredient marries original condiments in a merry waltz. Adding melody is the super red ‘Grover Zampa Chene Grande Reserve, India’, making magic on our palates with deep garnet tones, well rounded tannins, leather and clove back palate flourish.
Heralding the wide culinary repertoire of the sub-continent with grandeur is the outstanding presentation –Sasranga ‘Meat’ – Kashmiri hand-pulled lamb, garlic, cardamom and mace, all in a fabulous spice combo that delights. On a cheery side we savored the Kele Ke Phool Kofte -banana flower patties in house gravy, dry mint dust and Purvanchal Ka Saag -griddle-cooked puree of fresh organic greens and spice dust. Pairing these with a medium bodied, cigar and musk flavored ‘Miguel Torres, Hemisferio, Cabernet Sauvignon, Central Valley, Chile’. Truly a spectral spread of fine tastes and exalted flavors, each in their own diverse identity.
The Sahib’s fine wining and dining intentions lead us to three more ‘impeccable’ gilt-edged platters. Khade Masale Ka Murgh -tandoori chicken tikka tossed with onions and garlic, tomatoes and the absolutely rustic Dal Dhaba -north Indian street-style trio of lentils and garlic which stole our tongues! Needless to add, the red wine that sang along with deep berry, earthy, moist earth and burnt wood flavors was the boutique ‘Mas de Daumas Gassac, Moulin de Gassac, Merlot, Languedoc Roussillon, France’.
An unforgettable tribute, -their Subz Dum Biryani – seasonal vegetables, layered Dehraduni rice finished with a tempering of ginger and cumin and Awadhi Murgh Biryani -saffron scented chicken and long grain aged Basmati simmered over coal were decidedly the very finest and eclectic we had anywhere in India or overseas.
These virtually left us speechless. Chef Dane’s personal recommendation worked wonders in the dual treat we ingested in slow mo. The heavenly Zaffrani Rasmalai -saffron infused milk dumplings and the excitingly aromatic Kolkata Meetha Paan Ice Cream –Sweet beetel nut ice cream of Kolkata set off murmurs of dreamy approval from us, synched with a chilled, lightly citrusy, nectarine flavored dessert wine – ‘Alambre, Moscatel de Setubal, Setubal, Portugal’. We raised a toast to The Sahib’s delectable tastes.
Address: The Sahib Room and Kipling Bar – The St. Regis Mumbai, Senapati Bapat Marg, Mumbai 400013 – India. St.regis.com/mumbai