Restaurant Review: Aqua at Hotel Sun N Sand, Juhu, Mumbai in India
Seafront vistas, multi-cuisine specialties and eye-soothing décor uplift moods at this cheery five star outpost, discover KISHORE AND SMITA IYENGAR
A LIVELY CELEBRATIVE BUZZ
The cheery cerulean, cobalt and beige interiors of this all-day dining pad are the first welcoming beacons. As we stepped in, the wide glass framed octagonal design of the restaurant opened out to bracing Arabian Sea vistas beyond, light chatter and camaraderie among diners and from the buffet spreads lighting up the atmosphere in vibrant positivity.
This multi-cuisine outlet attracts huge gourmands right through the week and over the weekends when surf-n-splash aficionados spend long hours savoring mouth-watering specialties and crisp cocktails.
The buffet spread adds up a live cook-in with chefs tossing up your choice of kababs and marinades. Indian and Continental fare change every day to accommodate a growing number of foodies who walk in at all times, Bollywood directors, stars and crew who tuck into delicacies late noon and wee hours.
SMORGASBORD OF DIVERSE TASTES
From packed sandwich and burger power starters like the Focaccia Club, Polenta crusted Fillet of Fish or Cottage Cheese and Red Bean Burger, the ascent to a bewildering variety of dishes floor the guests.
A delectable choice of fresh pasta with myriad options, -Chunky Bell Pepper, Garlic Mushroom or Grilled Chicken seems inviting! Aqua specials command popularity with numbers like Bengali style Chicken Rezala, Chettinad Chicken curry, curried Shepherd’s Pie and Fillet Mignon, textures of onion and mushroom and Madeira Sauce.
Our pick was a kaleidoscope of yummies! Here’s a dekko….the evergreen, ever popular super sizzling Chilli Cheese Toast to begin with a superlative South African white wine –Neil Joubert Sauvignon Blanc makes magic with amazing flavors. The Aqua Fish Curry was exciting with impressive flavors along with Paneer Kundan Kaliyan cooked to perfection in aromatic spice accents. This was terrific with a peppery Santa Cristina Toscana with ripe fruit and exhilarating raw leather flavors.
Our aromatic and spicy-Zaffrani Jhinga (saffron-marinated king prawns) and Kasuri Makkai Seekh (Corn with green fenugreek) made it to our table from the Tandoor fires, simmering fresh in enticing aromas and herb crusts. The splendid wine that waltz with it was a medium bodied Santa Rita Merlot from Chile, the plummy flavors and heather-musk aromas adding zest to the grills.
The immensely sought after Tandoor specialty Changrezi Boti –lamb morsels with yoghurt and roasted spices created taste bud magic in myriad flavors, the Indian grilled wonder rating numero uno among Tandoor hits. Aqua regales diners with all time classics like Lobster Thermidor, Classic Chicken Stroganoff, Chateaubriand and Marsala grilled lamb chops. With an ever burgeoning tribe of expats working and living in Mumbai’s sprawling suburban corporate districts nearby, Indian specialties never run out of steam here. The perfect sparkling wine combo we’d recommend for these Ole times’ sake numbers would be a chilled Chandon Brut with perfect effervescence!
So you have Danish corporate dinner guests going for an all-Indian menu listing top preferences like Aqua Tarkari Handi (assorted vegetables), Machli Saunthwali (spicy fish in dry ginger paste), Murgh Simla Mirchi Tikka, Resham Patti ki Champ (lamb chops, chilli paste and cheese) and the glorious Dum Biryani with shredded chicken. You can easily spot the full bodied Soledoro Sangiovese Rubycone from Italy doing endless appreciative rounds with signature specials here.
Or you could easily notice a Swiss bank group rollicking with good humor as they relish world class wines with only off-the-skewers Tandoor dishes.
CHILL OUT CHEER
As the sun takes a gracious dip on the horizon, we stretch out to admire the changing colors of a fine sunset and indulge, with calibrated discipline (!) in the fine desserts here.
We opted with conviction for three diverse flavors, each outstanding in their own appeal. The Pistewala Gulab Jamun (pistachio-laden sweet dish) was mouth-melting to the hilt, the sweetness just right without over powering.
The molten chocolate cake with vanilla and berries wrapped in amazing tastes all vying for palate position! And as we quaffed a fine Australian Yellow Tail Chardonnay with crisp lemon, lily and peach notes, our Kesari Rasmalai (saffron-flavored Indian cottage cheese cakes) complimented our encore with a splendid sweep of lingering noir flavors. The good natured buzz at Aqua only heightens with welcoming flair.
Address: AQUA – Sun-N-Sand, Juhu Beach, Mumbai 400049, India