Few people in Mumbai have the privilege to stay in open spaces and I was one of those few. Our house used to sport a big garden where we farmed enough vegetables to feed us all year round. We played badminton in the backyard and I always lost to my elder brother. Winters had special barbeque sessions on the terrace. I had the cutest pet on planer earth, a Labrador, Rio. He used to wait at the veranda for me every evening and welcomed me in the most cheerful way with a rolled out tongue and a wagering tail. The veranda was one space where I sat with my morning tea, my evening snacks; spend my lazy weekends in the company of Rio. Today my home has transformed into a high rise and Rio has left us for a better world.
Now the view from my living room of our twentieth floor apartment is a thing but I still miss that veranda and Rio. While I have lost my veranda, the city has gained one of its own at Bandra in form of a restaurant. We visited Veranda over an invite from the management and here is the tale!
FROM THE DESIGNERS PERSPECTIVE!
The interiors are widely segregated into 3 different decor styles of varied vibrations. One of the areas is styled with classical upholstered chairs and tables in a wooden finish and matching table runners. Decorated with indoor plants, old style curtained windows and yellow lit chandeliers made the area look like a Veranda. It also has some two seaters for a romantic date.
Another area close to the bar is done with vibrant colors. It sports colorful wooden tables, wall art and comfortable sofa seating. This area would be more amusing for the younger lot who could spend time over drinks with their pals.
The third and most widely spread area is of the regular dining setup with a sophisticated experience using white upholstered sofas and white & wooden finish tables which makes it a family kind of dining area. Subtle and elegant.
Mix media art on the walls made the ambiance cheerful. Italian marble flooring, right air conditioning, sparkling crockery and cutlery give the place a pleasant vibe and a soothing feel.
DRINK IT BABY!
To start with we were served an appetite stimulator in the form of a house made aam panna and mini idlis. The mini idlis were soaked in butter and they had to taste fantastic for the calories contained. The aam panna was sweet and sour which made it a perfect taste teaser.
We ordered for Kala Margarita and Watermelon Basil mojito. We are teetotallers and even after mentioning the same we were served a spiked Kala Margarita. We were totally disappointed with this error. The management did apologies multiple times but we choose not to reorder the drink.
Watermelon Basil Mojito had coarsely ground watermelon along with fresh watermelon juice and basil. The basil added a pleasant flavour to the drink but the over use of ice kept the drink from retaining its taste for long and diluted it.
Masala Chaas was well flavoured with green chillies ginger and mint. The buttermilk was deliciously thick. We enjoyed this one.
FOR THE LOVE OF FOOD!
Kin Sue Soup is a pumpkin soup with blue cheese crouton having a coarse texture making the soup thick. The appetizer was enriched with black pepper. We liked this preparation.
Contemn Beetroot Salad was a beautiful dish presented on a sliced and shaved wooden log platter. This dish was an interesting mix of various preparations brought together to make a scrumptious salad. They used agar agar to make caroot and beetroot gels. All the solid ingredients were laid on a bed of quinoa. The beetroot was boiled and curled before being placed on the platter. Hung curd and Feta cheese was used for garnish. On one side laid citrus fruits and greens. The quinoa was placed on mustard sauce which we found to be a little overpowering due to its flavourful properties. Overall it is an interesting creation.
Raja Dahi Varma is a cold appetizer. It is Dahi bhalla made interesting by being accompanied with baked curd cubes and using cold pomegranate sauce instead of the regular tamarind paste. On a bed of mint chutney was placed the dahi bhallas topped with potato sticks, baked curd cubes and tamarind gel. This was a very innovative twist to the regular dahi bhallas and was a hit for us.
Mushroom Carpaccio is another distinct preparation by chefs of Veranda. Rare to find combination of Potabella mushrooms topped with cumin roasted Asparagus, edameme, Shimeji mushrooms and cherry tomatoes having a hint of mustard sauce. The veggies tasted exceptional and we loved this variety of mushroom. This dish is meant only for people who are ready to experiment and have inclination towards light flavours.
Cottage cheese Trilogy had three kinds of paneer preparations along with micro greens and spicy makhani filled pipette. The green one was with green palak and lasooni flavours, the red one was spiced with generous marination of achari flavours and the white one was with affluent flavours. The three were placed on a bed of finely chopped green olives and the cottage cheese was melt in the mouth soft and non grainy.
Galouti Kebabs in three different variants were served on a beautiful black, round stone platter. Gallets of spinach, beetroot and mushroom were served topped with mango pickle, tomato chutney, and Shimeji mushrooms respectively. The gallets had finely mashed ingredients and were melt in the mouth but we did not enjoy the flavours or texture as we are not fans of galouti and hence giving conclusive comments for these will not be right.
Main course had Banksy Bharta, Dal Makhani, Lasooni palak paneer and assorted breads. The Aubergine was clay oven roasted and cooked with onions and tomatoes. This one is a wonderful preparation of traditional smoked baigan bharta and is worth a try.
Black Dal here is one of the best we have had. It is appropriately cooked with perfect flavours and can be the sole accompaniment to your breads or rice too. We loved this one, Fantastic!
Lasooni Palak Paneer was another delicious preparation served to us. The lasooni flavours take us to Indian food roots and we just love it. Even with a full tummy we relished this one. Truly amazing!
Breads had Olive naan and Plain naan. Both were commendable but the olive naan must surely be tried. #MFTrecommends
Gulkand Choco Bar is lusciously presented in a candy form with overload of chocolate. It is love at first sight for sure. Black and white chocolate mousse is used with a hint of paan ingredients and garnished with finely sliced almonds. The dessert is indeed very different and the paan flavours break the monotony of chocolate.
HOW MAY I HELP YOU!
The staff seems new and the restaurant is going through a nesting period. They massively goofed up with our drink spiking it but were careful thereafter. The service went a little slow considering the few visitors they had. The owner kept us good company and made sure everything went well after the blunder.
HAWK EYE VIEW!
The place has good ambience with distinct decors meant for different moods. Veranda has positive vibes and gives you a very soothing feel and is vibrant at the same time. The decor is impressive. Food is innovative and most innovations are done well. Ones with experimental taste buds and the ones with liking towards classic meals both have their options to choose from. Their Main course needs a special mention. Overall it is a new place to dine with your family, a place to hangout with your friends over drinks also a place for a special date. It has it all!
Black dal, Paneer Lasooni, Olive Naan, Raja Dahi Varma.
PS! They have lost half a star for that massive mistake.