Have you seen a new born whose just come out of its mother’s womb? An human offspring takes months to start responding to communication and even more to get to its feet while a foal takes nothing more than a hour to get to its feet and even manages to take a nap in the next couple of hours while it is still standing.
Why would we use these completely out of context lines to open an introduction for The Spare Kitchen? This is because we could only think of a foal when we saw this newly opened outlet of TSK at Atria mall by Chef Rakesh Talwar that was already galloping while we made our scheduled visit to them on their opening day. Here’s the tale from the evening!
FROM THE DESIGNERS PERSPECTIVE!
TSK is in the true sense a fine dine. The interiors are very tastefully and selectively done. They are located in a large space on the top floor of the Atria mall that is lavishly utilized creating a comfortable space with modern and chick design. There is a library going through the centre of the entire space that is made in concrete. This gives one part of the restaurant a café like feel. They have created zones within the restaurant with specific décor and even raised platform seating at levels by utilising the already high ceiling of the mall. Some bits are done with elite wooden chairs and tables while elsewhere they have used colourfully upholstered chairs. They also have sofa seats with low heighted tables and also a long high table with wooden stool chairs. They are a large group friendly place too. The fairly long bar gives scope for one to chill around with their drinks and not make it a sit session. The walls and pillars are also done in raw concrete giving the entire place a bucolic look while making it elite at the same time. We loved the interiors that are up to set new trends in this industry.
DRINK IT BABY!
Now, this has started to happen very frequently at places with us that even after mentioning that we are teetotallers, the servers goof up and serve us spiked drinks. This time we found something incorrect when the drinks appeared at our table, as they were not the ones that we ordered and to our luck we dint gulp it. Then our drinks were replaced with the correct ones. I guess it is too hard for today’s world to believe that teetotallers exist.
We ordered for Spicy Masala Mary and Malta Twisted Orange Mojito. The Spicy mary was a guava based drink which was made spicy with red chilli powder. This was an average drink with less flavours. It basically had guava juice and a spicy rimmed glass with no tweak of other flavours.
Malta Twisted Orange Mojito was a refreshingly fantastic drink with orange juice as a base and enhanced with Malta. It tasted apt to our citrus taste buds and the freshness alerted our senses. MFT recommends.
FOR THE LOVE OF FOOD!
Then was the turn for Appetizers. We ordered for TSK Platter, Khakhra Nachos, Dabeli Pita Pockets and Chipotle Paneer.
The TSK Platter is a feast for Mumbai Street food lovers. The platter has all the Chowpaty stuff served hygienically in a stylish way. It includes Pani puri, Bhel, Wada pav and Pav bhaji. The yummy paani is served in shot glasses topped with crisp puris which are filled with healthy quinoa. The water is flavourful and non spicy. The healthy replacement of quinoa also worked well. We loved the entire combination. Sukha bhel is served in a paper cone placed in a glass. The bhel is just about ordinary with no twist or great flavours. The wadas of wada pav are fragrant with black mustard seeds, curry leaves and garlic. The flavours are perfect. Pavs are accompanied alongside so go ahead, place your wada between the two halves and savour the taste. Pav bhaji is bhaji which is moderately mashed, spiced and presented on the platter. It is topped with sev and onions. The bhaji is a mouthful of delight.
Next we ate Khakhara Nachos. This is a new concept wherein the Gujarati favourite khakharas are replacement for the Mexican Nachos. Khakharas are layered with tandoori flavoured beans, topped with sweet & spicy salsa and garnished with white sauce. This is another savoury preparation. The nachos need to be consumed quickly as they lose their crispness very soon due to their thin structure.
Chipotle Paneer is a fusion dish with tandoori chipotle cottage cheese and dash of Mexican khichdi. Cottage cheese is place on a bed of Mexican rice tossed with American corn, green olives and coriander. The Mexican khichdi was full of flavours and we craved more of it in the dish. The cottage cheese was not the softest but was well marinated.
Dabeli Pita pockets are another Gujarati street food speciality that is made here with a modern twist. Basically they filled pita bread with pomegranate, peanuts and potato veggie (like done in dabeli). It was a good fusion of Indian and Lebanese cuisine.
Maincourse had Aloo Gobhi, Ratatouille, Black dal and Malai Tamatari cottage cheese.
Aloo Gobhi was served in rich bengali kasundi gravy and was topped with plenty of dil leaves. We have a strong aversion for dil leaves and so did not like this twist to an aloo gobhi. We would not write down the dish, as not consuming dill is a personal choice.
The Malai Tamatari Paneer was too sweet for our taste buds so we passed this one as well.
Black Lentil Dal was served in a saucepan kind of dish and was rich by nature. We loved this one and enjoyed the breads with this accompaniment.
Ratatouille Envelope was a modern Indian version of Baingan bharta served on a bed of tomato sauce, garnished with sprouts and accompanied with mashed potatoes. We are fans of Baingan bharta but this dish failed to impress our taste buds.
Street style Khepcha rice managed to woo us with its herbed aromatic flavour. This one doesn’t need any accompaniment; just enjoy it with its rich aroma and light flavours.
The first desserts we had was Chocolate brownie served a mug. Soft and melt in the mouth Chocolate brownie was placed in a transparent coffee mug topped with vanilla ice cream and chocolate sauce. This one was the better one amongst others.
The Strawberry cheesecake with rasgulla was embellished with a caramelised sugar cage. The rasgullas were hard and chewy. The cheesecake was just about average.
HOW MAY I HELP YOU!
The service was prompt on the given day and dishes were made available as soon as they were ordered considering they had a set menu. Chef Talwar was in the restaurant interacting with guests and taking feedback. They made the overall experience pleasant.
HAWK EYE VIEW!
The decor of the place is done very interestingly and it gives you a classy as well as a casual feel. The food is good and their unique selling point are the starters while the main course and desserts have a dim charm. The staff is well mannered and prompt. The place has a charisma and is sure to attract us again.
TSK platter, Malta Twisted Orange Mojito, Khakhara Nachos, Street style Khepcha rice