The 15-year old Konkan Café at the Vivanta by Taj (previously Taj President) re-opened yesterday with a new look. Here’s a look at the new interiors and a sampling of the menu. While the entire restaurant has been redesigned, a few dishes from the previous menu have been retained.
Konkan Café was the first regional Indian restaurant in a five-star and was the only one until Dakshin opened at the ITC Grand Maratha, Sahar. I wasn’t an immediate fan and was the only writer to give them a bad review when they opened: among my grouses was an atrociously designed menu and an ice-cream payasam that was frozen so hard (on two occasions) that even using my spoon as an ice-pick came to no avail. Apart from the initial hiccups, I’ve had fabulous meals whenever I’ve returned and there’s a good reason Konkan Café is one of the most popular up-market Indian restaurants in the city.
The driving force behind Konkan Café is Executive Chef Ananda Solomon. His quiet passion and attention to detail, the painstaking research he conducts before introducing anything on a menu and his encyclopedic knowledge of the nuances of Konkan cuisine is unparalleled in the city. And all of it shows in the food, which though simple and honest is spiced for a more cosmopolitan audience. Ananda always uses fresh seafood, seasonal vegetables whenever he can and only country chicken, not broilers. Not surprisingly, Ananda is every Mumbai-based food writer’s favourite chef.
In addition to many design changes they’ve removed the bar and added a walk-in Enoteca cum bar where guests can sample wines and cocktails. Two wines with their signature wine label have also been introduced to the expansive wine list: a Konkan Café chenin blanc and a Konkan Café syrah. Both wines have been produced by Fratelli and pair remarkably well with the food.
I’ve managed to shoot almost everything we were served except for some wonderful appams, string hoppers and the chicken ghi roast. I couldn’t because Ananda came into the restaurant, saw me photographing the freshly cooked food and scolded me for letting the food go cold.
Vivanta by Taj
90 Cuffe Parade
Mumbai 400 001
Tel: 022 66650808
|Invited by PR company||Yes|
|Guest of the chef/ restaurant||–|
|Restaurant knew I’m a food writer||Yes|
|Meal comped by the restaurant||Yes|