A few days ago, Juhu got a new restaurant and lounge by the name of The Spare Kitchen. One look and you’ll know that they want to cater a variety of audience. Families can enjoy the cosy interiors while the younger more lounge-y crowd can find themselves a seat at the outdoor or indoor lounge section. I walked in one afternoon and loved the sunlight pouring in through the big glass windows. I settled in next to one of them and met with the chef to understand the menu.
The menu is a good mix of appetizers, pizzas, entrees, pasta, curries and desserts. To me it looked a bit confusing so the chef explained that they are aiming for Progressive Indian. They are putting their own twist to local favourites and serving it differently. The idea is to get involved with the food. Take the Evolved Juhu Papdi Chaat for example. You have to scoop out the chaat filling with the puri and pour chutney yourself to eat it. It’s a fun and interactive way of eating and great for a large group of diners. Great concept, isn’t it?
First, I tried an assortment of appetizers. This platter included really adorable looking paani puri shots, pav bhaji tostada, baby vadas and chaat. The platter tasted as good as it looked and I think is an interesting way to start any meal.
To mix things up a bit, I tried the Pit Roasted Beef and Arugula Salad. The beef was chewy and overcooked but the arugula salad had everything going right for it. Just give me a plate full of it with highlights of well cooked beef strips and I’ll be a happy girl.
Next was my favourite dish – Malabari Lamb. This is an innovative take on traditional Malabari Chicken (complete with punches of coconut) served on mini uttapams with a generous sprinkle of gun powder. Yes, they looked very cute but the flavours were spot on. I recommend this is you are a fan of gun powder and coconut.
Their take on Mexican taco is the Chicken Kurchan Taco with a chapatti taco shell. The filling is flavourful Indian chicken but I found the taco shell too big. I wish they made smaller tacos and served them.
Only upon their insistence, I called in for a Seafood Chowder, and I’m so glad I did. The chowder is served in bread bowl and full of flavour. With basa and prawn bits, the seafood chowder is on my list of winter dishes. Definitely give this a try.
Wannabe Sri Lankan Curry was served next – three filets of basa spiced with chilli piled on top of a portion of rice cooked in coconut milk and served with Sri Lankan style curry. It had a luscious texture and coats your mouth with fragrant coconut and spices flavour. It can get a bit heavy with the coconut curry and the coconut rice so share it with someone.
Last thing I tried before I jumped on the dessert menu was the Mustard and Chilli Fish. It was actually quite disappointing because it lacked the mustard and the chilli flavour. I wish this little fish parcel packed in more hard-hitting flavours because I am a huge fan of the Bengali mustard fish.
For chocolate lovers there is the Chocolate Fantasy – a platter of chocolate hazelnut tart, cupcake with mocha sauce, ice cream, Truffe balls, and cutting chai with a chocolate spoon. I love that they are serving so many different desserts on a platter. If you are a big group then this totally works as each person gets a piece.
Lastly, the Strawberry Ras Malai Cheesecake was the cherry on top of the cake. The beautifully presented dessert had ras malai embedded inside the cheesecake. The sugar work on top adds a whimsical touch to the entire thing. The two desserts have been nicely combined to create one stunning dessert. Try it.
What I loved about The Spare Kitchen is their vision to create dishes which are out-of-the-box and served beautifully. There are plenty of other things on the menu that will take me back to the restaurant. It’s a wonderful place to visit with friends or family. A little birdie told me that they will soon have fantastic deals for customers so keep an eye out for that.Where: The Spare Kitchen 5, Juhu Tara Road, Behind King’s International Hotel, Juhu, Mumbai – 400049.