” So often these days eating Indian food passes for spirituality. I don’t meditate, I don’t pray,
but I eat two samosa’s every day. “
– Dan Bern
As we turned into the lanes of Juhu’s Gulmohar road, we saw what seemed to be a very highbrow art gallery. We walked into the restaurant and it was certainly love at first sight. The tall white walls were given bright pops of colour and each window had a very interesting installation from various artists. The vibe of the restaurant is very young, quirky and refreshing
and there is so much to look around at.
The aim of the restaurant was to get all the delicacies across India in one place which reflects in the dish names on the menu. Each name is headed by a number which happens to be the area code for the location the dish hails from. Quite interesting right ? While for some of dishes they have maintained the traditional flavours, for some they have added their own quirky twists.
Yakhni Paya Shorba
+ 91 – 172 ( Chandigarh )
We believe the menu might have made a tiny slip in the area ISD code here but the flavours were absolutely spot on ! We were reluctant to start our meal with a soup, but on Mr. Gaurav’s (the manager ) insistence, we called for a helping. The Kashmiri style broth is traditionally made by slow cooking the lamb trotters for hours, mostly overnight, with saffron, spearmint & yogurt to ensure every bit of flavour from the meat is one with the broth. +91 has made sure they keep with the tradition and cook Kazi Lamb trotters for at least eight hours. Mildly spiced, Rich in flavours & served piping hot, this soup is perfect for a cool winters day ! And with Mumbai’s slightly nipping weather, now is the best time to try it out.
Edamame & RA-TA-LU Tokri Chat
+91 – 11 ( Delhi )
Edamame, Ratalu ( sweet potato ) and Chat are certainly not three thing we saw coming together. What struck us first is the edible, potato tokri in which the chaat was placed. This Chat was made from sweet potato, edamame (young soya beans), sweet & sour hung curd, pomegranate, tamarind sauce, , mint chuntey and a drizzle of spices. From the ingredients you must have gathered the crazy textures and flavour we got in each bite ! We had crunchy, soft, crispy, sour, sweet, spicy … and the best part is everything came together in perfect harmony. For those who wonder the edamame’s place in this equation, well it brought a lovely earthiness to the pungent flavours in the tokri.
Tandoor & Tawa
+ 91 – 522 ( Lucknow )
We got to try four variations of the Galouti here – Porobello Mushroom, Beetroot, Baby Lamb and Saffron & Suran Galouti. The Galouti, famous because of Nawab Asaf-ud-Daula, are known for their melt in the mouth consistency. Many say they drew inspiration from the French silken pates but whatever it is, we are truly grateful of the invention. +91 had quite a challenge on its hand to make kebabs that melted in the mouth with four completely different ingredients & they succeeded with flying colours. Each kebab left but a delicious essence on your tongue as it slithered around your taste buds disappearing down your throat. We hear the Lamb meat is minced over 18 times to ensure a melt in the mouth experience. We also a Suran & Saffron galouti was a first for us. The delicious butter roasted yam mousse galouti was very rich and also one of our favourites amongst the lot.
Recheado Murg Tikka
+91 – 832 ( Goa )
The Portuguese influence in the culture of Goa is quite evident even today ! They left behind some gorgeous architecture, interesting traditions & yummy recipes. Rechaedo in Portuguese means stuffed and the Rechaedo masala is normally stuffed inside a fish, which is quite a favourite in Goa. Of course the spicy, pasty, rich, red masala was later used for a variety of meals but with the flavours intact. At +91, they marinated pieces of boneless chicken ( tight ) in the rich, traditional, goan style Rechaedo and it certainly took us back to the Susegad state.
Telli Cherry Malai Tikka
+91 – 490 ( Tellicherry, Kerala )
Made with spices from the South, the Telli Cherry Malai Tikka is a mix of sweet & spicy. Pieces of boneless chicken ( breast ) are marinated in a mix of Malabar black pepper and Malai ( cream ) before they are tandoored. Though we definitely liked the flavours, the name kind of made us hope they had used the Telli Cherry variety of pepper corn instead of the Malabar variety.
It would have been quite interesting.
Patra Ni Macchi / Paneer
+91 – 21483
Primary a Parsi fish delicacy, +91 has also done a take on the dish in Paneer for the vegetarians. Fish or Paneer marinated in a green chilli- coriander chutney and steamed in Banana leaves. Opening the little packets are a joy in itself. We absolutely loved both the varieties as both the variations as they were tender and well marinated. The fish used for the Patra Ni Macchi was Ravas.
+91- 522 ( Lucknow )
Kebabs, Mussallams is the rich legacy left behind the mughals. Ibn Battuta described Murgh Musallam as a favourite dish of Muhammad bin Tughluq and we knew we would definitely see it on the menu of collated classics here. However, what we DID NOT expect was a Zucchini Mussallam. Our first thought was, Zucchini? Really? Why would you do that ?!! But we decided to give in and take it for a test run. We got a rich orange-ish borth that in which were little pouches / cups of zucchini, filled with a paneer burji. If you haven’t guessed by the description already, this meal is incredibly heavy ! The very versatile squash often gives a bitter aftertaste but the Chefs at +91 managed to mask it perfectly in its blend of rich spices of the onion, tomato, nutmeg broth
along with the slight spicy & crumbly paneer burji.
Rajashthani Laal Maas
+ 91- 291 ( Jodhpur Rajasthan )
It was back in 2014 that at first bite, on the banks of Lake Pichola, we started our love affair with Laal Maas. The spicy red mutton curry prepared with yogurt and hot spices spoke to our soul in Rajashtan and +91 did not disappoint. The tender pieces of meat separated on touch and the robust, red gravy sang a piquant tune on the tongue.
Kulcha and Rosemary & Olive naan
+91 ( India )
The Kulcha at +91 was very soft, despite getting cold thanks to our never ending photo session. The Rosemary & olive naan was much welcome bitter-salty twist on the beloved, buttery Indian flatbread. It went famously with the Laal Maas & Zucchini Mussallam.
Langer Wali Kaali Daal
+91 – 183 ( Amritsar )
Made popular by a dhaba outside the golden temple in Amritsar, this daal has stolen the hearts of many. One of the team member that went to review the +91 did not like dals in general but she came back raving about the Langer Wali Kaali Daal saying she had eaten it just as is. Quite a compliment right ? This daal is prepared by cooking whole black lentil in white butter overnight ( or for at least 6 hours ) to ensure you get all the flavours the lentils have to offer, and its quite a winner !
Martini in Benaras
+91 – 542 ( Varanasi )
“ Khaike paan Benaras wala ” is exactly how one would describe this drink. This drink is simply a traditional Benarasi Pan Muddled with Vodka, and it tastes spot on with just the extra special kick … if you know what we mean. We were busy sipping on it as a refresher after our meal.
+91-866 ( Vijayawada. Andhra Pradesh )
We have heard of Aachari Chicken but an Aachari cocktail was certainly a first. A very potent Rum based (Bacardi Carta Blanca) cocktail mixed with Andhra Pickle, mint and lime. Every sip will make you wince in a happy way if you enjoy a very sour punch on your tastebuds. We LOVED this drink.
+91 ( India )
Another favourite of the afternoon, a tall, slushy glass of Vodka, Tamarind & Raw Mango which always makes heads turn. You cannot help but get a brain freeze because the flavours of so summery and tangy you want to keep sipping on it despite it being a slush.
Gajar Halwa Modak
+ 91 – 22 ( Mumbai )
Ever since the launch of +91, pictures of the Gajar Halwa Modak have been taking social media by storm ! Gajar Halwa is mixed with some cardamom and pistachio to form a Panna Cotta. Now we are guessing what helps it retain its shape is quite a bit of gelatine, its not too wobbly either. Though the mention of Gajar Halwa generally takes you to a memory of something very very sweet , the gajar halwa modak isn’t. It is fairly sweet and with some lovely nutty flavours from the pistachio mousse around it, it is quite a different kind of dessert.
Hazelnut Chocolate Praline
+ 91 – 4865 ( Munnar, Kerala )
We absolutely LOVED every bit of this dessert and lapped up even the crumbs. Hazelnut Chocolate Praline over a rich, soft Belgian chocolate mousse with a cherry on top … **Cravings**. Though the Praline is slightly tough to break, it’s worth all the effort. The dessert is teamed up with a raspberry sorbet & a thin Caramel Florentine that will pack a very exciting sweet and sour punch.
+91 certainly outdid themselves on many aspects, kudos to Chef Sameer Bhalekar and team for the wonderful experience. Also a special thank to Gaurav, Amol, Suraj & Jeetu for being wonderful hosts. There is no doubt in our minds that we shall be back for another go at the menu…. Until then… excuse us while we wipe the drool off our keyboard.