‘The preparation of good food is merely another expression of art,
one of the joys of civilized living’
– Dione Lucas
Behind the doors of the recently launched Veranda is a world of beauty and bursts of colour. Symmetry was evidently not on their mind while they set the interiors and we are glad they didn’t as each corner has its own charm.
On each table was placed a lovely green bonsai and an easel board with the name of the person who reserved the table. A classy set up with colourful pop ups and gorgeous paintings adorning the walls, this place was nothing short of a cosy nook, a treat for the eyes and we learnt later, a treat for the tastebuds too.
To stay true to the artsy theme, they even names their specialties after well known artists.
Chef Monish Rohra personally took us through the pre-set menu he had in store for us and the passion in his voice while describing each dish was music to our ears.
We kicked off our evening with an amouse bouche –
Leonardo-Dra-Vidli with Aam Panna.
Rolled in spicy podi powder, doused in Desi ghee & topped with a Pumpkin Puree, these warm tiny idlis melted in our mouth before we could relish their deliciousness to our hearts content. The Aam Panna, served in test tubes, was quite refreshing and left a delicious peppery sour aftertaste.
Kala – Khatta Margarita
A sip of this margarita and you are immediately transported to the gola walas cart slurping a Chatpata Kala Khatta. This drink was the star of the evening for us. Infact, it was the non-drinker of our bloggers table that went all ‘Bottoms up’ ! A thin slice of ice with foam sits on top of the Kala Khatta mixture and we definitely recommend you try.
Sometimes keeping it simple really hits the spot. Veranda gave their twist to fresh lime water by keeping it quite plain jane. It’s your nimbu paani right off the beach kinda flavour.
Watermelon & Basil Mojito
This one packed quite a punch! Each flavour (Watermelon, white rum, sugar, lime, soda water, mint) tried to dominate the other.
Whiskey sour has always been one of our favourites & Veranda didn’t disappoint.
Watermelon Mint Sangria
A Veranda special that we look quite a liking too. Their Sangria was a mix of Triple Sec, Tequila, Wine, Basil, Vodka, with Watermelon & Citrus wedges.
A beautiful saffron soup with a dollop of sour cream sat on our table with a bowl of Blue Cheese Croutons calling out to be dunked. The crunchy blue cheese croutons gave a sour kick to the slightly sweet pumpkin soup which we really loved. Though most people are not fans of the piquancy blue cheese offers, the soup on its own is quite delicious too.
Chicken Julienne with bits of mint leaves & caramelized brown onions was more of a thin, spicy broth. The sweetness of the caramelized onions complimented the soup really well. We loved the flavours but would have enjoyed it more by dipping some bread in.
Now this salad was quite a mixture of textures, colour & taste. Baby beets were hollowed and stuffed with hung curd, thus balanced the tartness of curd with the sweetness of the beets. The Quinoa was surprisingly very well soused with a sweet flavour and went beautifully with the sweet & sour pear gel and the creamy feta sprinkled over it. However, the flavour that stood out the most for us was the Kasundi honey mustard dressing over the pungent Arugula, agar agar gel, sweet pear & sweet lime wedges & creamy-salty feta. We certainly recommend a serving of this.
Crisped to perfection is the best way we can sum it up. Baby spinach & sliced Bhindi fried in a batter of tangy spices with a spoonful of yogurt, pundina chutney and tiny bits of chopped tomato.
Raja Dahi Verma
A very popular dish from the North, Dahi Bhalla, with the Veranda twist. The Bhallas were made from urad dal and were soaked in sweetened yogurt with crispy potato sallis sitting on top to contrast the soft fritters. Along with the bhallas, there were cubes of baked yogurt with a tamarind gel and a pomegranate reduction. The cubes really tasted like yummy berry cheese cakes bites. Both the Bhalla & the cubes were on the sweeter side, and to add a kick they were placed on a mint chutney for a spicy contrast. Another must have.
Mushroom Car Pachino
Under the hickory smoke was a salad kind of appetizer of Jeera roasted asparagus, long stemmed Shimeji & Portobello mushrooms, edamame, cherry tomatoes mixed together with kaunsdi and a tandoori masala sprinkle. Quite interesting.
Dhaba Chicken Platter
Three delicious and well marinated pieces of chicken, each doused in a different marinade (Pudina, Kashmiri Red Chilli, Zafrani Chicken Tikka) placed on top sautéed onion, tomato & capsicum salad; plated beautifully between a Ranz dressing & hollandaise sauce.
Cottage Cheese Platter
Soft Malai paneer in three tantalizing flavours – Tulsi, Zafrani & Malai Paneer Tikka. One even had a Makhani Pipette stuck in the middle to spice up the dishes.
The Mumbai Tawa rice is a spicy-sticky rice that could seem a tad bit bland in the beginning, but add a little Teriyaki gravy on it and you won’t know where to stop. The rice comes with chicken strips in crispy skin and teriyaki glaze sprinkled with sesame. The teryanki sauce tilts towards the sweeter side with is complemented by the pungent thai salad of radish, Radicchio, bell peppers.
Maa ki Dal
Veranda’s twist on the dal makhani is quite a rich delight!
You will certainly ask for another helping.
Very similar to the household baingan bharta,
roasted in a clay oven with onions and tomatoes, spot on in flavour.
Lasooni Palak Paneer
Sundried tomato Naan & Basil Naan
We loved the idea of a sundried tomato naan because we are always looking out for a tangy twist in our food. The naan’s came with a dry sundried puree smothered over them. The basil naan, on the similar lines, has bits of basil stuck to the bread & was quite nice too.
A mousse bar covered in a coat of chocolate, topped off with fennel powder, candy coated fennel, shaved dry fruits & silver coated betel nut. The mousse was set beautifully and melted as we put it on our tongue,
while the add ons added a very fresh aftertaste to each bite.
White chocolate soufflé
A warm soufflé, garnished with almond shavings, fresh from the oven with a golden molten filling that makes you want to eat the plate up too ! The Chocolate Chip ice cream provides quite a contrast but the soufflé in itself is a star.
(Though we enjoyed the candies nuts tucked behind the soufflé a lot).
It was a perfect end to a wonderful meal.
Veranda has been open for barely ten days but by the time we left the restaurant, it was completely packed ! It seems that the Veranda has created quite a stir,
and we definitely know why.