Last weekend, I caught up with my childhood friend Sara and her gorgeous little girls at Moombai & Co at H Hotel, Dubai. The retro-style Bollywood inspired venue had me awestruck the very first time we visited, and still holds its magic every time I’ve visited since.
Adding to the gastronomic charm of the place is the headline news that Moombai & Co has now been taken over by celebrity chef and restauranteur Hari Nayak. Chef Hari Nayak is a graduate of the Culinary Institute of America and has worked across the United States, the UK and Paris reintroducing the culinary art of Indian cuisine in a more simplistic, globally viable format.
Chef Hari is the brainchild behind the very popular Indian restaurants Masti and Bombay Bungalow, and was therefore pretty excited to see what he had in store for us as his debut at Moombai & Co.
However, as many of you are aware, I am on the Keto diet this month! I was challenging myself to enjoy the most of it and restrain from the Keto no-no’s. Here’s a rundown on what we were served:
Pulled Lamb Raan Tacos: These are no ordinary tacos. The shells are made of crisp Punjabi Makki Ki Roti, and is stuffed with the most succulent pulled lamb. The flavors are further accentuated with generous drizzles of a rich cheese sauce.
Tandoori Malai Broccoli: An unusual vegetable on an Indian table yet made to taste so Desi in a Tandoori avatar. The broccoli flowerets are charred in an Indian oven and served with a rich cream sauce.
Corn Bhel Puri: The classic Bhel Puri gets a ‘corny’ makeover with the use of fresh corn kernels. Still chatpatta good, and with generous quantities of roasted peanuts.
Hash Brown Aloo Tikki: The humble potato is loved equally East and West. The Western Hash Brown gets an Indian upgrade with a decadent stuffing and a pool of sweet yoghurt to boot.
Calicut Prawns: Inspired by the cuisines of South India, these deliciously plump king prawns sit on a pool of mildly sweet, delicately spiced coconut milk gravy. This was my personal favorite.
Ossobocco Lamb Rogan Josh: I am a big fan of rogan josh, but sadly this dish let me down. It didn’t have the fiery hit of chili you would expect in this classic curry, and the meat could have been softer too.
Chicken Berry Biryani: A fragrant rice pilaf featuring long-grain rice, very moist, well marinated chicken and a handful of berry tartness for a new flavor dimension on an old favorite. We loved this dish, as did the kids.
Blackened Barfi Tart: Love a good barfi? Imagine it in pie form, in a decadently crumbly buttery crust, topped with a scoop of vanilla ice-cream. This dessert was wiped clean off the plate in record time.
Rasgulla Chocolate Cheesecake: Yet another East married with the West sweetness that works so beautifully well. This cheesecake is dense and dark, and a scoop of cardamom flavored ice-cream acts as a respite on the side. A surprise twist is finding spongy rasgulla at the center. Delicious, yet a little too sweet. Best for sharing.
Through it all, we sipped on deliciously sweet, thick Mango Lassi and chilled glasses of Ananas ka Ras (fresh pineapple juice with a pinch of chaat masala).
Overall, it was an afternoon well spent in the stunning retro-style backdrop of Moombai Dubai. The new menu by Chef Hari is such a clever twist of East and West, and I will surely be coming back for more.
BARGAIN ALERT: Enjoy a Business Lunch Buffet from Sunday – Thursday (12 – 3.30pm) for as low as AED 59 per person!