Taaza khabar: A month-old pure vegetarian Indian restaurant endorsing the ‘Molecular Gastronomic’ way of cooking and that too just across the street from where I live!
I recently visited Farzi Cafe (read the review on my blog) following which molecular gastronomy infused, deconstructed cooking tops my dining list. For a hard core non-veggie like me, reviewing a pure vegetarian restaurant is no fun but this chain of restaurant from Mumbai takes vegetarianism to a new level so all you vegetarians in Dubai looking for newness head to SpiceKlub located opposite Aster Hospital in Al Mankhool!
We were actually driving past Aster when we spotted the restaurant and the huge crowd outside. So me, being the curious soul, decided to check it out and found out there were two restaurants adjacent to each other – SpiceKlub (Indian cuisine) and Quattro (Italian/Mexican cuisine). Both restaurants serve only vegetarian food, so meat lovers look elsewhere 😉
Since the restaurant is just a month old we had a 45 minute waiting period. After leaving our details with the counter staff we decided to drive around Jumeirah and returned just in time to see what the fuss was all about.
At first glance I wasn’t surprised the restaurant had that long waiting list since the seating space seemed quite limited. Scanning the interiors, I loved the quirky decor with comfortable seating arrangements; the bronze pipes on the ceiling with wheels converted into decorative ceiling lights, colorful array of cushions across the seating area and the general ambience.
Reviewing the menu, I noticed SpiceKlub has played with some of the common street food presenting it in a distinctive style. The menu includes reinvention of popular street food like Pav Bhaji, Chaat, Vada Pav etc….
What’s desi food without its accompaniments? So all tables are served with these complementary condiments tray which consists of 8 different chutneys and pickles served in a cutting chai glasses, transporting you straight back to good old Mumbai.
We started our molecular gastronomy dining experience with some mocktails (1) Mango on the Rocks (2) Kalakhatta Mojito (took me down memory lane to my working days at Nariman Point and weekends at Chowpatty where I would savor this drink!). Both the drinks were prepared at the table (check the videos below) and I experienced the marvel of molecular gastronomy, yet again, after an awesome experience at Farzi Cafe.
We asked the staff to suggest their most popular appetizers and he mentioned it was the ‘Pav Bhaji Fondue’ and ‘Palak Cheese Cigar’.
As for the Pav Bhaji Fondue, SpiceKlub has transformed the classic Indian street food classic into a swiss fondue but on the spicier side. These starters are enough to fill your belly to the brim! We thought the Pav Bhaji should have been added to the mains as it is a meal in itself, definitely cannot be classified as an appetizer.
We enjoyed the Palak Cheese Cigar; batons of spiced soft cheese wrapped in spinach leaves dipped in batter and fried until crisp. This was accompanied with a mild, thin consistency sauce served in a cute little pressure cooker.
For soup we were recommended the Chilli Palak Soup (cream of spinach soup spiced with green chillies served aerated). I loved the texture and flavor of this soup.
I think the starters are presented nicely but the main course is pretty much normal food offered in any other North Indian restaurant. For the mains we were recommended the Amritsari Wadi (paneer and potato fries topped with spicy Amritsari vadi served in an onion gravy), Dal Masala Tadka (split urad dal tempered with select Indian spices) which we savored with jeera rice and garlic chilli butter naan.
By now we were so full so decided to skip dessert and requested the bill which was presented in this cute brass tumbler with two pieces of dark chocolate filled with paan – simply yumm!!
To conclude, the restaurant serves great veggie food, loved the ambience, good service though it was packed, staff are warm and recommended some lovely dishes. Even the quantity of each dish is enough to fill at least four full-grown tummies! Again not heavy on our pockets.
So head out to SpiceKlub, it’s an exciting take on vegetarian Indian food with a twist!