Atria Mall at Worli is making a last ditch effort to get your attention, and the process begins with its newest tenant Mustard, a Goa restaurant and bar with a bi-lingual kitchen.
Run by historian-chef Pritha Sen and chef Gregory Bazire, the restaurant has two distinct menus, one serving French cuisine and the other Bengali – luckily no fusion food here.
On a Thursday evening, this pastel plot with high ceilings and flamingo pink window shutters is packed so we start at the bar, which is a bit too high to comfortably place our mustard sour and lavender gimlet. Luckily, the sour is frothy and assertive, while the gimlet is a lovely periwinkle colour, but can do with a splash of herbal bitters to round off the gin’s harshness on our throats.
Our bar snack, a croquembouche of lobster thermidor is the highlight of our meal, offering plump crustaceans atop a choux pastry that also features a mushroom duxelle. Though the lobster is a bit overcooked, the flavours are subtle.
Finally at a table that we wish didn’t have an assortment of differently designed chairs a la 2014, we peruse the dual menu and begin to order. Our buffalo cheek salad is a massive disappointment with burnt meat placed atop salad greens that are generously dressed with mustard. The delicate mochar guley kebabs (banana blossom kebabs) are a contrast – soft, succulent and served with, as expected, a side of mustard.
Dum & Dum-er
Next at the table is a spoon rabbit with rosemary jus that lacks the depth of flavour we are hoping for, though the meat is cooked well. The jus though, clearly hadn’t been infused with any fat or herbs that would have made each bite more rewarding. Our alur dum is more satisfying, but can’t rise above the kind of fare one would be served at a Bong friend’s house. The baby potatoes are cooked throughout and come with an order of luchis that we use to mop up the small serving of channa served alongside the potatoes.
At the end, we’re fair(l)y certain we will be rescued by the absinthe iced soufflé, but it’s all sugar and no elegance, while a home style molten orange-chocolate cake just doesn’t have the intensity that we are hoping for.
With more restaurants opening up on the block, Mustard is going to have to up its game, taking its nice, homely meals to a more sophisticated level. Meanwhile, if you’re in the neighbourhood, you can always stop by for a pretty mauve drink and a lobster croquembouche.
Getting there: 1B Atria Mall, Dr Annie Besant Road, Worli, call 33126797. Open from noon to 1 am. A meal for two costs approximately Rs 3,500
bpb reviews anonymously and pays for its meals
Accessibility: There are two to three steps to get into the mall.
This review was contributed by Aatish Nath, a freelance food and drink writer.
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