Helmed by chef Anuroopa Banerjee Gupta (with stints at Bangkok’s Gaggan and various spots in Spain), Oi is a new Latin American “inspired” restaurant that recently opened in Khar; promises that it “sources only the highest quality ingredients”; and sends out plates that are almost too pretty to eat. Now, only if the menu was better edited.
We begin our meal on a high note, encouraged by the presence of dishes rarely seen on Bombay menus: moqueca and croquetas, arroz meloso and empanadas, all served in a vibrant space with monochrome tiling, the 3,200 square foot restaurant broken up into cosy areas.
The promise of unique fare is fulfilled first by the bar, which sends out carefully prepared, unusual cocktails. Nutshroom is a cool mix of shiitake infused brandy, bourbon, homemade almond liqueur, lemon juice and egg white. Served with a single ball of ice, it’s nutty and earthy and perfect for the extended winter we’re experiencing. Grapefruit Delicacy is your best bet for day drinking: potent grapefruit infused tequila brightened by rosemary syrup, lime and pink salt.
Pitted against these, our salad of watery red tomatoes, rojo pesto, toasted almonds and basil mozzarella is a huge let down. Sample instead a bracing dish of crispy quail, buoyed by chimichurri and a pico de gallo of pineapple, bell peppers and tomatoes - this should be a standard on every table.
Pulled duck tacos are meant to be shared but gone in sixty seconds, despite the leathery tortilla they sit on, a problem echoed in the pita bread that accompanies our sous vide fish. The fish itself, a red snapper, is perfectly cooked, if undone by unnecessary elements on the plate –creamy hummus and baba ganoush.
Arroz meloso served with tofu croquetas (the menu calls it tempura but the breaded coating has little to do with Japan) is a good option for vegetarians, familiar in its khichdi-like consistency but with a bright red colour that hints at tomato and fried pepper sauce.
There’s also a two-page menu exclusively designed for Jain diners. Dear readers, we didn’t even go there.
Our dessert is another jumble, a mess of coconut ganache, almond cake, mint soufflé, red wine reduction, candied nuts, tres leches and berries. There’s a treat in there somewhere, we know. May we suggest a shovel – and a good editor, perhaps?
Getting there: 2nd Floor, Gabbana House, 15th Road, above HDFC Bank, Khar West. Meal for two Rs 4,000-6,000.
Accessibility: There is a short flight of steps to get to the elevators
bpb reviews anonymously and pays for its own meals.
This review was conducted by Aatish Nath, a freelance food and travel writer.
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