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Let’s cut through the PR paraphernalia and depressing mall corridors and exhaustingly long menu and get straight to that Malabari curry, which we are still thinking about days after our meal at Rivers To Oceans, as we make our way back to Lower Parel on this rainy Monday. Poured table-side over daintily battered softshelled crabs, it is lusciously orange, velvety like couture and gone in sixty seconds, greedily mopped up with flaky parathas and mini mantou rolls.

Curry & Marie

This is the highlight of our meal at Zorawar Kalra’s new pescatarian restaurant, where dear reader, we ate a lot. But first, we drank champagne. Rivers To Oceans (or R2O, as the staff insists on calling it) is billed as a champagne and caviar bar as well as a seafood restaurant, and while they aren’t fully stocked yet, they do offer a nice selection of bubbles by the bottle and glass, of which they have five varieties. Note for novices like us: even though it makes you feel like you’re in the Gatsby movie, don’t pick the coupe – it might be shaped after Marie Antionette’s delicious décolletage, but the wide surface area of the glass will flatten your fancy champagne in no time.

Gill Clinton For President

Line your stomach with an appetizer platter of mussels, just the right amount of fishy, poached in chardonnay and laced with garlicky butter. We also enjoyed a bowlful of creamy burrata, warmed to optimal temperature and bolstered by herby pesto; a nice foil to a cold, bracingly salty dish of avocado, diced hamachi and caviar, served in perfectly balanced straight lines that are just begging to be messed up.

Go ahead, we’ll pretend like we’re not looking.

The avocado, fatty and fresh, makes another appearance in a shrimp roll that’s billed as a burrito but which you’d enjoy more if you knew it was a hearty kati roll, packed with spices, beans, shrimp and salsa. More suited to a late-night delivery joint than an upscale restaurant, plushly upholstered and gilded in gold lines, you might want to skip this one. The big disappointment of our evening was butter-garlic mud crab, too salty and oddly overwhelming: maybe we were comparing it to the unfairly high standard of the Trishna original, or it just paled in comparison to the Malabari curry version – either way, on a table where mostly everything was demolished, it languished half-eaten.

Fish Are Friends (Not Food)

Disappointing too was an order of mushroom sliders, served with patties that were mealy and dry. The mushrooms showed up much better in an earthy dish of morels and corzetti, coins of pasta tossed onto a dewy forest floor. Our vegetarian friend might not have enjoyed his evening as much as we did, but he went home happy, especially once he’d sampled the banoffee pie, unnecessarily deconstructed but still welcome, a sweet ending to a big meal.

That curry though. Hey look, the rain is beginning to clear and Palladium’s just up ahead. Maybe we’ll swing by for lunch.

Getting there: Rivers To Oceans, First Floor, Palladium Mall, Lower Parel, call 022-49735025, Rs 5,750 for a meal for two, with one glass of champagne. Set meals, highly recommended by the staff, start at Rs 2,900.

bpb reviews anonymously and pays for its own meals.

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Food & Drink