Name: Toast & Tonic
Location: Unit 1, Ground Floor, Jet Airways, Godrej Building, Bandra Kurla Complex, Mumbai
Ambience: The restaurant’s design concept aims for the “old country barn” look with natural and basic furnishings. While it’s not exactly barnyard-like, the open plan dining area effuses a certain charm and level of comfort. The warm wooden interiors and soft lights are inviting and create a relaxed atmosphere. A red-paneled wall on one wide side adds a much-needed pop of colour and the bar, crafted with pinewood in several layers, displays the extensive collection of liquor and wine.
What we ate and drank: Toast & Tonic prides itself on its in-house shrubs and tonics made with organic fruits and flowers. We tried the signature gin and tonic cocktails—Gin-tleman’s Tonic (gin, jasmine tea, elderflower and grapefruit tonic water, served with rose petal-cucumber ice), Ms. Rose & Col. Cucumber (gin, rose petal and cucumber tonic water, served with rose petal- cucumber ice) and Monsoon Star (gin, star anise and pear tonic water, served with pear-spiced ice). While they were all pretty good, my pick would be the Gin-tleman’s Tonic with its perfect balance of refreshing flavours.
When it comes to the food, the restaurant aims for New York’s East Village style bohemian expressions of artisan-inspired bold flavours. And it translates that onto Mumbai’s culinary landscape by using classic Western cooking methods to showcase India’s bio-diversity. Since truffle oil-drizzled fries are all the rage now, and not to mention uber delicious, we decided to start with them. At Toast & Tonic, the truffle fries are accompanied by a Naga chilli aioli. We expected a burst of heat from the dip, but thankfully, it was well-balanced. The fries themselves are decent enough, but frankly, we’ve had better. We then moved on to the soft and delicious bajra and ricotta gnudi with creamed amaranth and spinach and a local greens veloute, and impressive duck tacos (ragi-jowar shells) with scallions, pickled cucumber, radish, perilla seeds and a Hoisin glaze. We also tried a small plate of seared pork belly with house-fermented triple crunch mustard glaze and served with red wine vinegar tossed with cabbage slaw.
For the mains, we had an outstanding lobster risotto with chilli, sweet potato leaves and green onions with mustard oil. A delicious twist to this dish is the use of the fragrant Bengali rice—gobindobhog—instead of Italian Arborio, making it a winner all the way. We also tried the butter-poached crab linguine with charred corn, roasted fennel and lemon cream, which also turned out to be a lovely rendition with a balance of flavours and textures.
We ended our meal with two desserts, both of which unfortunately, fell short of our expectations. The “Coffee” comprising filter coffee cremeux, millet coffee cake, coffee cardamom ice-cream, cashewnut sesame granola and filter coffee gel, and the salted caramel ice-cream served with butter crunch caramel mou.
Price points: Rs 3,500 for two (excluding taxes)
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