Tuskers is the specialty vegetarian restaurant at the luxurious Sofitel Hotel in the commercial locality of Bandra Kurla Complex (BKC) in Mumbai. It had been on my list of must visit restaurants in the city and finally I got a chance to make it to this place. The restaurant boasts of mouthwatering treats from cuisines of Gujarat, Rajasthan and select regions of North India. Maharaj Jankidas Vaishnav heads the kitchen at this restaurant with his treasure trove of culinary knowledge.
My purpose to visit this restaurant was to experience the Beyond Flavors dining festival. The festival has a specially curated, set menu that one can enjoy for a price point of INR 1199 per person inclusive of all applicable taxes. Junior sous chef Vijay Singh Rawat patiently helped us understand this menu comprising of some of the signature dishes of the restaurant.
Here is a look at my gluttony at Tuskers:
START TO THE MEAL
While we waited for the food ordered to make its way on our plate, a plate of toasted poppadums with tamarind chutney and mint-corainder chutney were served to nibble on.
Since the afternoon was proving to be a hot one, we ended up ordering two mocktails. AAM PANNA was a yummy drink made of extract of raw mangoes sweetened just enough to balance the natural sour flavor of the mangoes. It had subtle notes of cardamom. The KOKUM drink consisted of mildly aerated traditional kokum fruit and was flavored with rock salt. These were not part of the set menu at this food festival but were served to us additionally as a special case.
Each diner can order any one of the appetizers from the set menu of this festival. Since we were two people dining, we settled for two different appetizers – MAKAI DE PAKODE & BHARWAN PANEER. The former was a delicious fritter. The recipe was simple and entailed use of crushed American corn, besan (Bengal gram flour) and spices. The fritters were lip-smacking and had a prominent flavor of asafetida (hing). The latter was a quintessential cottage appetizer of the cuisine of North India. The cottage had a soft and creamy texture and came stuffed with a layer of mint & coriander chutney. Marinated in a blend of house special spices, the cottage cheese had a very evident flavor of mustard (sarson).
Again as part of the set menu, we could order one main course dish from those listed. One of our picks was KASHMIRI DUM ALOO. These were baby potatoes cooked in a delectable gravy of curds, onion and tomatoes. The texture of the gravy was smooth and the use of spices was judicious so that the flavors of the the three main aforementioned ingredients were palpable. The dish also had a hint of sweetness to it.
KADAI SUBZ was our second pick and had an assortment of diced carrots, green beans, green peas, cauliflower, capsicum cooked in an onion and cashewnut based gravy. The dish was finished off with a subtle tempering of cumin and black pepper.
As part of this set menu we were also served a very flavorsome, rustic lentil preparation called DAL PANCHMELI. Five types of lentils – yellow and green moong dal (gram), chana (Bengal gram) dal, arahar (pigeon pea) and urad (split black gram) were used. The flavor to the lentil preparation was lent by garam masala.
Jeera Rice and Butter Roti were served along with the above-mentioned preparations. Ghee, jaggery chunks and pickle were the customary accompaniments with the main course.
We went in for one cold and one hot dessert to finish off our lunch. The cold dessert was yummy, chilled RAS MALAI, which had the milk cream sweetened with sugar in a cautious way and was laced with saffron and almond slivers. The cream was adorned with a generous amount of chenna chunks. The chunks were slightly chewy for our liking.
GULAB JAMUN was the hot dessert that comprised of three spheres made of a dough of milk, milk solids & plain flour. These spheres were deep fried to arrive at a rich, dark exterior followed by soaking in sugar syrup to make them luscious. The garnish was that of almond slivers.
If I was to sum up our experience of the meal, I can say it was simple, scrumptious and left us satiated. The use of spices was thoughtful and that is what appealed to us. A special mention for the entire service staff and Elvis D’Souza, the restaurant manager for providing service that was superlative and filled with warmth.
So, do visit Tuskers and let me know of your experience.
Till then, HAPPY EATING…
- Regional Indian Food & Travel enthusiast