Of fusion and khichdi: Tresind Mumbai

The other day, the very wonderful and insistent Komal Lath finally wore down my resistance and had the offspring and me at Tresind in BKC at Mumbai for a meal. Did we enjoy it, well just let’s say the offspring didn’t have dinner that day and he’s not a chappie to miss his victuals.

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The interiors are subtle and tastefully done. Copper, gold, eggshell and marbled paneling make for a muted palette which allows the food to stay centre stage. The seating is thoughtfully spaced out so you’re not cheek by jowl with the next table and are spared of their conversation intruding yours.

When you enter, they have a really snazzy ritual of putting an aromatic smoke thingie on your table to perfume the immediate area and whet your appetite. I was gobsmacked by the gorgeous show plates. They were immediately removed to make way for more practical plates for the actual messy task of eating, but they pleased me enough, given I’ve long decried the terrible trend of slates, blocks of wood, aluminium and tin plates and more.

I loved the showmanship at Tresind. They made presentation and experience part of the experience, smoothly and surely, but most importantly, they didn’t let it overshadow the flavour and taste of the dishes. Mixology, molecular gastronomy and fusion were the core drivers of the experience.

I am no food blogger, so forgive me the lack of detail. My mocktail came in a long container which had dry ice put into it, with a whole slew of infinite stuff which overwhelmed me and I finally dared taste it when it cooled down. Lava Lamp they called it. Most delicious. The offspring had a custard based mocktail which came in a boat like contraption, which I forgave it because it was so smooth.

For the starters, I had lettuce rolls with prawns and the offspring settled for Tandoori Lamb Chops with Rosemary reduction served with ghee roast potatoes. The main course was Kosha Mangsho with green peas kachori for him, and Chicken Sukka with Neer Dosa for me. Edible petals added colour and texture to the dishes. The star dish of the day though was their khichdi which elevates the humble dish to a ritual with ingredients from across the states of India being added to it, while it is still on the brazier on the table. The chef explains the raison d’etre behind making a performance of a humble dish, which to be honest, is considered comfort food in most homes across the country and not really something you would associate with fine dining.

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Desert was Pina Colada, which is coconut rosogulla, lemongrass espuma, and pineapple sorbet, which the offspring and I ended up sharing because we were stuffed to the gills. The copra shavings on the dish added flavour, texture and nostalgia, growing up as one has in Mumbai with these part of pancakes and curries.

We emerging blinking into the late afternoon, sated yet not overfull, perhaps a mark of how light the food was. Do I recommend it? Highly. I found that the experience, the presentation and the knowledge the staff had about the dishes and the purpose and idea behind them was wonderful. Well worth a visit. Or two.

 

 

Magical Women. Stories edited by Sukanya Venkatraghavan

Of Books and Reading

Magical Women Title: Magical Women
Stories edited by Sukanya Venkatraghavan
Publisher: Hachette India
ISBN: 978-9388322027
Genre: Fantasy, Magic
Pages: 232
Source: Publisher
Rating: 4 stars

An anthology isn’t easy to edit. There are varied voices – each with their own agenda, writing style, and each writer that adds wonderfully to the collection. Sukanya Venkatraghavan, author of Magical Women has done a wonderful job of the anthology of 14 Indian women writers writing fantasy and all things magical in the aptly titled, “Magical Women”.

All these stories may seem similar at some level, and probably they are – most of them reflect on Indian magical creatures and stick to making them relevant for our time and age. What is also wonderful is how the “feminist angle” is subtle, but strong. It doesn’t shout out from the rooftop, but it is there – in your face, making you aware of how you read some…

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When the #MagicalWomen coven gathers

Nirav Mehta of the Broke Bibliophiles kindly invited the authors and editor of the Magical Women anthology to a book reading at their May meet at Social, Khar this Sunday morning. Much fun was had and here are a few pics to prove it. Apart from yours truly, there was the editor and witch in chief, Sukanya Venkatraghavan, Sejal Mehta, Nikita Deshpande, Tashan Mehta and Ruchika Roy, all of whom had a story in the book, and in attendance, Vivek Tejuja, Ishmeet Nagpal, Chandni Parekh and many more.

We all read from our stories and discussed the stories, the process, speculative and fantasy fiction in India and more. And yes, if you haven’t ordered your copy yet, here is the link.