Rubina A Khan reviews Rivers To Oceans, Mumbai: “this is where gluttony, life’s deadliest sin takes over, leading to a satiated, sloth-like state after.”
Rivers To Oceans has an ascendant culinary vibe, with a masterful array of world cuisine that allows for a sensational tasting and an ala-carte menu, whatever strikes your food game. Getting into the fruits of the sea, exotically crafted on to your plate by Chef Varun Kinger is ripping fun here. From Mexican corn quesadillas to the old American staple, Mac and Cheese to a Levantine and Greek vegetable moussaka, to a delicious Italian style Asparagus Arancini and a Scallop Carpaccio made from freshly flown-in scallops from Hokkaido in Japan to a delectable Indian Soft Shell Malabar Crab Curry with Chinese Mantou Bread and Prawns in Traditional Chilli with Tibetan Tingmo Bread to Russian caviar to an exciting banana leaf-wrapped Seabass Otak Otak in shrimp and kafir lime mousse – the menu is as expansive as it is imaginative, with Indian flavours dominating the globally inspired creations – a sort of culinary deviance at its best.
The presentation of the amuse bouche, a Yuzu-flavoured caviar was a refreshing introduction to an indulgent culinary night ahead as was the marvellous Blue O cocktail served in a glass fish. The Hamachi Tuna was brilliant as was the Atlantic Salmon Ceviche, the Scallop Carpaccio, the Tuna Tataki and the Asparagus Arancini. The Soft Shell Malabar Crab Curry was flavourful and addictive with the deep-fried Chinese Mantou bread. You couldn’t stop dipping into the curry! The Duck Parpadelle was not what I expected it be, having being told that the duck was flown in from Beijing. It was a waste of a duck as the cherry tomatoes and the parpadelle pasta overload just didn’t cut it. The Italian and Chinese amalgamation was completely off in this “pulled duck” preparation. I just don’t get this whole “pulled duck” movement in Indian kitchens but then again, I’m no masterchef.
I loved the Salmon and Tuna Poke Bowl with Edamame, the taste of which was exceptional and I relished every bite. The Black Truffle Ice-cream was divine, with just the right balance of truffle and ice-cream, wherein neither ingredient overpowered the senses. Every spoonful culminated into bursts of happiness in your mouth; sweet heaven indeed. The Dessert Island was a fun experience and the Lemon Tart was as good a tart could, and should be. Rivers To Oceans is where gluttony, life’s deadliest sin takes over, leading to a satiated, sloth-like state after.
The Tiger Prawn Thermidor, a classic French delicacy, comprising a creamy blend of cooked prawn and yolks was better than most places in India that just prefix a boring dish with the word thermidor to fancy it up without understanding what it really is. Thermidor was the eleventh month in the French Republican Calendar and the month was named after the French word ‘thermal’ which came from the Greek word ‘thermos’ which means heat. Thermidor was the second month of the summer quarter (mois d’été) that started on July 19 or 20. The New England Lobster Roll was a great attempt and I enjoyed it, but it’s just not the same outside of New England. Could it be the American breads? Oh, those Maine lobsters!
Zorawar Kalra’s got another winner on his plate and why ever not. He is the son of the prodigious columnist and food enthusiast, Jiggs Kalra. Rivers To Oceans in the first outpost of Kalra’s Massive Restaurants that I dined at and I am ever so glad I did. It was a wonderful experience – right from the food, to the managerial service and the interaction with the chef. My grandfather loved reading Jiggs Kalra’s Sunday columns and here I am, writing about his son, Zorawar, who seems to be on an evolutionary culinary expansion that India is rather proud of.
When I go back to Rivers To Oceans, The Blue O cocktail, the Salmon Tuna Edamame Poke Bowl, the Soft Shell Malabar Crab Curry with Mantou Bread, the Atlantic Salmon Ceviche and the Black Truffle Ice-cream will definitely be on my table, amidst a decadent session of just caviar. And perhaps the champagne too (which was not missed at all in this glut-fest) given it is India’s first champagne and caviar bar!
Rivers To Oceans is open everyday from 12PM – 3PM | 7PM- 1.30AM
462, Senapati Bapat Marg,
Lower Parel, Mumbai 400013 India
+91 97654 93216 Rivers To Oceans