Valentine's day is the day when people go all googly eyed over one another and try to show the measure of their affections through any means possible.
An oft used tactic in this is to take the better half out for an expensive dinner. In one swoop it shows that your willing to spend take out time for them as well as aren't afraid to drop a pretty penny for their happiness. This has led to most Restaurants having special Valentine's day menus and doing up decor especially to make the evening even more memorable.
Along the themes of this I was invited to a pre-Valentine's dinner hosted by LeMangii at their Kamla Mills property.
The ambiance they are trying to create is at the same time warm and open but with a warmth that makes it seem like the place has been a mainstay for a while. In pulling this off they succeed splendidly.
The space has high ceilings with an opaque canopy over head. Immediately reminds me of the Caesar's Palace shopping promenade in Las Vegas. There are mood lights which bounce off the canopy and give an amazing sense of warmth to the place. This cosy feeling is expounded further when one see's the booths that they have made on both sides of the central bar. Perfect for a day out with the group to just chill. The bar occupies a central location with innovative swiveling bar seats. All this coupled with bricks lining the wall lends a lot of character to the space.
Moving on to the event it self. It started out with a general round of socializing among everyone present there and a quirky game of make a Cheesy pick up line with the words Pizza, Pasta and Cheese thrown in. Suffice to say I am terrible at these kind of activities and didn't win a prize for my effort.
The bar was preparing a delicious set of Sangria's and I decided to opt for the Red Wine one, with the better half opting for a White Wine Sangria as her choice for the night. I'm an absolute amateur at wines and actually booze overall when it comes to judging it. So while the Sangria was nice and the flavor of the pieces of Apple comes through nicely how much mileage you will get from it is anyone's guess
The appetizers were a continuous stream of small bites which came at us, so lets get to them one by one:
The Potato Gnocchi with Pesto and a Cherry tomato on top was nice and flavorful with the dish having to be gulped down in one bite to appreciate the way the flavors went together. The gnocchi was a bit heavy for my taste but others seemed to love it so possibly just bad luck.
The Assorted Bruschetta platter consisted off Chopped Tomatoes with brie, Mushroom Pate and Olive Tapenade on toasted Bread. Flavours across all three were really good with my personal favorite being the Mushroom Pate, then the Olive Tapenade and lastly the Tomato with Brie. This was so close to call I feel bad rating these like this, but I wanted to give you an idea of which one I might order when I visit again.
While the above dishes were great appetizers, there was one however which fell in the strictly okay territory, which was the mini Falafels on a stick. A tad oily and without any really distinctive flavor these were just a bit boring to be honest.
In addition to the above dishes was one which didn't appeal to me at all. A Eggplant Carpaccio with grilled haloumi with Beetroot. Now while I'm usually pretty open to moving outside my comfort zone this unfortunately didn't work at all.
Now one usually has Pizza's as part of their Main Course's but there was a constant stream of them from the kitchen right from the start. Now I love pizza's so this delighted me to no end. What delighted me even further was the quality of the pizzas. With a crunchy outside crust yet Neapolitan-ishly limp in the center they were a delight. Both the Mixed Veg as well as the Mushroom with Spinach ones were flavorful and worth a multiple helpings. I must point out though that the sundried tomatoes were too tough and not palatable in the mixed veg one. We quickly flicked those away and were happy campers.
The Appetizers were followed by a Stand Up comedy routine which was a fun way to break the ice for everyone.
Following that we were served the Special Valentine's day menu and were requested to order for the Main Course. As you can see there were only two vegetarian options so both were requested for.
The Zucchini Pappardelle in Truffle Sauce with Olives and herbs Pistou was the first to arrive on our table. Disappointing to say the least. Now I have never eaten a Pappardelle before but I've cooked my fair share of Pasta and related dishes. The Zucchini seemed a tad under cooked with the sauce lacking any flavour or oomph to balance out the already subtle flavor of the zucchini. It even seemed that the seasoning was off and there was almost no salt in the dish.
The second main course to arrive was the Saffron Risotto and it was absolutely delightful. Subtly flavored with the rice having a great amount of bite and the cheesiness carrying itself well onto the palate, I would have licked the plate if I could have.
The portions of the Main Course were definitely on the smaller side and I hope that was only as this was a special event. On a regular evening out even 3 courses would have only barely satiated us.
In the midst of all this I got to interact with the executive chef of the group, who informed me that the chef at the Kamla Mills outlet was Chef Ajay who would be extremely accomodating for requests of Jain food. Among the items you can order from a Jain perspective there are Pizza's (For which they will prepare a special sauce), pasta's and risottos too. Do note he mentioned specifically to ask for the chef to come to the table not just pass on the note to the captain.
Overall with a great vibe this dinner was a complete success with mostly hits in terms of the food on offer. Sadly we had to leave before the deserts were served.
I do wish to revisit the space for a proper review in the coming months to give you a better idea of whats on offer.
This review was conducted at a event organized by the FBAI and the restaurant.
PHONE:022 66375050 ADDRESS: C Wing, Trade World, Kamala City, Senapati Bapat Marg, Lower Parel, Mumbai