Ever since I have truly understood “food”, I have always maintained that Indian cuisine is one of the, (if not the), most underrated cuisine in the world. The tragedy of it all is that, Indians themselves aren’t appreciative enough of their roots unless and until the west starts to do so.But now, after my extraordinary experience with Verandah 11, I am extremely hopeful that this will change.
Verandah 11 is a very new restaurant opened in the tiny by lanes of the Fort area in Mumbai. Though vegetarian, this place boasts of doing some “real progressive” Indian food. The only issue that I have had about “progressive food” is that somewhere, in the pursuit of theatre and swank in the food, the flavors in that food go for a toss. But what Verandah 11 does is something I have hardly seen any place in the city do. Not only does it caters to the swank requirements of the “modernists”, but it does so while maintaining the flavors and roots of the dish.
The interiors of Verandah 11 are done extremely aesthetically and they instantly manage to cheer you up. Beautifully lit, this place looks inviting from the outside and comforting on the inside.
Verandah 11 has a pretty big list of some great mocktails and each one that I tried had its own, brilliant and individualistic flavors. My favourite has to be the refreshing Basil Martini which is cooling and refreshing and is a great way to began and supplement your meal with!
Before going to this place I managed to read some great reviews about it and one thing that everyone recommended was the Roasted Pumpkin and Garlic Soup. It was after I tried it that I knew why. The brilliant and comforting flavors of this soup are a remedy to every problem in the world! 😛 The combination of that subtle roasted pumpkin and the garlic go absolutely amazing together.
The Palak Patta Chaat is an absolutely must have salad. The crispy fried palak is a perfect accompaniment to the lucious sweet potatoes and together, they absolutely taste like a dream!
Out of the numerous appetisers I tried, there is no one dish that I didn’t like. Each dish was absolutely amazing and though I preferred some over the others, it in no way can question the deliciousness of that dish.
My personal favourite appetiser was the Honey Pumpkin Khulcha with Garlic Dip where the gorgeous khulcha is marinated with honey and crispy pumpkin seeds and is served with a subtle yet delicious garlic dip.
The Broccoli Cheese Kebab is an absolute ode to the brilliance of a vegetable that Broccoli is.
The Gujarati Kadhi Arancini is a brilliant adaptation of the original Italian classic and a delicious one at that!
The Hariyali Pav Bhaji is a delicious treat for all the Pav Bhaji lovers out there and their green coloured Bhaji is sure t drive your blues away :P.
The Ruzali Cottage Cheese is a paneer kebab stuffed with some ginger, cheese and bell peppers and though it is quite a heavy dish, its ideal for the “extra cheese do na bhaiya” type people! 😛
Now, for me and most of the people out there, “the best Dal Makhni” is associated with ITC Dal Bukhara right? That changed for me cos the Dal Makhni served at Verandah 11 was truly the best I have ever had! I can absolutely eat this Dal along with their stuffed khulcha all day everyday! 😛
The Methi Malai Corn Sauce with Khandvi Feta and the Paneer Corn Palak were capable of putting you to bed even after a dozen red bulls! So bloody good!
The Sambar Risotto which is the invention of the owners wife is a homely and delicious version of the regular risotto and is a brilliant one at that!
The desserts here are definitely not bad at all, in fact the Gulab Jamun Cheesecake I had was really good. But I would highly recommend that you have an extra dish from the savouries rather than going for these desserts.
All in all, Verandah 11 has managed to get me smitten with their food on my first visit itself. Not only is the food par excellent, but their service too is extremely good. There are no seconds to the fact that you absolutely must visit this place irrespective of whether you are vegetarian or non vegetarian. I for one would gladly give away my meat for a bowl of that Dal Makhni :P. Untill next time……
PS. – Since I was on a review, I wanted to try as much of their dishes I could and so, the portion size in the pictures I have put up are well bigger than what the picture depicts.