We are a gourmand couple who love to discover new places and eat our hearts out. Follow us for a guilt trip along the food road.
The modernity of yesterday is the tradition of today, and the modernity of today will be the tradition of tomorrow. Mumbai’s food culture is colourful and diverse with new places and cuisines flourishing every day. But what counts is the perseverance to keep up with the rest and still be amongst the best. The 25+ year young Peninsula Restaurant proves that success is the sum of small efforts, repeated day in and day out.
We were called for a special dining experience to Peninsula and taste their array of cuisines. Being from around the same area, one of us had been to this place quite a number of times. Little did we recognise the amount of hard work and dedication that has been put to still be the preferred restaurant for a number of families.
So here are the details of our fine dining experience at one of the landmarks located in Sion.
Starting off with every meals kindest course. We were served the Chef’s Specials ‘Veg & Chicken Thai Soup’. Just the way everyone loves their soup. Mild and flavourful, and not loaded with pieces of veggies or meat. The Veg Thai soup had a very distinct flavour of lemongrass, coconut milk and some mixed herbs which just took it to the next level. The broth had the right creamy consistency .The Chicken Thai Soup was more on the tangier side. The melange of the shredded chicken bits with the spicy soup activated our taste buds. We just loved the start of our glorious meal.
While we were waiting for our entrées to be served we ordered some mocktails. The house speciality – ‘Peninsula Special’ & ‘Mint rock salt’. To be honest we found the Peninsula special to be too creamy and sweet. But the Mint Rock Salt just stole the show.
As suggested and pre decided we wanted to have a taste of every cuisine in the menu. So we started off with the ‘Vegetarian Dimsums’. A hearty blend of veggies finely shredded and spiced to perfection. The dimsums were at a perfect temperature that we could just dunk them in the spicy schezwan sauce and pop them into our mouths. The ‘Chicken Dimsums’ were again moist and the filling just melted in the mouths. Since we had to do justice to the rest of the course, we had decided just to sample the items served that evening, but the dimsums were so addictive that we ended up polishing the plate.
Next it was time to have the Veg Kebab Platter which comprised an assortment of char grilled and pan seared kebabs. Few as per our likings and a few of the chef’s specials.
‘Corn Makhmali’ – Ideally makhmali, as the name suggests is expected to have a smooth texture and melt in the mouth kinds. But this didn’t quiet live up to its name. A bit too dry and the rubbery in texture and not up to the mark
‘Paneer Lahori Tikka’ was a white yogurt marinade preparation, with a balanced taste, not too spicy but went very well with the green mint chutney. The large chunks of paneer were soft and fresh and an absolute delight to our taste buds.
‘Tandoori Gobi’ was the clear winner in the veg platter. Big florets of cauliflower well marinated in the red spicy paste and char grilled to perfection. The spice quotient was high but was just too perfect to be true. Felt like this was one item in the platter which could just be had with soft roomali rotis and some salad. We just loved it.
‘Arbi ke Kabab’ was the chef’s innovation and something which very few restaurants around Mumbai can boast of having in their menu. Small chunks of Colocasia roots marinated with subtle spices and char grilled till the right crunch was achieved. It didn’t have the slimy feel to it but worked as a relief to the tongue post the spicy cauliflower.
The non-vegetarian kebabs platter had some very interesting elements in it. And the best part about them was the innovative names given to each of them. They were self-explanatory with regards to either the ingredients used or the way of preparation.
‘Sangam Kebab’, just like the name explains is an amalgamation of minced mutton with a host of ground spices on the outside and succulent and creamy chicken in the centre. Both the elements blended perfectly and was a great combination.
The next variant was the ‘Madira Chicken’. Chunks of soft chicken marinated in rum and char grilled. The combination of the rum marinated chicken and the ground spices used to prepare the same was way too perfect.
‘Mahi Kasturi’ was a definite show stealer in the platter. The soft boneless Basa was well quoted and marinated with abundant fenugreek and yogurt. This wasn’t char grilled but pan fried. Crispy, tender and juicy. This was the clear winner of the evening.
It would be absolutely unfair on our part if we didn’t vote the ‘Kalmi Saffron’ as a joint winner with the Mahi Kasturi. A tinge of the flavouring from the saffron, and the unique spice amalgamation was rich and we enjoyed it even better after every bite.
We were done, but not quiet done. All set and ready for the main course
Being an Eggitarian, one of us always fascinated of how a Mutton Rogan Josh tastes like. The manager agreed to do the same gravy with eggs instead. And the fascination and inquisitiveness was put to rest and the chef rustled up the best ever ‘Egg Rogan Josh’ which was the perfect combination to the crispy butter rotis.
For the non-vegetarian side we ordered the ‘Mutton Rogan josh’. Very little needs to be said about this divine creation of spicy, saucy, rich gravy, which was attractive to look and tasted heavenly. A little more spice, as a Rogan josh usually is, would have made this dish taste even better, but on the whole we were impressed.
We also had the ‘Egg Biryani’ which was the usual long grained basmati rice cooked to perfection with an extremely well spiced curried egg. The cool creamy raita was the perfect accompaniment to this steaming biryani
We were happily high on all the food devoured that we didn’t actually need desserts. But as the quote reads “There’s always room for dessert”. We opted for the ‘Caramel Custard’. A light, not too sweet dessert came with the right textures and simple cherry garnish. Though it wasn’t the best custard ever, it was sure a gentle relief after the roller coaster of a ride our palate had witnessed that entire evening.
Food in the end, in our own tradition, is something Holy. It’s not always about nutrients and calories. It’s about Sharing. It’s about Honesty. It’s about Identity. Peninsula with years of experience makes sure that it justifies these age old traditions of Honestly Sharing and maintaining its Identity.
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