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.
Mumbai as a city has a very diverse range of cuisines and dining experiences. But when it comes to its twin neighbour which is coping up really fast in terms of Speciality eateries, Bars, Pubs and Fine Dines needed to level up a notch by taking our dining experience from Fine to Uber. And who else could’ve come up with such a niche dining concept apart from the pioneers of this industry – Serrao Hospitality. Zayna – Uber Dining; an concept dining place amidst the bustling corporate parks in Airoli – Navi Mumbai proves that even excellence can be worked upon and taken to a different level.
We were invited to a Bloggers Table arranged by our very own and favourite @Nuvofoodies. Here is our experience at this Uber Dining place.
The immaculately done up interiors quickly drew up attention. Spacious seating made sure you have your private time with family or friends. And quite to the contrary the well-lit place was far more welcoming than what was expected.
We were given a choice of Mocktails to start our Uber Dining course. ‘Pom Passion’ quickly got our attention as it was the least ordered drink. Why stick to the regulars. Right? It was indeed a good choice, Fresh Pomegranate, Passion fruit syrup, Orange Juice and Berry Juice. Bright Red in colour, with a distinct earthy taste form the Pomegranates, Full points for this.
‘Lentil Pepper Soup’ – There are soups of 2 kinds – one which is absolutely bland or rather mildly flavoured and loved by many and the other which has an extreme amalgamation or riot of flavour. The one served to us was the former. Light on the palette but creamy and flavourful in consistency. If not been informed one could keep guessing what the soup was all about. How simple lentil can be so beautifully transformed to such a bowl of great flavour.
The Non-Vegetarians had the option of ‘Murg Badami Shorba’. This sure was one of the best soups we’ve had in a while. Creamy and flavourful to every last drop. We could’ve easily gone for second servings… But then, who wants to fill-up the appetite with the kindest part of the course that’s just started.
‘Paneer Peshawari Tikka’ – There was something about the texture of the Paneer which we all loved. Even the ones who specifically dint enjoy paneer fell in love with this delight. Soft pieces of mildly spiced cashews were sandwiched between the soft and succulent slices of Paneer and chargrilled to perfection. These dint have the extreme smoky flavours, such was the perfection with which it was prepared. The chef’s efforts clearly showed in this starter.
‘Kabab E Khaas’ was up next. This sure was the restaurant speciality. This was Chicken Kababs stuffed with Chicken Mince and Cheese, with a slightly spicy and tangy marinade. Everyone just loved it. The soft and tender kababs with the cheesy minced chicken was quite flavourful and made to perfection.
With the non-vegetarian fare so amazing we couldn’t wait to try the chef’s special preparation of sea food. We were served the ‘Tandoori Jhinga Basil Masala’ King Prawns with a unique marinade of Basil, Coriander and Green Chilli’s. A real blockbuster of that night. The marination was so perfect that the flavours just burst in your mouth. The texture of the prawns was the right amount of crunch with the spices perfectly spread to surprise you with every single bite.
‘Paneer Khurchan’ – Khurchan means scraping the bottom of the vessel post thickening of milk. The remains are nothing but cream of milk. The dish that was served to us was strips of Paneer in a tomato based gravy which was thickened due to the addition of cream. This curry was creamy yet wasn’t sweet. Thanks to the tomatoes which gave it the tanginess and the capsicum which gave it slight spice. Over all this gravy was a winner and we ended up having it without even the accompanying roti’s. This sure became our all-time favourites and must haves when at Zayna.
‘Buddha’s Delight’ – Just like the name suggests, the Buddha’s Delight was an absolute delight to both the vegetarians as well as the non-vegetarians. Small steamed dimsums shaped like a parcel and tied with thin leaves sat beautifully in a bed of flavourful brown garlic sauce. These parcels had some crunchy veggies packed in them. Unfortunately it was not the dimsums but the brown garlic sauce which was the highlight. Tiny chunks of garlic simmered in the Chinese sauce was ’D Delight’.
‘Veg Dimsums’ – A very typical dimsum but not typically pan Asian. There was a tinge of Indian-ness to it and we all loved it. Similar to the Buddha’s Delight this was also stuffed with crunchy vegetables and the outer layer of this steamed dimsums were so good and soft that it was a perfect balance to the crunch inside. Felt very fresh and the dips accompanying it made us crave for more and yes we did order repeats of this.
‘Exotic Hot Pot Veggies’ – A health mix of ‘Broccoli, carrots, mushrooms, bok choy, red cabbage and lots of other exotic veggies in sauce which was supposedly chefs special but with a predominant taste was of soy and ginger sauce. A complete one pot meal for all the health conscious. One can have it just like that without a rice or noodles. Such are the flavours and such is the taste.
‘Thai Herb Rice’ – No Asian meal is complete without a touch of Thai, in any form. What was served to us was the Thai Herb Rice. A beautiful red coloured rice which had flavours of the spicy Thai red curry. The rice was a little sticky and absolutely authentic.
‘Veg Thai Chin Noodles’ – This was best paired with our Exotic Hot Pot Veggies. Thin Glass Noodles stir fried with crisp vegetables. The best part of this dish was that the vegetables maintained its crunchiness and added to the taste of the noodle. Indeed another beautiful looking dish. When such dishes are presented one could keep looking, but we did end up eating too.
Food is always well appreciated and remembered even better if it is followed and ended on the sweetest note.
‘Darsaan’ – Flat noodles fried to a perfect brown and then tossed in a generous amount of honey. Warm yet crisp and topped with vanilla ice cream. The best combination of hot and cold, sticky and creamy. Though frankly this wasn’t the best we have had. Could be given a miss, and a miss for what? Yes the Kulfi Falooda Rabdi.
‘Kulfi Falooda Rabdi’- A very differently plated dessert. Unlike the usual, here it was served in a flat plate. The creamy and not too sweet, rather perfect rabdi was filled to the brim of this almost flat plate. On the top we could see small chunks of malai kulfi seated like a queen. These sat on a throne of Falooda and the crown were these tiny pink jelly which floated on top. Royal and majestic, one needs to definitely taste this to undergo the experience we did.
Today more and more people are inclined towards the overall experience of dining, and with such superior places. The evolution of food; from Taste to Experience is what drives the likes. There are very few meals in our lifetime which are perfect from start to end. From Ambience to Service to Plating to Taste. This was one such place. A great experience one can’t afford to miss.
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