Inside the busy Kamala Mills complex of Lower Parel, THEORY is South Bombay’s newest fancy restaurant impressing connoisseurs since its launch in December 2016.
A vivid yellow neon board marks the entrance of this elegant establishment that has its interiors decked in sophisticated tones of charcoal. Vintage vibes, modern furniture, dim-lit rooms and the best music of the Retro age, sums up THEORY.
The warm-setting is split, between a bar and a restaurant. Owned by Mikhail Pinto and Aakash Sheth, THEORY serves exceptionally-delicious European cuisine alongside a fascinating menu of herbal cocktails. This downtown lounge bar is a retreat of its kind. Relaxing and pampering!
My tryst with THEORY happened over a sampling invite, extended by Aakash Sheth, the founder of this establishment. We started with tasting some of the signature cocktails from the bar menu, and the ones infused with herbs turned out to be my personal favourites. The Gin and the fermented Whiskies are a must-try. The whole drinking experience at THEORY made me fall in love with the art of ‘molecular mixology’ where mixologists blend complementing ingredients to create lovely concoctails.
The Gin cocktail tasted somewhat like a Dutch Jenever, and it was mostly-because the herbs gave it an intense character. This one came decorated with fresh thyme, citrus peel twists and star anise. A repeat will teleport you to the land of Scotts from where this botanical brisk is making its way back in the market with a dovetail.
Embracing The Small Plates
Alongside fantastic cocktails, I embraced the small-plate culture at THEORY; comprising of Truffle-scented Wild Mushroom and Chicken soup, Moroccan Pumpkin, and Quinoa salad served with crunchy Kale leaves, roasted buckwheat, pomegranate, beetroot and chilly lime vinaigrette. (This protein-rich salad is perfect for those on a Select diet!)
However, despite being on a diet, you can barely say no to THEORY’s Bovine Carpaccio, a refined masterpiece starring basil marinated tenderloins. Basted with arugula, gherkins, capers, shaved parmesan, Maldon salt and balsamic vinaigrette, the tenderloin is tender, to a point, that it curls up to the fork upon gentle touch. Amongst other tastings were the Yam Gnocchi, Smoked Zucchini and Almond Tortellinis. Accentuated with roasted crispy Kale and sesame seeds, the Yam Gnocchi was one of the best pasta I have tasted in Mumbai. I think one of the reasons why it tasted so good was because Sous Chef Jagdish drizzled honey-balsamic salad dressing on the Gnocchi right before we dig in.
The small Italian rings of smoked Zucchini and Almond Tortellini were finished, with toasty almonds in a blue cheese dressing. Japanese Tuna Tartare was another delight worth indulging. This impressive, chilled and saucy gourmet speciality is ladled out with fresh cubes of bluefin tuna, guacamole, sesame seeds and a drizzle of ponzu dressing.
Big Plates For Mates
The Big plate menu at Theory is a celebration of many unique dishes. Be it Tuscan Goat Cheese Fegatini stuffed with chicken liver pate, dried cranberries, figs and walnuts, and served with sage butter foam, or the Beetroot Risotto infused with arugula, pine and crumbled goat cheese. Each delicious in its glory! Although my tasting did not stop at these two – it went on with Saffron Fettuccine, a scrumptiously divine-pasta cooked in a creamy sauce and Braised Australian Lamb Shank.
Saffron Fettuccine was plated with roasted bell pepper, baby aubergine, asparagus, sun-dried tomatoes, kalamata olives and bocconcini cheese. Wherein, the spicy Braised Australian Lamb Shank, slow-cooked in gremolata and rosemary Jus was served with its ‘original’ curry. My Big Plate tour concluded with delving into the piquant flavours of the Smoked Chilean Sea Bass with a serving of cauliflower puree, bok choy, poached egg and mornay sauce.
A Date With The Desserts
Desserts can be quite a lavish affair at this downtown European lounge bar in South Mumbai. Not only do you get spoilt to some of the best European desserts but also a wonderful ambience. My dessert journey began with French Chocolate Cremeux, a deliciously-creamy chocolate pudding with a creative twist. Served with chocolate crumble, this Cremeux is the creamiest hazelnut mousse I have tasted so far. When I asked the chef to delve into the secret of its making, he responded with a smile, “just the light mass and a little finesse.”
Well, the finesse sure continued to be an essential element throughout, be it the Cremeux or the deconstructed Passionfruit and caramelised popcorn Mousse. The deconstructed Passionfruit and caramelised popcorn Mousse is composed of gooey raspberry jelly, passion fruit curd, cocoa nibs, cocoa tuile and coconut ice cream.
The desserts concluded a phenomenal dinner outing at THEORY, and I can’t wait to revisit with friends and connoisseurs alike.