Restaurant review; Flavour Diaries, Bandra, Mumbai

A Scrumptious Seven-Course Meal

Bandra’s popular celebrity cooking spot – Flavour Diaries needs no introduction. Known for its luxury food affairs, Flavour Diaries hosted an interesting food event organized by The Good Food Lab last weekend. I had the opportunity to try the scrumptious 7-course Japanese and Korean menu by Chef Shraddha Dodia and Chef Lakham Bhonsle.

The food and wine pairing looked good. We started our lavish 7 course meal with the York Sparkling Cuvee Brut NV served with Cold Peanut Noodles. My first dish on the menu and I was already in love with the place, food and people around. The wine went perfectly well with the noodles tossed in peanut butter. It was rich in flavour and just one bite was enough to fall in love with the dish.>

Cold Peanut Noodles

Next, I tried the Sushi Kimbap. A traditional Korean dish, Kimbap is a play on Sushi where the fish is replaced with meat or veggies. I chose the veg option and it was a real delight. Sushi Kimbaps are nothing but Sushi rolls and whoever said, “Sushi can never be veg,” definitely never tried this one before. Wrapped and steamed so well with such versatile filling, this dish was an absolute winner.

Sushi Kimbap

The third dish on the menu was Pho and Fried – a combination of Vietnamese style pho rolls and fried rolls. The pho roll was steamed and filled with veggies and some light sauces. It was such a treat to my palate, where as, the fried roll was a bit too oily and nothing extra ordinary. If I ever have to order, I would rather go with pho rolls instead of the fried.

Pho and Fried

Up next, was Kimchi Gimbap paired with York Chenin Blanc. Anything crispy and cheesy is what we call comfort food. Wraped in a kind of leaf and deep fried, Kimchi Gimbap looked like the tastiest of all dishes tried so far with the right glaze and generous amount of filling in it. But sadly, it wasn’t as good as it looked. It was extremely cheesy, dry and definitely not something that vegetarians would like to eat. I could smell and taste seaweed in it but thank god for the good wine that saved my taste buds. If you enjoy the fruity, aromatic wines, you must try the York Chenin Blanc.

Kimchi Gimbap

It was now time to try the Pear Gazpacho, interestingly with Asian flavours. One bite and I was disappointed, as it was a bit salty and tasted slightly bitter. Also, I thought this is something that I could start my 7 course meal with. Being served as the 5th dish wasn’t really a great idea. Gazpacho for most of us is cold soup with blended veggies but this one was gazpacho with a twist, with a pear. I loved the concept but wish it had the right amount of salt to balance out the taste.

Pear Gazpacho

Next came the main dish – Dodo Ramen. This was a typical Japanese meal served in a bowl with ramen, soft boiled egg and lots of soup. Wondering what Dodo is? Well, it’s a seafood treat but since I opted for the vegetarian meal, the name wasn’t apt for what I tried. It tasted good though. It was soupy and light with mild flavours. If you love Ramen, this dish will let you indulge your love for Ramen.
Dodo Ramen

One final main dish on the table at last was the Coconut Chilli Fried Rice. I’d never heard of this before and found the concept really cool. It looked like an average dish but it was the second best on the menu, after the cold peanut noodles. This was a dish in itself – flavourful with the creaminess of coconut and a hint of chilli. To go with it was my favourite, refreshing Rose. It was the York Rose with fruity notes of red berries that’s went really well with the dish.

Coconut Chilli Fried Rice

I finally came to the end of the feast with the dessert – Deconstructed Matcha White Chocolate Gateau. My experience with matcha had always been bad but this time, the dessert made me drool. I not only loved the presentation but also the taste. The dessert had the following main elements: matcha sponge, white chocolate ganache, matcha white chocolate mousse with salted caramel ice cream, sable cookie, matcha jelly, meringue, caramel sauce and vanilla sauce.

Deconstructed Matcha White Chocolate Gateau

Word of advice: You will need a good nap when you’re through with it. So the next time you want to enjoy a 7 course meal, make sure you plan this over lunch and then get a good nap. That’s what weekends are for after all!

Credit: Vipasha Pillai

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