There are a few restaurants, which you’ve heard about so much but for some reason have not been able to visit for a meal. NRI – Not Really Indian located in Bandra Kurla Complex is one such restaurant in my long list. NRI is the brainchild of Michelin Star Chef Atul Kochhar, which harmonises Indian food & a global palate. With a great influence from his International journey, Chef Atul adds unique twists to some traditional Indian, International dishes to create rare combination of flavours.
I had the privilege to visit the restaurant for a Sunday Brunch, thanks to FBAI – Food Bloggers Association Of India. With the rains being kind in instalments, I reached the venue without getting drenched. Big wooden doors welcome you to a world of confluence of décor. The lights catch my attention 🙂
A cart with Bharni’s storing Parle G biscuits, kiss me toffee, etc – mental note made to pick few on my way out. Once seated I notice the Dhoodh Can lights which were quirky at the best.
The Sunday Brunch menu is laid on the table tucked in an exam pad. I ditched the drinks & went straight to the soup.
Curry Mee Soup
A coconut milk based Thai soup with glass noodles, cherry tomatoes & sprouts. With mild flavours, this soup set the mood for the brunch. I would have been happier without the sprouts though.
Miso Shiru – Fermented Soya Bean Broth, Wakame & Silken Tofu
Not for me. I just couldn’t go beyond my 1st spoon. There was a distinct taste – not sure if it was the Soya Bean or the Wakame – a seaweed – which put me off immediately. But others on the table liked it. So no harm in trying.
Salad’s were served next.
Bulgur & Cucumber Salad – Cold Salad of Bulgur, Cucumber & Coconut
Finely diced cucumbers, mixed with bulgur in a mustard ka tadka dressed with fresh grated coconut. The closest resemblance is of a koshimbir. No added flavours, with basic seasoning this was plain, simple & likeable.
Laphet Thoke – Burmese Pickled Green Tea Salad
The name literally translates to Green Tea Salad. Shredded cabbage, diced onions, sprouts, etc form the base but Pine Nuts were prominent. The green tea used is pickled & sits on top of the salad. Fresh – yes but I didn’t quite like the flavours of this salad.
Zucchini Tiradito – Grilled Zucchini, Botiga Olive Mayonnaise, Crunchy Quinoa & Goat Cheese
This was my favourite part of the whole meal. An absolute amazing creation. Looked super pretty & was an explosion of flavours & textures. Thinly sliced zucchini formed the base of the salad. Chopped onions, tomato seasoned with salt & pepper topped the zucchini. The crunchy quinoa along with botiga olive mayonnaise, goat cheese & micro greens for the top layer. Mild sweetness from the tomatoes, tanginess for the cheese, creamy mayonnaise & super crunchy quinoa – An outright burst of flavour’s & textures. A MUST HAVE here!!!
Mexican Caesar Salad – Mexican Caesar Dressing, Iceberg Lettuce & Croutons
Caesar salad with a Mexican twist. Crunchy lettuce & croutons add a great texture to the salad. Nothing to brag about but a good salad. Once the salad’s were done which were absolutely healthy, it was time for starters loaded in butter, cheese, etc.
Malay Butter Mushroom – Button Mushrooms, Kresik & Kecap Manis
Mushrooms are one of my favourites & I was glad to see it on the menu. Button mushrooms cooked in butter, curry leaves, onions & flavoured with kecap manis – Indonesian sweet soy sauce which resembles maple syrup. With coconut flakes sprinkled on it, these were amazing. Juicy, loaded with butter these mushroom was very similar to south indian style preparation. My fav appetizer from the menu.
Pind Da Hummus – Lentil Fritters & Spiced Chickpea Puree
Hummus is liked & enjoyed by almost everyone. I expected this Hummus to have Punjabi masala kick served with some toasted pita bread. What was served was completely different. Dal Wada’s on a bed of creamy hummus. The fritter’s appearance & taste was similar to a south indian masala dal vada & the creamy hummus had a touch of Punjabi masala. Overall this combination was unique & even loved by the non-vegetarians on the table.
Papas Ala Huancaina – Peruvian Potatoes Braised in Traditional Creamy Huancaine
Had already eaten a similar Peruvian potato dish in the past, I knew what to expect. Thick discs of boiled potatoes in a spicy, creamy, cheesy sauce topped with black olives. Few bites & the bowl was absolutely clean 🙂
With the rains lashing against the glass walls of the restaurant, the greens outside were absolutely vibrant. The quirky yet elegant décor along with comfortable seating was making our meal a perfect way to spend the Sunday afternoon.
Stuffed with salads & starters, we now moved to the main course –
Paneer Tikka Masala – Spicy British Curry, Mango Chutney, Poppadums
Traditional creamy panner tikka masala paired with tandoori roti. I loved the spice level being a little high but the softness of the paneer was disappointing. It was tough & chewy.
Vegetable Mitori – An East African Curry Plantain
originally this dish made with beef but the team at NRI has made a vegetarian version of the same using vegetable & topped with plantain (raw banana) chips similar to Salli’s. With a hint of coconut milk & masala’s, these curry felt very close to home.
We decided to try 2 desserts from the menu –
Enamorado – Baked Chocolate Mousse with Pisco, Coffee & Dark Chocolate
Topped with a butter cookie crumbs, the mousse is absolutely smooth in texture. Dark Chocolate, Pisco – a brandy & coffee – all three flavours can be tasted & thoroughly enjoyed.
Saffron Phirni – Rice Pudding Flavoured with Saffron
Mildly sweet with a touch of saffron, this phirni is served in a cutting chai cup. Nice.
The Sunday Brunch at NRI was a unique experience. It doesn’t have a massive spread like many other places that leaves you confused but has enough variety to choose from. The highlight for me was the cuisine – except for 1-2 preparations, I have not tasted this kinda food anywhere else yet. The fusion of Indian & International cuisine is the highlight. The staff is well informed & courteous. Priced at par with other restaurants, NRI will be one of top choices for Brunch over others. Wish to thank the FBAI team & the NRI team for hosting us.
Food Only – Rs 1300/- + Taxes
Food + Non-Alcoholic Beverages – Rs 1550/- + Taxes
Food + Alcoholic Beverages – Rs 2000/- + Taxes