Review: The European "Restaurant Week" menu at Nido, Mumbai

I had heard a lot about Chef Vicky Ratnani’s wit and charm. I got a firsthand experience of it, at a master class, where he dished out witty anecdotes to an indulgent audience, with the same flair that he prepared his chosen recipes. So, when I heard that Nido restaurant was participating in the “Restaurant Week", I agreed to the uphill task (pun, intended) to find out, if his charm was omnipresent in the restaurant’s menu as well.  Ongoing from 6th till the 12th of September with an aim to increase consumer awareness about European dishes, ingredients and flavors in India, “Restaurant Week” is an extension of "Tastes of European" campaign conducted by European Union.

Located at Union Park and next to Olive, Nido welcomes you with glamorous and charming décor. Go past the wooden doors to step into the patio lined with plants, lit with lamps and decorated with knick-knacks. One can choose to dine in the air-conditioned indoors, which has an old world charm coupled with contemporary feel or the spacious outdoors.

My mom, a vegetarian by choice had accompanied me on my European escapade. The staff seated us comfortably and my mom remarked, “I hope there are vegetarian dishes too”. Her apprehension stemmed from her visit to Europe, where she had come across limited vegetarian choices. We scanned the menu and were delighted as there was a good balance of both, vegetarian and non-vegetarian choices.

The Restaurant Week Menu at Nido 

We chatted with the Chef about the special menu and he explained it while highlighting the importance Nido places on freshness of the ingredients used.  I was delighted to know that the dishes on the menu also showcase molecular gastronomy or modern cuisine, as some prefer to call it.  We started with amuse made with zucchini, basil snow & sun dried tomato coulis, served beautifully. An amuse means a single, bite-sized hors d'oeuvre. We loved the flavors of basil snow- basil in its milder and subtle peppery form.

The Elegantly Served Amuse 

For appetizers, we tried hummus served with flatbread, topped with whole chickpeas and onion slivers - nice, Watermelon and Feta cheese salad and sautéed prawns. The salad made with fresh watermelon, soft feta and topped with micro greens and edible flowers was delectable and presentation, outstanding. Would have happily had more of it. The highlight was addition of liquid olive spheres. The third appetizer- Fresh juicy prawns tossed in bravas sauce (red sauce made with tomatoes) came served beautifully and was gobbled in no time, I do have a weakness for seafood. I also tried the Passion fruit smoothie; a tad too icy for my taste and my mom sampled the melon ice tea. The ice tea was a better choice. Delicate melon flavor mingled with the crisp tea in icy coolness, a respite to parched throats.

Hummus Flatbread

The Delish Watermelon Salad

Prawns, No one can have just one. 

A palate cleanser was served to ensure we enjoy the main course flavors. Nice. The main course comprising of Rigatoni with Amaranth and spinach (a nice healthy dish), chicken escalope with sautéed vegetables and served with a sauce made with basil, garlic and chili- the chicken was tender and very the sauce flavorful. The third dish, butter-poached fish- Indian salmon was served on a bed of beet and rocket hash along with charred beans and broccoli. The fish was fresh and flaky and I loved the perfectly charred vegetables. 

The desserts- carrot cake served with pistachio coulis, chocolate hazelnut tart, served with yummy chocolate ice cream and passion fruit curd and mix berry gateaux were delish, but I loved the gateaux the most. 

The Chocolate Hazelnut Tart

The Passion Fruit Gateaux 
Wicked Spoon Confessions:

We saw beautiful presentation in all the dishes served and innovative use of micro greens and edible flowers. The portion size was good.  The staff is attentive and has good knowledge of the menu. The desserts are a must have. On the downside, Nido is an expensive place. Initiatives like the “Restaurant Week” are good ways of sampling the dishes and choosing a few favorites if one wants to revisit.