On a Diwali Evening Zouk a lounge and eatery hosts a tastings for its new menu, Fratelli wines were pouring their liquids to pair with the food and we did not know we were in for a surprise considering the Zouk that we knew!
Housed in Hotel Imperial, Andheri East, Zouk is a place I associate for over a decade as a hole in the wall private party place; one actually had to pass through an Indian restaurant to enter Zouk. I still remember the #happyhigh parties with a lot of Chindian food doing rounds. When I got a call for the tasting, I was puzzled thoroughly as I had an impression of the place from my last visit, say 7 years ago. Located at a stone-throw from Andheri East station, this place now sports a huge Neon sign which one can’t miss from a distance. I entered the place which was dimly light and with a well-stock and highlighted back bar, the premium brands which were lined sure told a story. The Indian restaurant had given way to this lounge with comfortable sink-in seating with a long bar and half a dozen flat screens on the walls. I began with a very perfumed Fratelli Chardonnay to start the festivities.
The Kung-pao potatoes came first and I smiled! Then were the French fries, but they came in variants, rosemary, Cajun and parmesan crust with Harissa mayo, I had not seen such tasty avatar of frites, and Harissa was the icing. The Paneer tossed in different sauces was soft and creamy and the sauces complemented well, Char siu, a smoky take on the pork classic was the best. Their nachos were mediocre and so were the doughy and chewy mozzarella and jalapeno sticks. Till here it was a commonplace experience!
The experience started to peak from here, the ratatouille risotto was perfectly done, a little more than al—dente however. It was very wholesome with the frequent and lovely crunch of the vegetables. I don’t know why they shyed away from calling it Tres Leches but this Argentinian dessert which they called ‘Latin American Cake in Milk” was divine, a must have if you are there. A smoke emerged on the next table and some antics we noticed were being performed. We were told it is a Applewood smoked Margarita and sooner than later the apparatus, beakers and pipes arrive on our table a smoked margarita was produced. How was it? If you have drunk a lapsang souchong or a heavily peated whiskey you would know how, you either like it or don’t!
The evening had not ended, the banana soufflé was yet to be tried, it was an audacious attempt to have it on the menu. Complete justice was done to the bake and I enjoyed each spoonful with the vanilla ice-cream served on a tuille.
Vegetarian meal for 2: Rs 1500
- Good Menu selection
- Tres Leches and Banana Souffle can’t be missed
- Good place to watch sports. They are also tied up with football fan clubs of Liverpool, Arsenal etc and you can expect quite a night on match days. Yesterday was Liverpool- Real Madrid, we whisked out before the storm.
- The place is dark, a bit more of light will help appreciate the food and drinks
- I did not mention earlier but the hole-in-the-wall place still exists with just a door between it and the quaint lounge. The jarring music that comes in when the doors are opened kills the ambience in the lounge.
- Some of the food items need attention, like the simple mozzarella sticks
Go try it out once, you may like it. I am going back to try the sweet potato Gnocchi.