I’m back with a new review and you are going to love this one!Before we begin…
Yes! #BhookadPuns!Why do we Indians usually do well in schools?
Because we perform well in extra-curryculars.
Why are waiters usually good at multiplication?
Because they know their tables.
If Auriga was serving only Japanese food, what would it be called?
Address: Dr B E Moses Road, Famous Studio Lane, Opposite Star TV building, Mahalaxmi, Mumbai.
Phone: 022 43472505/6
Flaunting a dramatic architecture and a scintillating menu that bridges the gap between Asia and the west, Auriga Restaurant & Lounge is a new shining star in the Mumbai’s lifestyle and hospitality skyscape.
Architect Sanjay Puri has designed the 2-level restaurant + lounge with a futuristically appealing décor; it’s a 30-seater open café with silver triangular metal louvers that form an open-to-sky roof, with a beautiful blend of elegant cane furniture inside. The lounge on the ground floor can accommodate 250 people and the molecular cocktails served there, add to the ultramodern and interactive experience very well.
Chef Nilesh Limaye’s contemporary Pan Asian menu for Auriga includes little bites at the lounge and full courses at the restaurant on the first floor. Weight-watchers can indulge in steamed dumplings and the rest of the menu comprises of Thai, Cambodian, Vietnamese, Singaporean and Malaysian food, with modish European influences. Vegetarians, you’ll be glad to know that Auriga has a separate kitchen as well as an equally extensive menu for vegetarian food.
Did Auriga impress me with the food it had to offer?
Let’s find out.
Before we began wolfing down expectedly delicious Asian food, we ordered 2 cocktails (M36 and a Vodka+Ginger cocktail) and we were let down by its ordinariness. I was expecting a place like Auriga, which has a lounge, to serve extraordinary cocktails but I was terribly disappointed to taste what was served to us. I switched to beer immediately and my suggestion to all of you will be the same – if you choose to dine on the first floor, avoid cocktails – order a beer instead, or a drink with a mixer and some ice.
Thai Herb, Pumpkin and Coconut Milk Soup (Rs. 120)
I had great expectations from the soup but I was let down in terms of its flavours. It lacked the required intensity of garlic and some acidity too. It was quite bland and I could barely taste any coconut or pumpkin in the soup. Sadly, it just tasted like a thick herbed soup. I hope the chef reads this review and incorporates my feedback soon. Until then, please avoid ordering this dish.
Spicy Shanghai Crab Meat Soup (Rs. 190)
I am a big fan of crab meat and crab soup has been one of my consistent favourites since childhood. The meat was perfectly cooked and its quality and freshness was praiseworthy. The soup was piping hot, perfectly refreshing and immensely flavourful. I enjoyed eating it till I found a piece of crab shell in my mouth. If that wouldn’t have happened, this soup would’ve been a flawless dish. Nevertheless, this one is definitely worth trying.
Shiitake Mushrooms (tossed in sweet and chilli sauce with roasted cashew nuts) [Rs. 270]
If you order this dish with high expectations, you’ll be disappointed like me. The mushrooms were not hot at all, the sweet chilli sauce was quite mild and the roasted cashew nuts failed to create any magic either. However, if you love shiitake mushrooms and wouldn’t mind eating it in any dish or any form, this dish will not disappoint you. The choice is yours.
Chicken Cigarillos (filled with asian spiced roast chicken) [Rs. 360]
After a few misses, Auriga finally managed to impress me with this dish. The cigarillos were beautifully crisp and not even an inch of it was oily. The sweet chilli sauce was delicious and the presentation was undoubtedly remarkable too. The stuffing of chicken was roasted to perfection and those Asian spices danced on my tongue while I finished this dish within a few minutes, in pure happiness. If you want to play safe on your date, order this one blindly.
Vegetable Har Gao (Rs. 240)
I am a big fan of steamed Asian food and I’ve tried some spectacular dumplings in Mumbai. Unfortunately, the Vegetable Har Gao at Auriga didn’t make it to that list. The dumplings were overcooked and it lacked adequate spices and seasoning. Will you enjoy over-steamed dumplings with finely chopped flavourless vegetables? I don’t think so.
Veg Khao Suey (Rs. 390)
This was the only extraordinary dish we tried that night, everything else we tried was either below or just above average. The noodles were cooked well and the offered list of condiments went well with the curry. Unfortunately, roasted vermicelli, our favourite khao suey condiment, was not served with this dish. They could have served that instead of cherry tomatoes, which in my personal opinion, was a terrible misfit.
Anyway, the curry was packed with many flavours and the dish was big enough for two people to share it peacefully. If you like khao suey, you will not be disappointed.
(Indonesian Fried Rice with lemongrass hints and chicken satay in peanut sauce and fried egg)[Rs. 360]
Nasi Goreng literally means “fried rice” in Indonesian and it has been called the national dish by majority of residents in Indonesia. People have been enjoying this dish for centuries in simple versions from a tin plate at a roadside food stall, in a beautiful ceramic bowl at fine restaurants or from the buffet at dinner parties in Jakarta. Did Auriga manage to do justice to such a historical dish? Yes, they did. The chicken was perfectly cooked and the peanut sauce was absolutely lip-smacking! The rice was tossed and flavoured well too. The crispy fried egg and the prawn crisps added more fun to the party in my mouth!
Chicken lovers, order this “meal in a bowl” and you won’t stop till your last bite!
Baked Coconut Caramel Custard [Rs. 240]
Have you ever tried a bland baked custard before? If not, you’re not missing out on anything. This dish just offered a plain creamy texture in my mouth, no flavours, nothing else. We could decode the coconut mildly in the after-taste but that’s all, it was just unacceptably bland. It wasn’t sweet and the coconut flavour wasn’t heroic enough to make this dish worthy for a second bite. Highly disappointing; please avoid ordering it.
Passionfruit Cheesecake [Rs. 270]
Wonderfully light, sweet, tangy, and creamy… all packed in one spectacular cheesecake! This was definitely one of the best cheesecakes I’ve had in a long time. Perfectly beautiful creamy texture combined with tantalising flavours of passionfruit. My dining partner and I fought for the last bite! Thankfully, the meal at Auriga ended well.
The ambience is quite lovely and the equal importance given to vegetarians is praiseworthy.
I think the chef needs to revisit a few dishes and help the restaurant resolve its teething issues immediately.
Will I go back?
For that passionfruit cheesecake? Yes.
Otherwise? Maybe, maybe not.
Happy hogging! 🙂