Vegetarian menu at Olive, Mahalaxmi Race Course
South Mumbai’s vegetarians have more reasons to visit Olive. A.D. Singh’s restaurant has a new, all-green menu, featuring savoury crêpes and baklava, as well as mock, veg-friendly versions of prawns and caviar.
The good stuff
Vegetarians should give the Veg Soya Prawns (Rs480) and Veg Caviar (Rs370) a try. The former are tiger prawn-shaped pieces of soya, complete with orange striations and a mild crustacean-like flavour. The caviar made of seaweed is served on bread rounds piped with a creamy, cheesy mixture, with the black beads on top. The salty cheese overpowered the dish. Only when we tried the “caviar” separately could we appreciate its mild oceanic flavour.
Experiment: Veg Soya Prawns.
We tried two savoury crêpes (Rs350)—Mediterranean Crêpe with grilled vegetables and goat cheese, which was fresh and light and came with a pesto and burnt sun-dried tomato salsa. The grilled aubergine crêpe with feta, sun-dried tomatoes and olives was delicious, but it had too many sour ingredients and nothing to balance them out.
Our favourite was Vegetarian Paella (Rs480). We didn’t miss the traditional seafood flavour in this Spanish dish because the chunky vegetables in the creamy saffron rice (and bits of mock soya prawns) made up for the lack of seafood. And the sugar-free cheesecake with Mango Coulis (Rs290) was creamy and not too sweet, with a mild lime flavour—the tart coulis cut through the richness of the cheese beautifully.
The problem with the Vegetarian Carpaccio (Rs350)—a base of thinly sliced zucchini, liberally topped with sun-dried tomato, olives, capers, tomato, herbs, olive oil and balsamic vinegar—was the fact that it was vegetarian. Raw zucchini just doesn’t have the same appeal as raw beef. To make up for the inherently boring nature of the vegetable, a substantial quantity of the toppings was piled on. So it wasn’t much of a carpaccio in any sense.
The crêpes were too brown and too crisp. It was more of a brown dosa than a golden crêpe.
Our non-alcoholic Peach Julius (Rs120) was a mix of artificial-tasting peach syrup with muddled lime and mint. Avoid.
A vegetarian meal for two without alcohol and tax is Rs1,250. Add 12.5% tax to the food bill, plus 10% service charge.
Kebabbq Wellness Lunch, Kebab Korner, InterContinental Marine Drive
The kebabs at this restaurant are some of the best in Mumbai. Their rotis are as soft as they get, and the meat is succulent. But lunches are a slow time for most restaurants, and especially so for Indian restaurants—butter chicken, dal makhni and naan in the middle of a working day?
So restaurants are offering set lunch options that are quick to serve and cost less. This eatery has recently hopped on to the set-lunch bandwagon with their Kebabbq Wellness Lunch. Now we love anything with the words “barbecue” and “wellness” and the two put together had us immediately reserve a table.
The good stuff
Some lunch options here will not figure on a weight loss diet plan but the restaurant tries to keep things healthy and light—substituting atta (wheat) for maida (refined flour), yogurt for mayonnaise, and using less oil. The combos available are Soup, Salad and Wrap; Soup, Salad and Grill; Carb ‘n’ Fibre Lunch and Keep it Low Lunch. The soups have generous portions and the Indian salads available are filling and refreshing. We tried the Great Indian Caesar topped with yogurt dressing, paneer and bits of naan (as croutons), and the Tandoori Shrimp Salad, both of which were excellent. But it was the ingenious Guava and Smoked Cottage Cheese Salad with a date-tamarind dressing that scored over the others. The grill menu lists tandoori fish and chicken kebabs (no lamb kebabs) and vegetarian options such as paneer and the tangy tandoori broccoli—your shot of iron for the day. The light, non-greasy vegetarian biryani is a delicious surprise. To up the health quotient, the restaurant makes it with low glycaemic index rice (which apparently keeps you feeling full longer).
Even though these are separate meal plans, you’re picking dishes from the main menu. There’s no separate menu with details of health benefits and calories, which is sorely missed in a “wellness” lunch. Also, there are no healthy or low-calorie dessert options, except fruit.
Lunches are priced at Rs750-950, plus 12.5% VAT.