Where did chef Phillip Gomes go after Villa 39 shut down in Colaba? He was first spotted in ancient Rome, and then more recently in Andheri where he now works at Apicius, a new Mediterranean resto-bar named after a 5th century collection of Roman food recipes. Hail Caesar’s salad!
Act 1, Scene 1
Joining the crop of grown-up, non-theme-y Andheri restaurants (see Trikaya and Soul), Apicius features a grand room with unfinished grey walls and a sparkly chandelier. There’s also a pretty rooftop deck (open for dinner only) with a bar and grill centered around enclosed private lounges. We settled at an indoor table and got ready to order, a boozy summer cooler at the tip of our tongues. Unfortunately, these weren’t available – we suspect the previous night’s private party guests got tanked – and so we had to make do with beer, wine and mocktails.
Our champagne-hopeful taste buds settled for the too-sweet Citrus Gateway Sunrise and a cool Strawberry Blushed mocktail on ice with an unpleasant syrupy taste. Luckily, there was an accompanying basket of soft, warm bread with olive oil to make it all better. Some herbed butter would be nice too.
The food menu here consists mainly of Italian fare with a smattering of dishes from other European and Middle Eastern kitchens. We started with the mezze platter, an astonishingly large assortment of hummus, moutabel, tabbouleh, sour cream, falafel and pita. All of these were delicious and light, but the lemony tabbouleh ranked among our favourites. Meat lovers, get the antipasti Misti Alla Italiana: elegant, paper thin slices of mortadella, coppa, parma ham and salami Milano pinched to form balls and served with juicy chunks of melon, grissini-pumpkin compote and a plate of herbed garlic bread. It could be the day’s version of Love in the Afternoon.
For mains, we got the seafood paella, flavourful Spanish rice served in a fat bowl that appeared to have just returned from a seaside vacation with a large catch of lobsters, prawns and oysters. The Petti di Pollo Alla Valdostana was equally enjoyable, a plate of tender corn-fed chicken topped with a thin layer of parma ham and melted cheese in sundried tomato sauce. In general, the portions at Apicius are large and although we ordered for two, our bowls could have fed an extra guest. We should’ve invited you to go along after all!
Flattery may get you nowhere, but here at Apicius, it got us tiramisu – soaked with coffee and liquer, dusted with chocolate. Compliments from the chef, we were told, in return for well, our compliments on the paella. Apparently, there’s a catch of the day for everyone here.
Although the bill was almost three thousand rupees for two people without alcohol, it didn’t seem so overwhelming after the satiating meal we’d just scarfed down. Plus, there were leftovers in a doggy bag for lunch the next day. Looking forward to Tomorrow Land!
Getting there: Apicius, 8th floor, Blue Wave building, off Link Road, opposite Hometown Café, Andheri (W), call 26734338, Rs 2,700 for a meal for two without alcohol, Rs 200 for a Kingfisher pint, Rs 350 for a cocktail.
bpb reviews anonymously and pays for its own meals.
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