Planning a trip to South East Asia during the summer, this writer’s browser history has been a jumble of bookmarks –to lose weight quickly, book tickets, ocean side hotels, best beach lists, getting around and of course, best food joints.
As far as recommendations go, the best food ones we've got are street stalls, and so it seemed like a delicious coincidence, a trial run almost, that the newest restaurant in town that we had to review this weekend was called Asian Street Kitchen.
Thailand and Lowland
With curious folks and curiouser forks, we entered the place, expecting fun street food bowls and hoping for more experimental snack cones filled with fried crickets and other delicious dont-tell-me-what-I'm-eatings.
What we found instead was an all-vegetarian, no booze Asian restaurant at Chowpatty where cliched lime green walls are saved by plenty of sunlight and a beach view that makes you want to linger.
Just a few days old, the space was strewn with what looked like the owner's friends and us. A Green Tea Sparkler with ginger, honey and mint and a Spiced Thai Iced Coffee with cardamom seeds, condensed milk and cinnamon powder kept us company while our appetisers arrived. Both drinks were quite unremarkable, with flavours being drowned out by too much ice and sugar syrup.
Our starters were much better, a plate of non-oily Thai Spinach Fritters that were drizzled with sweet chilli, taste that would only be augmented when combined with sun and beer. Sadly, no alcohol is served here. The Three Mushroom Dumplings served with a side of chilli oil came with skins that weren't too thick or gummy but in it's entirety, not a spectacular dish.
Sweeten The Pot
Our mains, the Ramen Bowl, Anise Mushroom Pot Rice and Srilankan curry came soon after. The Ramen Bowl- one of A.S.K’s soupy meals was a comforting hot broth with soft tofu, vegetables, shitake mushrooms and dried chilli. Something we’d definitely head over for on a cold rainy day. The pot rice and Srilankan curry ( a combination we didn’t think would work but chose on the recommendation of our server) was a surprising balance of flavours – with the juicy mushrooms of the rice and the velvety cashew nut paste and coconut milk curry. We ended the meal with the Hazelnut Mousse Cake, that had a nice crunch but was too dense for our liking.
There's a lot of reasons you might dismiss Asian Street Kitchen, but for an all-vegetarian restaurant, its kitchen finds a way of surprising you. In a good way. As for missing out on crunchy crickets and cold beer, there's always that vacation in the summer.
Getting There: Dev Prakash Building, Chowpatty, call 23623621, meal for three approx.:Rs 2,050
Bpb reviews anonymously & pays for all its meals
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