Review: Desi Culture, Mumbai

Set in the snazzy hub of Kamala Mills, Lower Parel, Desi Culture is Mumbai’s latest addition to the ever-increasing lineup of wonderful eateries with unique, quirky menus. Just setting sail to satiate the most intricate of food cravings, Desi Culture is a suavely decorated resto-bar set in a basement.

The bright, cheerful lighting and warm interiors ensure that you do not feel restricted inside, and the ample use of wood and cast iron creates an appetising atmosphere. Desi Culture relies on creating interesting combinations to present Indian cuisines from various regions, in a bid to make itself stand out in the crowd. Chefs Kshama Prabhu and Gaurrav Gidwani have put in their hearts into the fusion theme, and it really shows.

Naturally, we had to get down to tasting what they do best, and here’s how Desi Culture’s best dishes fare!

Appetisers:

1. Jalapeno Cheese Ragda Pattice: a different take on the famous Mumbai chaat. Nice portion size, good flavours, unique and worth a try.

2. Red Velvet Dhokla: once again, unique concept, looks pretty but might or might not work for people, but surely worth trying. The cream cheese between the layers oddly works for this dish.

3. Chinese Bhel: Once again, a very Mumbai concept of mixing fresh chopped vegetables with fried noodles and mixing it all in a schezwan sauce – a little spicy but really nice.

PS: Non vegetarians should give a shot to the ‘deconstructed chicken tikka sev puri” – according to my friend who is a non-vegetarian, it is unique and one of the few unheard of “non-veg chaats”

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Tandoori Appetisers:

1) Kumbh ki Galauti (mushroom galauti): Galauti means ‘melt in the mouth’, served on top of a ulte tawe ka paratha, these mushroom galautis are a good spin off of the regular non-vegetarian galauti kebabs as the minced mushroom melts in the mouth and the char is perfect. Served with pickled onions and mint chutney, these are delightful

2) Cheese se bhara khumbh: if you’re a mushroom lover, this dish is a must try. The mushrooms stuffed with cheese and the secret ingredient of spinach, these were the right blend of crunchiness and tenderness of cheese. My favourite in the menu.

Main course:

Sat Sri Akal Thaali ( Punjabi thaali)

Curated for office goers, this is the most filling meal one can ask for, and the best bit? It costs just ₹300.

As we were slightly stuffed, we requested a mix of veg and non-veg fare in one thaali (not applicable on regular basis).

We loved their signature Paneer Tikka Masala which wasn’t too spicy and neither too sweet, the perfect balance of flavours. The 9 hour Dal Makhani is a winner too with the thick texture and smokiness and natural sweetness ( but not too sweet, thankfully). The Hariyali Kofta is good too, but I prefer the paneer and the dal more.

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Sat Sri Akal Thaali

PS: The non vegetarian options were of butter chicken, which according to my friend was delightful and dabba ghosht, which was nice too. But she being a butter chicken fan chose to wipe that off with hot butter garlic naans.

The thaali also comprises of bread of your choice, rice, pickled onions, pickle, mint chutney and a motichoor laddoo. An absolute delight.

Desserts:

1) Rose kulfi with frozen gulab and namkeen jeera chikki: It is beautiful to look at and light on the palate too after a heavy meal. Nice.

2) Motichoor tart with elaichi foam: this is nice but can be a tad heavy after the meal, so probably eat light and try this.

Beverages:

Chaas with masala foam : light and spicy

Tip: pair it with your main course to strike a dietary balance!

Jaljeera Mojito: This is refreshing as its more of a slush.

Tip: Maybe ask for it to be sweetened a little as might be slightly salty (due to the chaat masala) for some people.

Verdict:

Summing up, Desi Culture has everything that we want from our favourites eateries – warm ambience, cheerful staff, amiable setup, and crucially, an excellent nosh that will leave you happy.

Do pay them a visit, whenever you are around Lower Parel. We loved it, and you will certainly not regret it either!

Price for two: rupees 1300 approx.

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