Food Review: Trikaya, 7 Bungalows

The Pan Asian restaurant in Versova that opened shop on 13th of Jan, hosted a media preview on the 11th. Krutika Mody and I attended the event and had a *happy* time exploring their exotic bar menu.
After opening the first branch in the sprawling 20,000 sq. ft. area in Pune, the three partners (Kunal Deshmukh, Sahil Saigal and Shiraz Patel) decided to open Trikaya in Mumbai. Inspired from Buddha the name Trikaya is a concept concerns three levels of Buddha hood.

The restaurant is not hard to locate given to its white sail like shades at the al fresco. This area has 6 big tables and is softly lit. Juhu-Versova Link Road is not a very busy road hence you are saved from the traffic snarls and honking. However, the owners need to add smaller tables for couples if they want to attract diners. The interiors of the air conditioned section too are inspired from Buddhism. A huge tree like pillar stands in the centre and spreads at the top to blend with the ceiling. According to the owners the inspiration comes from the Bodhi Tree.

While most part of the restaurant has neutral colours, the bar area is colourful and we can imagine why. The extensive bar menu designed by Valentine Barboza boasts of serving only premium brands. The cocktails are prepared with fresh fruits instead of syrups and flavours. For the first round I ordered a passionera (vodka blended with passion fruit, cloudy apple and lime juice) while Krutika went for a watermelon and chilli Collins (vodka mixed with diced watermelon, lime juice, soda and infused with chilli). Our picture perfect drinks arrived and for a while we kept contemplating whether to drink them or just watch them. I found my drink a little too sour initially but when stirred well it gave a nice sweet-sour flavour.  The watermelon and chilli Collins was refreshing. Krutika took her own sweet time in drinking it all, but based on her experience, you should finish the drink before the ice melts and dilutes the alcohol.

The perfectly balanced and vast food menu made my vegetarian friend happy since it had as many veg dishes as the non-veg ones. We were served chicken yakitori, basa in 5 willow sauce, red pumpkin green peas’ drops and goat cheese & mushroom spring rolls for starters.  The presentation of each dish was impressive. Being a fan of sea food I focused more on the basa and chicken couldn’t catch my fancy. The cigar like mushroom spring rolls won over Krutika’s heart. They are ideal as finger food and would be a perfect accompaniment to your drinks. The floor manager offered to surprise me for the second round of drinks and he surely did. The bartender conjured up an espresso martini which was literally an eye opener for me after a long day at work.

The main course menu included herbed mushrooms, Cambodian Khmer vegetable curry, green Thai prawns curry and chicken & mushrooms with Korean Kim-chee with burn garlic jasmine rice. Thai curry was a good blend of herbs and coconut and had chunky prawns in it and with garlic jasmine rice for company, it made for a perfect meal.  The Cambodian Khmer vegetable curry was delicious, the herbed mushrooms, not as much.

We also had the privilege of meeting Chef Nilesh Limaye who was happy to talk to us about food and also allowed us to visit his extremely organised kitchen.  Looking at my love for sea food he made a special oyster-tequilla shot for me which was in one word, outstanding.

The dinner ended on a sweet note with red velvet cake and cinnamon kulfi for dessert. Yes, they make their own desserts! We were hoping we could try some classic pan-Asian desserts like trio of Asian sweets but they weren’t in the preview menu that night. The cake though was served with ‘rambutan’ a Malaysian fruit. The fleshy ‘hair’ growing on rambutan’s skin makes it look like a wilder version of its cousin, litchi. Despite the decoration (edible glitter) on the cake, the cake itself couldn’t convince us enough.  Kulfi on the other hand was impressive and was a light dessert after a heavy meal.

As a new entrant in the fine-dine genre Trikaya looks promising and inviting.

On the burp scale: 4/5

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