It’s a beautiful Sunday morning again. Here in Mumbai, you will find many foodies who love to brunch out on a Sunday afternoon, rather that cooking an elaborate spread at home. Although I rather like doing the latter, there are times when I just want to enjoy and relax, but good food is something that is always my priority on this awesome day of the week. So what do I do on a day like this? Once in a while, I do reward myself a lip-smacking Sunday brunch, such as the Casablanca Sunday Brunch at o:h cha, which is a great option if you wake up to a craving for Asian food and good wine.
With changing times, the restaurant scene in Mumbai has changed, too! We have old and new restaurants competing with each other to offer their patrons with delicious brunch spreads. O:h cha is one of the new entrants which makes brunching in Mumbai a delightful experience, Their new menu has an array of Asian delicacies. It’s totally worthwhile to travel to Lower Parel to try this awesome Asian fare, and more so when the food comes paired with India’s first Prossecco-style sparkling wine Casablanca, which is a good match with spicy Asian food! The Casablanca Sunday Brunch at o:h cha is a sit-down brunch, where you don’t have to bother getting up every now and then to pick food from the buffet. Isn’t that cool?
Even before you begin your brunch here, you will feel satisfied. You will probably find yourself diving into an ocean of melodious music: thanks to this one-man band who plays saxophone so well that it is hard to get up and go, even after you finished your brunch. Hold a glass of Casablanca along and sip this light and sparkling delight slowly, while you sit back and relax. Your stress and tiredness of the whole week starts melting away with each sip of Casablanca and with each note of the saxophone.
Chef Rakesh Talwar, who is the person behind the Casablanca Sunday Brunch, is also the man behind Spare Kitchen (Juhu), Cafe Cubano (Vile Parle), Wok this Way (Bandra), Boomerang Bistro and The Rolling Pin (Malaysia).
Coming to food, what you must try at first is o:h cha’s special welcome appetiser: a simple Krob Keam (sweet and salty wontons), which is crispy and mildly sweet. I believe, the crunch is good enough to jump-start your Sunday!
I don’t think I have ever had turnips so tasty before. I avoid turnips. But this time, it’s different. The idea of having turnips for brunch never appealed to me, unless I tried their first vegetarian starter: Fried Turnip Cakes. Triangles of delicate, savoury cakes made from turnips – crispy layer outside and creamy from inside – these morsels come with a strong note of garlic. I smiled. Finally, I loved turnips!
The smile in my face faded a bit when I tried the Asian mushroom Vol-au-Vent. Although the mushrooms were yummy, the pastry sheets were very chewy. However, the Sweet Corn Patty was crisp, but I was expecting more of sweet corn in that.
If you ask me my favourite dish at o:h cha, I would say that it has to be the Stir-Fry Tofu with Sriracha. It was delicious! Perfect for an Asian brunch buffet, it was spicy and addictive. For tofu-lovers, this is the perfect dish. I felt, among all the dishes that I tried at o:h cha, this dish paired the best with the Casablanca wine.
The Vegetable Chive Dumpling came with its non-vegetarian (prawn) sibling too, but I loved the vegetarian one more. The green skin looked very fresh and inviting. The crunch of the water chestnuts in the stuffing was something that I fell for. On the other hand, the prawn version wasn’t appealing, as the prawns were little on the stinkier side.
Both the Vegetable Gyoza and the Chicken Gyoza were good. Among other non-vegetarian starters, the Fried Lemongrass Chicken was okayish. The Stir-Fried Chicken Black Pepper and the Holy Basil Chicken Bruschetta were spot on, however.
I avoided the soups: Burnt Garlic & Basil Soup (veg) and Tom Yum Kai (chicken), as I wanted to taste the Chicken Satay generously. The satay was good!
Among the salads, the Som Tom and Khimchi added beautiful, spicy flavours to our palate. Although the Som Tom was tasty and fresh, it lacked the balance of the tart element. There was Khimchi was in the menu as well, but I decided to move on to the Main course.
The French Bean Chilli Bean was interesting. As I love eating all kinds of beans – be it the French beans or the yard-long beans, I was happy to see this dish. I tasted the Pad Kra Prow Kai: a Thai street food made with chicken mince and Thai basil leaves. The Pad Kra Prow Kai did not disappoint me and was really full of Thai flavours.
The Steamed Dory Lemon Chilli Garlic was great. It was healthy with the right kind of flavours. The Steamed Jasmine rice accompanied with a Thai Green Curry could have been good, but the Green Curry was unacceptable. It was not creamy, but watery. It had less flavours. The Thai Green Curry that I tasted here about a year back, didn’t match with this Green Curry. There was a huge difference. This Green Curry had very less coconut milk.
The Pad Thai Noodles were yum too!
Among the desserts, we tasted Gooey Chocolate Mousse Cake, Lemongrass Crème Brulee, Homemade Sticky Rice and Mango Ice Cream, and Tub Tim Krobe. One of my favourite desserts here – the Tub Tim Krobe shots – had an interesting marriage of coconut milk, a piece of jackfruit and water chestnuts. I liked the Lemongrass Crème Brulee too. It had a subtle lemongrass flavour in a Crème Brulee, which was something that I never tried before.
We also tasted the Orange, Lemongrass and Honey Sorbet, which was welcome and refreshing. I did not enjoy the Gooey Chocolate Mousse Cake, as it was very dense. The Homemade Sticky Rice and Mango Ice Cream tasted unique: it was authenticity on a plate in a different avatar. I really liked this dessert.
The brunch experience at o:h cha was good, although the service staff need a lot of clarity and probably a bit of training too. Some of them did not understand our needs properly and kept on doing the same mistakes again and again. Apart from this, the Casablanca Brunch at o:h cha was a wonderful experience. This Sunday brunch costs Rs. 2,000/- and this brunch is there till the next three months.
o:h cha – kitchen & bar, Unit 1,
New Mahalaxmi Silk Mills Premises,
Mathurdas Mills Compound,, N M Joshi Marg,
Next to Blue Frog, Mumbai, Maharashtra
Phone: 022 6633 4455
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