My foodie friends, we certainly aren’t short of fine-dining restaurants in Mumbai. But there are a few restaurants, like the newly opened Luna Nudo Gusta at Level 37 of The St. Regis Mumbai, which just set the mood in the perfect way… be it the ambience, food, drinks or music! The luxurious restaurant (Luna Gusto) and the bar (Luna Nudo) come together as an energising package, and that’s what the meaning of Luna Nudo Gusta is: the energy that the moon (Luna) bestows upon the tides!
Luna Nudo, the bar, is at a lower level. The stairway leads to the Luna Gusta upstairs. This is the place that will probably make you cry and say, “Let’s Gusta”!
The elegant Luna Nudo Gusta exudes a touch of modernity in brown and gold. The neon tube lights impart a blue and pink tones to the interiors. The restaurant’s dining room is beautiful and the vibe is classy, upscale and fancy. The mosaic-tiled walls look very interesting, with test tubes fixed all over. The golden chandeliers look gorgeous in the pleasant, inviting atmosphere of Luna Nudo Gusta at St. Regis. Elements such as the wooden frames suspended from the ceilings and the marble tabletops add to the overall glamour. There’s this beautiful Moet & Chandon champagne rack that will catch your immediate attention. The dinnerware and the cutlery are in black, reflecting the “Luna” or the moon theme.
Friends, this is the place to pull up a chair and enjoy your food and drink in style, while live music and electrifying performances play in the backdrop. The “Nudo Nights” is worth experiencing, where foot-tapping music accompanies the overall vibe… thanks to DJs like Clement, Rocky and Jay Weather.
The bartender is extremely polite and not hurried at all. He was very attentive and came back often to ask me for my impression of the cocktails, or rather, cosmic infusions, as they like to call it. He even shared the recipe of his Bacon Vodka Cocktail, and told us that an improvised version of the same (called Luna Mary) can be tried here!
The first cocktail that we had is called Lady of Eclipse: which is a beautiful combination of rosemary, basil and thyme-infused Gin with cream. The interesting feature of the cocktail is that although it has milk and lime, yet the milk doesn’t curdle. Rather, the drink has a smooth and creamy overall mouthfeel. The next drinks were Surge Collins and Bartender’s Spritzer. The Surge Collins is a light and relaxing infusion of rosemary, basil and thyme-infused Gin with sparkling water. The Bartenders Spritzer, however, is okayish. It has rosemary, basil and thyme-infused gin, but with soda.
We were served the Amuse Bouche with Sangria to go with it. Different kinds of freshly baked artisanal breads came with two kinds of flavoured butters: the pesto-flavoured butter and the black-garlic butter. I loved the black-garlic one because of the complexity in its flavour.
They say, “Graze and Share” to an amazing range of starters. The vegetarian ones include dishes like Breads and Dips (INR 550/-), which is a Foccacia with sundried tomato basil, cucumber feta and dill roasted beetroot. The Goats Cheese & Heirloom Tomato Salad (INR 650/-) sounded quite an interesting dish, which comes with black garlic foam, balsamic caviar, micro basil and olive oil. The chef’s recommendation was the Truffle Infused Charred Corn Polenta (INR 550/-), accompanied with babycorn, black truffle and grilled yellow zucchini.
The first course was deceptively simple in presentation, it was fresh and bang-on the flavour. First up, our Artisanal Burrata & Florentine Fennel was downright delectable. A soft ball of Burrata sat majestically on a bed of fennel greens. The salad had two kinds of oranges in it, which added a citrusy kick to it. The tangy and sweet pomegranate molasses, basil and roasted seeds in the salad added to the freshness factor. The salad was made in Volcanic black salt. It was simply the kind of dish I could eat every day for the rest of my life.
Even the non-vegetarian starters are really well-planned and executed. There are many interesting choices which are light, yet full of flavour. For example, the light Yellow Fin Tuna Tartar (INR 1450/-) is served fresh with capers, red onion, hen’s egg, cornichons, avocado and lemon dressing. On the other hand, the House-Smoked Hickory Salmon (INR 1150/-) is served with baby capers, red onion and horseradish.
The chef made a special Salmon Brochette with Prosciutto and Sage (INR 1250/-) for us, in which slabs of salmon were served on skewers, topped with a delicious salsa verde and fresh sage. It was garnished with a fried kale, which added to the texture. A grilled slice of pear rested below the brochettes and served as a base. The salmon was wrapped in Proscuitto. This dish was truly one of the best salmon-based dishes that I had in a long time. A lot of restaurants tend to overcook salmon, but of course, at Luna Gusta the fish was treated perfectly well, as it flaked into beautiful segments. The fish was pink and juicy and each bite delivered the magic. It was utter perfection. We highly recommend this dish.
Among the meats, do try the unique Highland Vension Carpaccio (1150/-), which is accompanied with horseradish crème, shaved pecorino, baby greens and extra virgin olive oil. If you haven’t tried Polish food yet, go for the Polish Chicken Dumplings (INR 650/-), which is served with a dash of mushroom dill sauce and Parmigiano Reggiano. We also liked the idea of Housemade Spicy Lamb Merguez Sausage (INR 750/-), with caramelised onion and tomato chilli sauce.
Among the soups, you may opt for the Smoked Paprika and Garden Vegetable Soup (INR 550/-) or the silky and seductively French Bouillabaisse (INR 650/-). At Luna Gusta, this Provencial stew is made with much gusto. The saffron-rich stew is rich and bang on flavour, although it was made with just four seafood varieties. The clams, squids, Red snapper and lobster add to the overall well-rounded flavour.
In the Main Course, there are nine vegetarian options. The options include Black Rice and Vegetable Ragout (INR 1150/-) with baby spinach and tomato sago and the Jumbo Asparagus Risotto (INR 1350/-) with black truffle and pecorino. The Pearl Couscous with Soft Feta (INR 1150/-) is another great option, served with roasted vegetables and tomato sago.
In the non-vegetarian section, we had quite a transcendental moment eating the Chilean Seabass with Crab Butter Sauce (INR 2950/-) that was accompanied with fried green onions, herb-smashed potato and King Crab Butter Sauce. It was like a hug in a bowl. Each element of the dish was superb, including the herb-infused mashed potato. The Seabass was succulent and fresh, and it tasted divine with the rich King Crab Butter Sauce. The presentation of the dish was impeccable, too!
We skipped the tempting Prawn Linguine al Nero (INR 1650/-) with black squid linguine, chilli, garlic, parsley and extra virgin olive oil. However, we didn’t regret our choice of Peppered Lamb Rack, which was blushing pink and perfectly medium-rare. The roasted root vegetables, roast potato and the green peppercorn jus completed the dish. We recommend a side of Potato Puree Chives and/or Roasted Baby Carrots for a hearty experience.
Please note that at Luna Nudo Gusta, the dessert menu arrives separately, after your main course is over. There are only six kinds of desserts, but those are just enough to take you to the moon! We know this because we tried their gorgeous Smoked Coconut Frozen Souffle (INR 600/-). The Souffle arrived with a pretty Raspberry sorbet, salpicon fruits and perfectly crunchy honeycomb. We didn’t order the obviously delectable and a must-order Gusta’s Cake for Two (INR 2500/-) purposely, as we wanted to see how the rest of the desserts score. We ordered our second dessert, the Bourbon Vanilla Raspberry Panna Cotta (INR 600/-), which was pure heaven in a plate. The Passionfruit Meringue Base was rightly balanced with tart passionfruit gelato and a perfectly creamy Vanilla Cremeaux. This outstanding dessert alone was enough to bring a big smile on our face!
Luna Nudo Gusta is warm, hip and luxurious. The captivating menu is full of temptations and the food is spectacular. We discovered joy and mystery in each dish that we tasted. The food is soulful and there is much attention to detail. We left as firm believers; keen to return soon.
For dinner reservations, call: 022-6162-8422
Email reservations: email@example.com
Address: Level 37, The St. Regis Mumbai, 462, Senapati Bapat Marg, Lower Parel, Mumbai
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