The ambience at Tiqri, Taj Santacruz Mumbai, is a combination of old-world charm and modernity. “Tiqri” is basically a Rajasthani art form in which broken glasses are used to create masterpieces. As you enter Taj Santacruz’s unique restaurant Tiqri, the first thing that catches your eyes is the majestic “Tree of Life”. The tree with soothing colours is almost 60 feet high and 40 feet wide and made with 4,000 pieces of broken glasses! Tiqri looks mesmerising at night when 140 spot lights fall on the tree and you can actually see the transition from dawn to a moonlit night there. Daytime is also quite amazing because the restaurant is well-lit: the acrylic glasses allow ample natural light to filter through. In addition to the spot lights, Tiqri also has additional six unique-looking lights imported from Czech Republic. Here’s Tiqri to the foodies in Mumbai: heavenly food with comfortable seating, spacious interiors, lots of soothing light and brilliant décor to die for.
Yes, Tiqri is one of the Mumbai-based restaurants that I would recommend you for a laid-back yet chic Sunday brunch. It is a multi-cuisine restaurant, with a beautiful island kitchen with several live counters. Although their speciality is Mumbai food, they serve dishes from across the globe with equal expertise! Tiqri’s exclusive selection of aromatic teas and coffees makes the overall experience even better.
Tiqri at Taj Santacruz Mumbai is open round the clock and offers buffets for breakfast and lunch. In addition, it also caters to à la carte. They also have weekend dinner buffet on Thursdays, Fridays and Saturdays. But for me, the showstopper is their lavish Sunday Brunch. The Sunday Brunch is priced at Rs. 2,250/- plus taxes per person for a meal without alcohol. Otherwise, for alcohol-lovers, it is priced at Rs. 3,499/- plus taxes per person (with Brut Champagne) and at Rs. 3,999/- per person for a meal with Rosé Champagne.
AN and I were invited to review the Tiqri Sunday Brunch recently. It was an experience worth sharing indeed! Each dish in the spread was made with quality ingredients and cooked using different techniques. The dishes in the brunch came from different parts of the world. The flavours were bang-on!
We were seated very comfortably. Ample natural light just brightened up the whole experience to a different level. We gazed at the Tree of life with surprise as we lazily sipped the effervescent Rosé Champagne with a velvety mouthfeel. The lingering finish of the Rosé was just perfect and majestic enough to embark on a culinary journey of flavours that followed soon after!
AN was under the weather on that day and needed something soothing for his sore throat. The attentive serving staff came with a wonderfully balanced, sour-n-spicy Tom Kha Kai (a Thai coconut-based chicken soup). It had a dash of bird eye chillies, galangal and lemongrass, which worked perfectly well for AN.
While we chatted away, we were served some starters directly on our table. I instantly loved the Piri Chicken Naan Bites. The chicken was spicy and appetising, with the garnish of fresh coriander leaves doing the extra trick.
Among the starters that were served on our table, the Paneer Crostata was totally addictive. I loved the sweet and spicy cottage cheese in sauce and could not stop myself with just one. The vegetarian Spring Rolls were crunchy and thankfully, in mini-avatars. The moment people serve a full-sized Spring roll as an appetiser in a buffet, your appetite is gone for the rest of the meal! Size does matter, after all, and I am glad that the Tiqri chefs know well about portion sizes. The Chicken on Skewers were okayish, however.
There were very interesting main course dishes. The Indian dishes such as the spicy Kori Pepper (Chicken) looked inviting. I liked the Malai Mutter Makhana: the dish made with puffed lotus seeds was slightly sweet, creamy and rich. Other Indian dishes were the Bhuni Lasooni Palak Shorba, Vegetarian Dum Biryani, Dal Palak, Dingri Masala, Paneer Lahori and the Vegetable Kuttu Curry. Adding a Mutton Biryani and a prawn-based gravy dish in the Indian section would have improved the experience, though.
Among the Asian main-course dishes, were the Fish Phak Wong Tung and the popular Chilli Garlic Chicken. We also tasted the Asian vegetarian dishes such as the Thai Vegetable Curry and Oriental Vegetable and Tofu in Black Bean Sauce. Healthy and flavourful, these two Asian dishes are a must-try if you like your veggies.
We loved the Charcuterie Section. It was well-equipped with different kinds of cold cuts. We could choose from Honey-Glazed Ham, Chicken Mortadella and Salami Milano. We picked up some Smoked Salmon, along with some Charcuterie meats, and all these tasted very satisfying.
The Lamb Tossed with Berry and Balsamic Glazed Fig was a great combo. Both of us admired this combo of figs with lamb.
For the Indian tastebuds which have an affinity towards the sour and spicy, the addictive Squids Tossed with Raw Mango Spiced Dressing will not disappoint. Fresh and tangy flavours were incorporated through the raw mangoes and tomatoes.
But the best was yet to be tasted. And there it was! I must say, the Braised Lamb Shanks e Risotto Milanese e Herb Jus was phenomenal. It had plump shanks of lamb which looked almost identical. The shanks were succulent and could not have been cooked any better. The meat was quite tender: almost fall-off-the-bone. The concentrated jus had a beautiful sheen. Also, the Risotto Milanese was very comforting and cooked just right. Overall, this was my “dish of the day” and the flavor will remain etched in my memory!
The Persillade Crusted Fish with Sicilian Sauce had a nice aroma of parsley and garlic. The Sicilian sauce had a thick tomato-based base in which the acidity . The sprinkling of the cheese on the top of the fish was a clever idea. We loved it!
The Oven Roasted Potato with Confit Chicken and Mustard Mayo was a full meal in itself. Rounds of potato and the confit chicken formed alternate layers. Packed with mustard mayo, it was very comforting and filling.
The Roasted Red Snapper with Crunchy Orange and Fennel Dressing was okayish. I felt that it needed more punch. But the Confit Tuna Roll with Nori Sheet and Wasabi Cream was yum! The tuna was tender and creamy.
Other dishes in the spread included the Asparagus with Blue Cheese Dressing and Walnut, Sesame Crusted Carrot with Tofu, Eggplant Roulade with Confit Cherry Tomato, Quinoa with Exotic Roasted Vegetables, Moroccan Stewed Vegetables with Olive Couscous and the evergreen Herbed Cheesy Potato Mash.
The dessert spread at Tiqri, Taj Santacruz, blew our mind. Their Mango Mousse, Passion Curd and Pistachio Biscuit was to die for! It was not only picture-perfect, but reminded us of the mango season just gone. The Red Velvet Cupcakes were a great hit with the kids all around. Those looked colourful and inviting enough!
Both of us liked the Milk Chocolate Brownie Cremeaux, although the Jivara Mud Cake, Spiced Pear Compote scored much higher in the chocolatey flavour and creaminess.
The classic Vanilla Mille Feuille was flaky and yum: a must-have if you love French desserts. Well, talking of French desserts, do try the Macarons here. These were perfect!
The gorgeous Raspberry, Vanilla Religious tasted hard and dry and I didn’t like it that much. On the other hand, their Raspberry Pannacotta and the Vanilla Crème Brulee were divine and flawless! Whatever you try, leaving out the White Chocolate Mousse, Apricot Rosemary Compote or even the Litchi Cremeux, Rhubarb Compote, are never a good idea. These two were among the best desserts that we tried at the Sunday buffet at Tiqri.
Do you love Indian desserts? Do try the Bengali desserts like Gurer Sandesh, Malai Chumchum or some thin and delicate Malpuas with Rabdi.
Still have some space to try chocolatey desserts? Go for the Gianduja, Green Apple Compote, which is full of chocolate and all things dreamy! For hardcore chocolate lovers, the Belgian Chocolate Mousse, Berry Curd, Sacher Biscuit should be the perfect climax.
Okay, I confess. After trying out all these, I did have a bite of the killer Apple Pie as well, which looked so gorgeous out there. Just one bite and I knew that I could have that as a breakfast dish everyday: it was honest, humble and delicious!
The brunch spread at Taj Santacruz Mumbai’s Tiqri is something that you must try out. The dishes are truly flavourful and the ambience is breathtaking. As compared to some of the popular Mumbai Sunday brunches in a five star property, this brunch does not have a crazy number of dishes, but the spread is grand enough to impress any food-lover. Overall, the opulent Sunday brunch at Tiqri is worth the money spent. Be it Indian, Oriental or Continental cuisine, the competent chefs at Taj Santacruz do not adhere to any shortcut when it comes to nailing the dishes, and the Sunday brunch spread does have absolutely finger-licking dishes that are worth a try!
For reservations, call up at 022-62115211.
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