Until just a few years ago,going out to eat in South Mumbai was a lot like going for a movie in the early 2000s. (Buy a ticket in black,fetch popcorn before interval time and leave just before the climax never mind the wifes persistent cribbing). It was a hurried experience,gratification seldom guaranteed.
The formula,as Mumbai-based restaurateur Shailendra Mittal of Joss and Amadeus in Mumbai and Bogmallo Beach Resort in Goa said to Chef Farrokh Khambatta once: Indians ko chahiye rice aur curry. After the success of Joss and every Asian restaurant in town and the failure of Taxi,Valhalla and Chez Vous,an ambitious French restaurant at Churchgate,it was hard to question Mittals argument.
Thats why Ellipsis in Colaba,which serves American fusion food,is a brave attempt. The modern American interiors are done by celebrity designer Thomas Schoos also known for his work at Tao in Las Vegas and Morimoto in Mexico City.
We were greeted by a breadbasket with a generous platter of dips and Gazpacho made for small bites. Flip through the menu and theres just one page that lists food it almost made us feel as if drinking here is mandatory. We suspect the prices could keep you from hanging around the bar too long. A vodka martini,delicious as it is,costs Rs 900; the cheapest champagne bottle is Taittinger Brut,which costs Rs 4,500. An intelligent branding exercise sits smack in the middle of the drinks list a bottle of Billecart Salmon Brut Jeroboam,a fine French champagne thatll set you back by Rs 1,00,000.
Top Chef contestants Bryan and Michael Voltaggio,who were roped in as food consultants,have delivered an extremely imaginative selection of food and the menu changes everyday. Try the yellowtail appetiser when you do go. The Sashimi-style preparation is served on a bed of light egg-yolk sauce,dressed up with orange slices and bits of jalapeno. Refreshing,tasty and good looking.
If you are vegetarian,the rich pumpkin soup garnished with truffle oil is not only well worth the calories,but is also the best vegetarian dish after the deliciously cheesy mushroom risotto. If you arent in an experimental mood,the Caprese salad is a good idea. The restaurant offers a far more rewarding experience for meat-eaters. Our favourite was the seafood platter lobster,shrimp and jumbo crab served with citrus salad. Else,try the lobster served with smoked corn and a hint of tomato puree.
For dessert,it was the Rocky Road Rocks three big scoops of ice cream,rich peanut butter and chocolate chipped cookies. The prices,alas,are larger than portions. For a new restaurant,Ellipsis has attentive and well-informed service with the bar handled by Caucasians. Considering that not a single restaurant has been successful at this location in the last decade,Ellipsis without rice and curry is like that bold movie that you may,at least occasionally,watch. However,the restaurant is yet to get the kind of attention it deserves from serious foodies. Perhaps thats why its owners plan to host a formal launch soon.
Meal for Two: Rs 6,000 (excluding alcohol)
Address: 16,Madame Cama Road,Colaba (Open only for dinner)