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Not a Perfect Match: Soi Kitchen, Mumbai

The newly-opened pan-Asian restaurant, Soi Kitchen, gets some things right but would do better if it focused on fewer items.

Soi Kitchen 5_759 The interiors of the restaurant.

In a country that feels compelled to add an Indian touch to every cuisine, Soi Kitchen, the new pan-Asian restaurant on MG Road in Ghatkopar West, manages to somewhat adhere to authenticity. Serving vegetarian food from Thailand, Indonesia, China, Vietnam and Malaysia, Soi’s menu is extensive and leaves the customer both overwhelmed and salivating.

To begin with the follies – the drinks, all virgin, are a tad too sweet. We had the Ginger Kaffir Lime, which had no Kaffir lime, and the sugary pink cranberry juice was in excess. The menu claimed that the Ginger and Mint Lemonade contains apple but we didn’t taste even a hint of it.

The starters though were a step up. The soup we were recommended from the Tomyum variety had crunchy vegetables, stewed in a light, fragrant broth that was both sour and spicy, just how Tomyum is meant to be. The Indonesian Jackfruit and Teriyaki Potatoes from the starters section were our favourites for the evening. The deep fried jackfruit was juicy and retained its distinctive flavour and the chopped vegetable sauce that came with it perfectly complemented it. The Teriyaki Potatoes, meanwhile, came with a sauce whose sweetness drew a nice contrast to the spiciness of the stewed vegetables that were also served with the marinated potatoes.

Soi Kitchen 2_759 Soi Kitchen serves cuisines from the world over.

The sushi on the menu would not be available for two weeks, but we did try Chef’s Special Momos and Mixed Vegetable with Cottage Cheese Momos, both steamed. The former was excellent, with a mushroom and spring onion filling, but the latter was just about alright. Both were served with sesame and mint sauce.

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The main course was a complete let down. Compelled to drift away from regulars such as Pad Thai, Chopsuey, Khow Suey and Thai curries, we ordered Korean BBQ Noodles and Broccoli Baby Corn and Bamboo Shoot Shacha Sauce, which we were assured would pair well. We did not relish either. The noodles were flat, oily and bland. The sauce, cooked in celery and shacha sauce, was perhaps trying too hard to taste like too many different things. Also, it was odd to pair a sauce with vegetables and noodles; it would usually be served with rice. But none of the main dishes, though they included various stir-fried vegetables, sauces and gravies, included plain rice on the side.

It might make sense to skip the main course and order desserts. The Choco Lava Rolls were fried and oozing with chocolate sauce, and served with vanilla ice-cream. Though we were stuffed to the brim, there was definitely enough space for this dessert.

We would visit the restaurant again – for its reasonable pricing and sizable portions. Toning down the menu a little, perhaps, would be advisable; focus on a few dishes but do them well.

Meal for two: Rs 1,500 (including drinks)

First published on: 12-03-2016 at 12:41:13 am
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