Fifty Five East, the sprawling new multi-cuisine restaurant at Grand Hyatt, Mumbai replaces M, the popular grill, and offers its patrons a 'what you see is what you get' concept
By: Karishma Parkash
Posted on: October 10, 2010
Fifty Five East, the sprawling new multi-cuisine restaurant at Grand Hyatt, Mumbai replaces M, the popular grill, and offers its patrons a ‘what you see is what you get’ concept.
If you look out for calming and innovative decors, peaceful surroundings, an amalgamation of the most popular cuisines, and a quick meal, then Grand Hyatt’s latest venture, called Fifty Five East, is apt for you. Innovatively named from the pin code of Hyatt’s location, the range of offerings at this temple of food includes live counters of Lebanese, Japanese Sushi, Thai, Indian and Western Grills. Add to this a vast layout of pastas, pizzas and baked delicacies, and you have yourself a lavish Sunday Brunch.
After hearing so much about it, a friend and I decided to see for ourselves the place that replaced M, the popular grill. Calming interiors and majestic ceilings greeted us as we entered the reception. We prepped ourselves for a long walk down the staircase that led us to the main restaurant. A well-stocked bar and an interactive bartender marked our arrival into the restaurant while our sense of smell was tickled by a variety of aromas. The lighting at the restaurant, which apes that of a rainforest according to assistant manager Dinesh Singh, is something that will definitely catch your eye as you wait for the drinks menu. Don’t wait for a food menu though as this is a self-service restaurant. But if you are feeling a little lethargic, the waiters will be happy to get your choice to your table.
The restaurant intends to offer a variety of fares that may seem like chalk and cheese on paper, but according to Executive Sous Chef Bobde, the concept is picking up in India. The ease and transparency of open kitchens where one can just hop, skip and jump from one cuisine to another is being rapidly accepted by many, especially corporates looking to entertain visitors from foreign countries. We were quite impressed to hear that the restaurant respects each cuisine’s authenticity and takes the effort to rope in a local chef and ingredients for each cuisine.
The thirst quenchers menu showcased the expertise of the bar with a good selection of red and white wines, cocktails, mocktails, and fresh juices. I opted for a freshly squeezed apple juice while my friend had a fresh lime soda, both of which were refreshingly punched with flavour. We also tried the house-recommended Virgin Basil and Orange Caprioska which was absolutely fantastic even without the alcohol. The Thai Ice tea with lemongrass is a great option for those who like the ginger flavour.
Due to the close proximity of the Lebanese counter to my table, the cold mezze options in a long glass refrigerator caught my eye. A variety of cold specialties like Hummus, Mutabel, Muhamarra, Cous Cous salad, Chicken Mortadella Salad among others were smartly adorning the shelves of the refrigerator. All frozen food is replenished here in 20 minutes to guarantee only the freshest food. The chef recommended Hummus with spiced olives and Mutabel with warm pita bread were perfectly flavored. My friend tried the Chicken Mortedella Salad which was a delightful mixture of Chicken Salami, fresh gherkins and bell peppers.
The Japanese counter was neighbouring the Lebanese one, so it only seemed fair to sample the sushi which the Executive chef proudly claimed was their specialty. I’m not much of a sushi eater, but the tempting aroma of the Red Sweet Pepper Sushi and Chef Okabe’s advice made me dig in to the sushi. It will definitely convert non-sushi eaters! The eggplant Tempura sushi was a playground of textures and I would definitely recommend it even if you don’t like eggplant. The presentation was great so you might stop to admire the sushi for a few seconds before you bite into it. My friend sampled the Prawn Sushi and said it was hard to describe in more than one word - perfect.
Next up, the Thai counter includes the famed soup (a wholesome meal in itself with a perfect balance of nutrients and taste), noodles, Thai red curry and a main course dish which varies from day to day. We had appetizing stir-fried noodles with shrimp. Thankfully the shrimp was fresh and tender. Be sure to try Jasmine Rice, a dish which hit the right spots on my tongue palette. I teamed it with sautéed vegetables in a black soya bean sauce. The stir-fried Phad broccoli with a tad hint of soya sauce is also a good option for the health conscious.
Neatly stacked banana leaf thalis with spices in the air could be nothing but the Indian station. It was decorated with vivid pink and red strips of sarees adorning the walls. Bhindi, Paneer Mattar, Potatoes, Avial (a thick mixture of vegetables, curd and coconut, seasoned with coconut oil and curry leaves) and dal rice were amongst the vegetarian options to choose from. Paneer Mattar had hints of spices and tomato and went perfectly well with rice. Slight improvisation in terms of flavouring and warmth of the dishes would definitely earn them brownie points. Skip the yoghurt unless you like salty flavours. Spicy Prawn Curry was absolutely top notch, flavoured with herbs and garlic, and accompanied with freshly made garlic naan.
The European grills section filled the air with a tempting smell. However, the herbed Gnochhi and baked dish were slightly disappointing. Grilled Vegetables with Baby Potatoes lacked taste. Grilled Chicken thigh in Barbecue sauce was tender and fresh, but not exactly spectacular. The pesto sauce seemed the only saving grace at this station.
Luscious desserts exhibited in a glass display looked like the ultimate indulgence. Even for someone who isn’t too fond of sweets, it is hard to say no to the smooth milk chocolate hazelnut mousse and the Chocolate and Raspberry cake. Go ahead and choose from a variety of tarts, tiramisu, pudding, mithai and fruits. My recommendation? The Tiramisu and a soft serve from their in-house softee machine!
To conclude, Fifty Five East is a mandatory visit for every gourmet in the city who wishes to enjoy authentic and high quality food. So bring along your appetite and explore Fifty Five East leisurely!
Coordinates: Grand Hyatt, Off Western Express Highway, Santacruz (East), Mumbai 400055