Milan in a flash? South Mumbai's Two One Two restaurant will show you how
By: Karishma Suri
Posted on: April 3, 2012
Milan in a flash? South Mumbai’s Two One Two restaurant will show you how.
Giving a lavish gastronomy tour garnished with a physics 101 class is a restaurant that is nestled in a leafy, serene lane in Mumbai’s Worli area, called Two One Two. Understatedly elegant and generously spaced over 4,000 square feet, the restaurant embodies the team’s philosophy of striving for perfection. Confused about the physics part in a restaurant? They say that at 211 degrees Fahrenheit, water is merely hot, but at 212 degrees Fahrenheit, it turns to steam. Their mantra for success - that extra degree makes all the difference! “We believe it is that extra degree that makes all the difference between a plain meal and the memorable dining experience we provide at Two One Two,” said the team.
With clean lines, dark wooden flooring and welcoming sofas, the décor is balanced between chic and comfortable. With a capacity of over 120 covers, the restaurant has an intimate private dining area, an al fresco section offering striking views of the chefs working at the conventional wood-fired oven, and a tastefully designed cocktail bar that is capable of churning out cocktails that are enticing and indulgent. “The look that I had in mind was very subtle and subdued with an element of colour which was added by the chairs. The idea behind keeping the décor very minimalistic was to highlight the presentation of our food; which in my opinion has turned out really well,” said Mr Ketan Kadam, the owner.
Their focus, however, will be their delectable food. Executive Chef Mikhail Shahani is no stranger to immaculateness. They focus on prime ingredients with dishes that elicit the real flavour of every natural element. The extensive menu boasts of traditional dishes from Milan (like the Saffron Risotto Milanese) as well as Mediterranean delights (Parmentier of Chilean seabass, crab, lemon confit), delicately crisp wood-fired pizzas and contemporary innovations such as the cappuccino of wild mushrooms with truffle oil. Quite confident that his restaurant is one of a kind, Mr Kadam looks forward to the years to come. “The very fact that the restaurant has stayed open for three years, along with reviews that are purely focused on the exceptional quality of our food, speaks volumes,” he said. How did LuxuryFacts like it? Read on.
Make yourself comfortable
As you take your seat at the table, tell yourself that you must not fill your stomach with the delectable bread basket put promptly in front of you with a sundried tomato pesto dip and herbed butter. Glancing through the menu, it is a boon to notice that the vegetarian and non-vegetarian items are put on separate pages (yes, you won’t need your spectacles to notice the small ‘v’). Sip on your Basil and Thyme Margarita as the herbs offer an unparalleled sensation to your senses or the Sour Apple Martini which looks as appealing to the eyes as to the taste buds. Perfectly sweet and sour, the Smirnoff Vodka may make it a little rough on your palate, so opt for a smoother vodka like Absolut or Grey Goose. Appetizers are countless and you will be tempted to sample more than a few dishes. The Cappuccino of Wild Mushroom and black truffle oil served with a piece of garlic bread (crunchy and perfect flavour with a drizzle of butter) should not be missed as the aroma and flavour of this soup supersedes any other liquid appetizer in the city. Light, full of flavour and fragrant, you will not realise where this room temperature soup goes.
Other appetizers that cannot be missed are the Cumin and sesame marinated chicken skewers that are grilled to perfection and melt in the mouth, Mushroom baklava which is nothing but sautéed mushrooms in a phyllo pastry and literally disappear in a couple of seconds, and the Assorted Bruschetta platter in which you have an option of tomato and balsamic drizzle or goat cheese with a balsamic drizzle (bite sized crostinis that vanish in two bites!). The two latter dishes are not on the menu and are available only via a word of mouth request, so make sure you ask for it! Non-vegetarians will savour the Deep fried prawns and Calamari with tartare sauce which is a big portion, so order accordingly. The prawns are juicy and have a punch of basil, but the tartatre sauce may get a little too salty. Try the Angus Terderloin Slider which is the juiciest piece of meat you can get your teeth on! Coming as no surprise, Chef Mikhail is unsurprisingly most proud of the grill section of his menu. Using the finest cuts of imported meat and the freshest local seafood, Two One Two’s grill is unparalleled amongst stand-alone restaurants in the city.
The vegetarian option for this delectable slider is the Portobello Mushroom Slider, which can be quite filling, so have it as a main instead of a starter. The Mushroom Patty inside is juicy too and an ideal treat for mushroom lovers.
An inch or two
Approximately 80-90 per cent of the ingredients used at 212 are imported, as they source them internationally and acquire them through local distributors. They identify where the best produce comes from and request distributors to get the produce from that specific region only! Those who will know, 212 uses Irish Lamb which they claim is of a far superior quality than New Zealand lamb.
“Our team of chefs have worked with some of the most well renowned establishments from around the world. Therefore, they have also been trained by the best in the culinary industry. In addition, we see to it that every six months we send our chefs to places like Hong Kong, where they sample dishes from various restaurants to keep themselves updated with what is happening globally. This, in turn, helps them create dishes in the restaurant,” said Mr Kadam.
A definite must-have is the Flat Ribonned Zucchini with garlic, chilli and black summer truffle butter which will change your perception about the not so loved zucchini in pasta concept! A pasta for the health conscious guests, watch in amazement as even those who run from the name of zucchini (example, me!) will wipe out every last crumb of this dish. There is no flour pasta in this dish, the zucchini is ribonned out so it apes a fettucine and even tastes like one! Or actually, it’s better. Hard core pasta lovers can have the Red Pepper Tagliatelle with cream and Parmesan cheese which actually has freshly prepared in-house pasta! Slightly heavy due to the cream and cheese combination, it is but absolutely sinful to those who cannot stay off carbs!
The sun dried tomato and goat cheese risotto is absolutely delicious, but the punch of tomatoes can be a little overwhelming for some, so ask them to add some more cream to balance out the flavour. Non-vegetarians can have the Sea food Risotto with Pan seared scallops which is similar to the vegetarian risotto with ample seafood to please prawn and fish lovers. No Italian meal is complete without a pizza, so go for the Boscaiola, which is topped with wild mushrooms, porcinni, button and shitake, and even has a mushroom paste replacing the usual tomato sauce. The Piccante Pizza will please pepperoni lovers as very few places get a simple pizza so right!
Sugar leads the way
If you still have any place left, try their desserts which are sinful! The Tiramisu is soft (the mascarpone is of a very superior quality and texture) and melts in the mouth, but lacks a little punch for my taste. The Blueberry Cheesecake is an absolute winner here due to its perfect blueberry flavour and consistency. Chocolate lovers need not go to Ecaudor for some of the best chocolates in the world as 212 will bring you the Ecaudorian Chocolate Truffle to your seat (looks perfectly sculpted and is decadent). Out of the box and heart warming is the Carrot Cake – dig into it for a burst of sweet carrot and cinnamon in your mouth!
The menu has been inspired by the lack of unique ingredients in the country today. If you travel around the world, you will find exceptional ingredients like truffles, burata and aged ham, which most restaurants in India do not use. At Two One Two Bar and Grill, the team designs their dishes according to the various ingredients they can acquire, thus offering innovations on your platter. Travel the globe in one bite and teleport to Milan with Two One Two!
Coordinates: Two One Two Bar & Grill, 12-A Hornby Vellard Estate, Lotus Cinema Building, Next to Vitesse / Opposite Nehru Centre, Worli, Mumbai, India
Ph: +91-22-2490 1994
Open for lunch and dinner