Ellipsis, the new fine dining restaurant which opened its doors in July is located where Golden Gate restaurant used to be in Colaba, Mumbai. It seems all set to take on the culinary world by giving it a new dimension. Before heading down there, I decided to look up the restaurant’s website. It tells you nothing about the place apart from a page where you can make a booking.
Young Rohan Talwar, his friend Ranbir Batra, and Thomas Schoos, a German-origin designer have redesigned and stripped the walls of this 19th century building to try and create a dream space to contain a new culinary experience. They have gone with an avant garde theme in a heritage property with art work all over the walls. Many wooden beams and staircases attract one’s attention as it traverses over the two storied restaurant. The grey sofas and chairs fit in well with the ambience of the 4,400 square feet restaurant but the low lighting and orange hue of the place do nothing to highlight the visual appeal of any dish as they hide all the colours on the plate. Ellipsis has also followed the trend of hiring chefs from foreign shores and has brought in Executive Chef Kelvin Cheung, Sous Chef James Palm and beverage consultant David Kapalm from the USA. The restaurant also has a designated “chefs table” where the chefs cook your meal at the table; a fine and novel concept at this stage in fine dining. The long bar counter boasts of a wine on the tap counter, which is a first. The Prosecco was fine and am sure the other wines are too. A series of cocktails are specially designed for the restaurant and the vodka martini with cucumber was delicious.
The menu is based on fresh seasonal produce, for which the chef shops at the markets daily. From the produce procured, he creates a menu for that day aloneThe owners call the cuisine served Modern American, by stating that cuisines of immigrants to the United States influenced the indigenous fare. This may be so but if one is going to eat American, one expects American styled food on the plate. The lists of Iberico ham, confit potato, frisee and parsley New Zealand lamb, Holland Pork Belly, foie gras and their home-made sriracha (which is a hot sauce from Thailand) is anything but American. There are dishes like waffles made with sour dough and served with chicken. It’s probably more global fusion rather than Modern American. As the menu is ingredient-based and seasonal, the options range from vegetarian dishes, fish, lamb and chorizo to home-made pasta and ravioli filled with pumpkin and sage, braised fennel and dishes with parmesan, romaine and chanterelle mushrooms. Other interesting dishes are tuna with a soy gel, togarashi with lotus root and Carpaccio made with octopus, though I am not sure about how many Indians will actually like octopus.
The food is excellently made and prepared, though the chef could do with honing his skills in the plating department. The opening dish of freshly baked pretzels with a perfect quenelle of butter and a few sauces prepared in-house was quite nice. The presentation of the carrot soup, where it is poured into a bowl of foam from a jug at the table, and eaten with Italian styled bread that’s stuffed with cheese was a tad heavy but delicious. The pork belly served with bread that resembles a baby naan that’s been steamed, fried and stuffed is a take on Asian-style pork buns . I decided to go with the sea bass which was the catch of the day. The lightly pan fried bass served with fennel and asparagus though beautifully presented was a wee bit overdone, but otherwise great. The desserts are not very innovative. The rocky road ice-cream with meringue cooked in nitrogen is nice for a table side show but as far as flavours go, it needs some more pepping up. Ellipsis is definitely a place where you can chill out and relax; the atmosphere is congenial and classy. Hopefully the dishes and their presentation will match up, to deliver a complete fine dining experience package.
What: Modern American/ Global fusion cuisine
Where: Ellipsis, Mumbai
How much: Rs 2,500 per person without alcohol
(The author is a Cordon Bleu Chef and food stylist)