Saturday, March 23, 2013

Vamos Espana

Let’s Go Spanish!

Review: Arola, JW Mariott

I have been to Spain more than 12 years ago, as a kid while visiting my cousins and extended family (Yes, there are alot of Sindhi’s in Spain). A country of beaches, the sun and The Tomatina, Spain’s culture is warm and food forms an integral part of it.

Chef Ferran Adria of El Buli restaurant was responsible for getting Spanish cuisine on the world map, thanks to alot of praise from The New York Times. So when CM was invited to dine with his disciple Chef Sergi Arola, she knew it was going to be interesting

A Chef, a musician, a restaurateur and encantador senor (charming man), Sergi Arola is a world renowned Spanish Chef. His smart wit and good looks make you wonder what he is doing behind the kitchen door when he can easily pass off a leader actor (an Oscar winning one I may add).

Over some of his signature dishes, he discusses his childhood, Spanish Culture & Politics, Why India, his grandmother and his love for music.

Arola at JW Marriott is essentially a tapas bar. So everything you get here is' bite sized' appetizer kind-off food to accompany your poison. Spanish food he believes is about unadulterated flavours and locally sourced ingredients
Naan Tomato

No wonder our first dish is something known as ‘Naan Tomato’ -  tandoori naan served with salt, olive oil, tomato concasse and garlic. Sergi teaches us to how to eat this – rub some garlic over the naan add the tomato concasse drizzle of olive oil & salt and Voila. Never knew plain naan could taste so yum!

In the drinks, I start with the Sangria de Sergi – beautiful light and flavourful!

The next dish was Berenjenas – tandoor chargered juliennes of aubergine with balsamic reduction and pine nuts. Beautiful dish again, nothing can be this simple yet this tasty...

Ceps - Finely sliced Porcini mushrooms generous drizzled upon with pine-nut reduction and olive oil with a few shavings of Iberian ham. Me Gusta Mucho! (I loved it). This is one dish I can go on eating!

Patatas Bravas – A signature dish of Sergi – deep fried cylindrical potato rolls filled with tomato concasse topped with this tasty alioli. Again a great tapas to go with your drinks

Chicken Wings – The chicken wings were very ok... CM has tasted better!

I begin my main course with the Orange Flambe Gin and Tonic – A signature of Sergi, this drink is a must try at Arola. You just cannot miss it!

Steak Tatare – The steak tartare also was not great, could have beenbetter

Lobster – The lobster was yum, tender chunks of the crustacean drizzled with mild spices and olive oil

Gamba Al Ajillo – fresh prawns tossed in garlic, parsley and olive oil. Deliciously unadulterated flavours.

Seafood Fideua – Not one I would eat again, you know the sev you serve in kheer, well it was that with prawns squid and seabass. Didn't leave a very pleasant after taste in my mouth

In the desserts we had - Momento Dulce Three Miniature Deserts:

White Chocolate Mousse with Passion Fruit Granité – the tanginess of the passion fruit granite made a very happy couple with the chocolate mousse!

Dark Chocolate Souffle – warm, delicious and melt in the mouth kind!            

Yogurt and Vanilla Cream with Rhubarb Compote - a beautiful combination

All in all the three miniature desserts were to die for!

Steeply priced, each dish at Arola,  on an average costs Rs.750. So you could end up spending Rs 2500/- per head

Food: Good
Ambience: Beautiful
Service: Good

Quick Tip: When your in the mood to indulge – this is a great place for drinks and yummy tapas!

The Co-ordinates:

Arola Restaurant And Bar

Where: JW Marriott, Lobby Level, Juhu Tara Road, Juhu, Mumbai
Tring Tring:  - 022 66933220, 022 66933000

Timings: 8 PM to 1 AM

Food Type: Fusion, Spanish, Tapas, Appetizers
Payment Methods: Credit cards accepted

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