I’m no stranger to the soul-satisfying charms of Quattro Ristorante, an Italian and Mexican vegetarian restaurant employing the fine techniques of molecular gastronomy. I’ve been here a few times and always been bowled over by the quantity and quality of food served. The Lower Parel outlet seems small on entering but as you go beyond the corridor, the restaurant opens out into a swanky space with plush black tables and red high stools in the centre. The maître d’ is obviously passionate about the hotel and the new additions to its menu, which are the reason for my review. It also happens to be my birthday and getting an excellent corner table and the personal attention of the serving staff makes it truly special.
Corn Cookies: 5/5
The first dish turns out to be the best dish of the entire meal. The corn cookies are crumbly, sweet and salty and are topped with a layer of soft black beans, broccoli, fresh jalapenos and cheese, which is topped with a pink dollop of beetroot cream. The beetroot cream melts in the mouth and the varied textures are a winning combination.
Formaggio Di Patate: 4/5
The dish looks substantial when it comes to our table. There is a huge plate of tossed baby potatoes on a bed of lettuce, along with a serving of cheese sauce, to be poured over the potatoes and most curiously, two white balls that turn out to be ‘cheese ice-cream’. I like the fact that we get to pour as much warm cheese sauce on the potatoes as we like. The potatoes are mildly flavoured with garlic and oil and the cool and cheesy ice-cream is the winner of the dish.
Jalapeno Queso: 3.5/5
After two splendid starters, the Jalapeno Queso is slightly disappointing though by no means, unpalatable. Covered in a foamy cloud, the batter-fried spheres are simplistic, consisting mainly of a soft stuffing of Jalapeno and cheese. It’s nothing outstanding but reasonably tasty.
Pizza Margherita with Olive Burst: 5/5
An Italian (and Mexican) restaurant needs to ace its pizzas and Quattro Ristorante does exactly that. Their 12 inch Margherita pizzas are the epitome of excellence in themselves – thin crust bases with a tomato and cheese topping that oozes with the flavour and fragrance of extra virgin olive oil. And this one comes with the additional genius of their signature olive burst. The waiter proceeds to ladle quivering, large olives on to each slice and when I have a bite, I am amazed at the softness that fills my mouth. How do they transform olives into something like this? The process is called spherification, the maître d’ tells me.
Chocolate Cigars with Vanilla Ice-Cream: 5/5
My heart is set on the Chocolate Saturn but the server convinces us to try the new chocolate cigars. After an impatient (but short) wait, two cigars come arranged on a wooden box along with a serving of vanilla ice-cream. One cigar is filled with Nutella cream while the other is stuffed with sea salt caramel. We are given a small contraption to snap each cigar into two. I’m unable to decide which one is better – both are visual and sensory perfection. But the real icing on the cake is the discovery that the cigar cup (made of chocolate) and the ice-cream bowl (made of wafer) are edible as well! The maître d’ jokes that some customers even want to eat the wooden box!
Beer Mule: 5/5
Out of the three cocktails we try, this one is the best. Served in a copper glass to keep it cold till the last sip, the beer is flavoured with orange peel and mint. The result is a refreshing, zesty drink.
Wine Mule: 4/5
The original Moscow Mule is made with vodka but if you swap that with white wine, you get the Wine Mule. I don’t like it as much as the Beer Mule but it’s still a great way to have wine, if you don’t mind the bitter aftertaste due to the lime.
The Michelada is a work of art, served in a tall glass with tabasco sauce at the bottom and spicy salt on the rim. The waiter pours in nearly 330 ml of Kingfisher Ultra beer which mingles with the orange flavoured smoke from the ice to become the Michelada. It is the spiciest beer I’ve ever had and as someone who dislikes spicy cocktails, I don’t take to it much. But it’s definitely innovative and a great choice for lovers of Bloody Mark and its ilk.
The dishes are well complemented by a platter of eight Mexican dips and sauces. The restaurant is ideal for large families as well as groups of friends. Couples can always seek some privacy in the undisturbed corners. So if it’s filling, gourmet vegetarian food you seek, Quattro Ristorante is a must-visit.
Address: 7, Janta India Estate, Senapati Bapat Marg, Opposite Phoenix Mills, Lower Parel, Mumbai
Phone number: 022 67496444
Opening hours: 12 Noon to 4 PM, 6:30 PM to 11:30 PM (all days)