Would you be surprised to know that Mumbai has established restaurants that serve offbeat cuisines that vary from Peru to Portugal but that the Middle East is barely represented on the food map in the city? Not anymore. Bayroute is all set to be the flagship Middle Eastern restaurant in a city that relishes hummus just as much as hari chutney on its ubiquitous sandwiches.
Run by actor Shaad Randhawa with other partners, Bayroute has a Middle Eastern menu to die for. Obviously, the first true test of a Middle Eastern place is how the hummus tastes. We am happy to report that the variety of Hummus dishes on the menu was absolutely smashing. Baklava (INR 575), another favourite Middle Eastern dish, also stood true to taste with its flaky texture, frozen rose petals and a dollop of ice cream that was mind-blowing to say the least.
Coming back to the starters, we tried the Labneh (INR 425) and Tabbouleh (INR 395) to size up the restaurant’s Middle Eastern claims. The former dish was made with strained yogurt that was induced with just the right amount of lemon juice and olive oil while the latter was as perfect as a Middle Eastern salad could be. What blew our mind was the Muhammara (INR 495), a delicately prepared Syrian dip that had red peppers and red chillies but was balanced beautifully with pomegranate molasses. Our expectations suddenly shot sky high.
The next dish we tried were the Halloumi Cigars (INR 675) that looked off as soon as it was placed on the table. The flaked pastry with caramelized onion did little to raise our appetite and had us looking at the next dish with bated breath. The Falafels (INR 425) kept us good company until the Dukkah Lamb (INR 695) arrived. The dish raised the profile of the place once again with its tender meat spiced and topped with condiments in a lip-smacking dish.
We were intrigued by the Pide selection and wondered how this Turkish take on the pizza would look and taste. After tasting the Peynir Pide (INR 495), we are happy to report that the Pide at least partly managed to take us back to the streets of Istanbul where we first tasted this delicious dish.
When we returned from our imaginary trip we realised we were still salivating over the Dukkah Lamb leading us to order the Lamb Tagine (INR 725) for main course. The lamb tenderloin dish mixed with assorted veggies and chickpeas in a slightly tangy mint and tomato sauce was another highlight dish. We were only disappointed we couldn’t finish the dish because we were full up to our neck by this point!
Nevertheless, we tried a couple of desserts. The Zaffrani Milk Cake (INR 525) is heavenly for anyone who remotely loves milk cakes. In fact, on a good day the fresh Arabic cake topped with pistachios can even manage to turn a non-milk cake loving person into a believer. But the show stealer for us was the Baklava that was over and beyond the traditional phyllo pastry topped as it was with Gulkand ice cream and crushed rose petals. If you try only one dish at Bayroute, make sure it’s the Baklava. It’s the best way to step out of this fabulous place with sweet memories.
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