“A cook’s job in my opinion is to be creative and push the boundaries of their cuisine and never stop experimenting.” – Ching He Huang
Massive Restaurants Pvt. Ltd. owned by the mighty Kalras, has always had something new to offer; be it Farzi Cafe and Masala Library modernizing traditional Indian cuisine utilizing molecular gastronomy concept, Pa pa ya offering modern Asian cuisine or MasalaBar revolutionizing the concept of cocktails. What next, I thought, and soon they came up with KODE in Lower Parel. If you were to judge a book by its cover, this would seem like just another multi-cuisine fine-dining restaurant that specializes in molecular gastronomy concept. But, honestly, it’s far from being just that! While it does offer you modern global cuisine with an interesting twist further adding more fun element to it, KODE is a ‘freestyle’ bar and restaurant specializing in predominantly European cuisine with just a few favourites from across other global cuisines like ramen, sushi, pizzas and grills, apart from also offering 150 different labels of whisky and their signature three-course cocktails.
The restaurant is spread across a vast area and is divided into the dining area, lounge and the bar sections. The interiors of the restaurant are said to be done by an internationally famous architect. 19 tonnes of large natural stones excavated from the mines in Udaipur in Rajasthan have also been used to style the interiors of the restaurant and add a rustic touch to it. The dining area houses plenty of wooden tables and well cushioned wooden chairs with an open kitchen on one side and an equally large bar counter on the other with plenty of tall bar stools thrown in around it and lined up across one of the walls. The lounge area houses comfortable couches. The ambience, thus, exudes a well balanced combination of modern and rustic charm. The upbeat music and the lights that get dimmer and dimmer every hour as the evening progresses, further add an elite element to the dining experience. The only drawback is that the dining area gets too noisy when the restaurant is occupied to its full capacity; noisy enough to totally kill the mood that the mesmerizing decor tries to set you in.
Their concept of three-course cocktails is sui generis; this currently being the only restaurant in Mumbai to do so. The first course comprises a small bite, second is the drink itself and the third is something sweet – very similar to how any meal course traditionally ends on a sweet note with a dessert. Their 150 different types of whisky are sure to entice all the whisky aficionados in the city, as much as their comprehensive Whiskypedia (Whisky menu) with detailed tasting notes mentioned for each of the labels will.
Forgotten Petal Sour
We had to take a bite of the Campari liquor soap topped with Champagne foam, to begin with – which let out a sweet-tart flavour with a faint spicy edge. This was to be followed with a sip of the Gin based cocktail comprising red berries, rose water, citrus and bitters that had a fruity-tangy and bitter flavour with faint floral notes. The third course comprised of a rose flavoured cotton candy that effectively helped to cut the bitterness of the cocktail and render a pleasant aftertaste. Such brilliance!
Pearl of Carribean
This Rum based cocktail comprising of pineapple juice revealed a hint of tropical flavour with the freshness of basil and warmth of cinnamon in every sip. The red wine sorbet served alongside had a contrasting sharp fruity flavour that well complemented the drink and effectively mellowed the strong flavour of rum in it.
This sweet-tart mocktail comprising cranberry, raspberry, blueberry, orange juice and sparkling water was again a hit!
Togarashi & Garlic Olives With Chives Crème Fraiche
These Kalamata Olives were pickled with garlic and Japanese Togarashi spice blend and served alongside some thick cream having just a hint of tang and light oniony flavour of chives and finished with a light drizzle of spicy chilli oil.
Butter Glazed Edamame With Sea Salt
These butter glazed edamame beans sprinkled lightly with sea salt revealed a wonderful garlic-y and buttery flavour.
These thin pounded slices of raw salmon were arguably one of the best carpaccios that I have had in the city till date! They were so good on their own that I almost forgot about the soy sauce and the spice mix dusted on the platter.
Kale & Pine Nuts Salad With Fresh Pomegranate
The deep and earthy flavour of Kale leaves, delicately sweet and buttery flavour of the pine nuts, the juicy crunch of the pomegranate seeds and the plenty of parmesan cheese; (plenty being an understatement considering how we topped our salad with much more than enough Parmesan that effectively hid all the other salad components *evil grin*), all together ensured us a light, fresh, juicy and delicious treat indeed. The crispy thin cracker loaded with nuts served along with the salad was equally delicious!
Herb Crusted Scotch Eggs With Baby Greens
The Scotch eggs served here had a thin harissa spiced minced chicken crust with a crispy golden exterior. They rested in a pool of an absolutely smooth, creamy and pale yellow béarnaise sauce made of butter emulsified in egg yolk and white wine finished off with a few flecks of green herbs and a few drops of red chili oil. Needless to say, that we were completely bowled over by its excellence.
18 Hours Cooked Lamb Shank With Blue Cheese Truffle, Creamy Polenta
The lamb meat was so tender that it effortlessly separated off the bone. The crispy golden fried truffles revealed a gooey centre and the creamy polenta speckled with finely diced tomatoes that they rested upon, was equally good in all its simplicity.
Miso Marinated Black Cod, Parmesan Risotto
Marinating the black cod fillet with miso rendered it a faint sweetness and spicy undertones. The risotto was perfectly rich, creamy and full of flavour with just a hint of saffron.
Charred Chicken & Jalapeno Quesadillas
The tortillas were adequately soft and easy to manipulate. The filling was spicy and flavourful BUT was TOO DRY to make the overall dish appetizing. The coriander aioli smeared onto the platter as an accompaniment tasted perfect owing to its bright, citrusy and faintly peppery notes.
Chicken & Seafood Paella With Baked Garlic
The combination of creamy and flavourful rice, king prawns, shellfish, pork and chicken let out a mesmerizing aroma and together turned out to be an uber delicious, creamy and meaty affair!
These in-house savoury churros lightly dusted with spices were nice and crispy on the outside with a relatively soft core, i.e. the density and texture was simply nailed to perfection. The goat cheese mousse dip served alongside turned out to be a wonderful accompaniment owing to its soft and creamy texture and a mild tangy flavour. However, this savoury variety definitely didn’t win my heart as much as the sugar dusted churros dipped in chocolate always have.
I couldn’t try the Manchengo & Truffle Oil Pide (Turkish pizza) with Maldon Sauce since it contained truffle oil and I’m allergic to mushrooms.
This baked Semi Freddo with a soft and warm exterior revealed a cool and crunchy-creamy delight within along with just a hint of the strong flavour of rum that was poured onto it to set it on fire and reveal the layers within.
“Hospitality is love in action. Hospitality is the flesh and muscle on bones of love.” – Alexander Strauch
The service was extremely welcoming and courteous – something very peculiar about all the restaurants owned by Massive Restaurants Pvt. Ltd. and something that I really appreciate. Right from the usher at the entrance to the bartenders, managers and the attending staff, everyone is kind, polite, cheerful and knowledgeable and have good communication skills. The wait-staff is very interactive, reasonably fast and attentive enough; only their swiftness and attentiveness is affected as the restaurant begins to get occupied to its full capacity. Chef Momin and Manager Hitesh were equally interactive, very patient in answering all our food related queries and genuinely interested in feedback.
Food Quality – 4.5/5
Food Quantity – 4/5
Ambience – 4/5
Service – 4.5/5