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How I ate Yakhni Pulav minus the mutton in Bombay!

I think this is my first review on an exclusive vegetarian restaurant so can I have a pat on my back for that? ūüėÄ

All of you who have been following me for a while now, would have figured out how obsessed I am with my meat and I don’t know how I landed up here.

Located in one of the by lanes in Kemps Corner, 29 is the newest addition to the large clan of vegetarian establishments in South Bombay that offers you food from 29 different states, all under one roof. You have cuisines from North to South and East to West of India making it accessible to the Mumbai gourmand.

I was quite fascinated by the whole concept and believe it could work brilliantly, if it’s executed well. It also has a huge advantage for vegetarians who otherwise would not be able to taste dishes like the Goan Xacuti which is usually cooked with mutton or chicken.

The highlight of the menu not only consists of vast regional delights, but also serves food that changes according to seasons to offer a more extravagant dining experience.

After chatting up with the man behind 29, Nishek Jain for a while, we were welcomed with the Goan Sol!

Usually Solkhadi is served after the meal, (at least that’s how it is done in the South) so I was a bit taken back when this arrived to the table and wasn’t a fan of it at all! It didn’t seem fresh for some reason and the kokum was way too overpowering but I cant complain much as minutes later, a glass of coke came for me.

For starters, we had Potato Chops with Sanmeholi Chutney which was Mashed potatoes & onion patty teamed with a lovely dark green Assamese chutney that complemented it well.

Next was the Dilli Chaat that was quite a disappointment! An all-time favourite from the streets of Delhi combining samosas, pakodas, palak namak pares and crunchy papdi that was¬†appealing, but didn’t live up to the looks! Found it to be quite dry also.

The Bharvan Khumb- a  Garwahli platter featuring mushrooms stuffed with a blend of spices, herbs and cheese was an absolute delight! Loved the crunchiness and distinct flavour got from every bite of it.

Potato Chops, Dilli Chaat and Bharvan Khumb

Before moving onto the mains, we had the Lal Hara Chaat that consisted of pulses and fresh veggies tossed in a lemon-honey dressing. It was a healthy salad straight from the heart of Mizoram and acted as a great palate cleanser too.

Next on the table was the Kashmiri Paneer Rolls that had paneer tossed in two rich, majestic gravies and wrapped in simple flat-bread. I really enjoyed the one with the creamier sauce as the paneer was softer and not so spicy.

We also tried the Dalimbichi with Usal ani ArbiAmti which is the famous¬†Maharashtrian preparation of field beans flavored with homemade¬†masala and accompanied with a sweet and sour colocasia curry. I wasn’t a fan of this as the flavours really didn’t work out for me.

I was waiting for the¬†Litti Chokha with Baigan Bharta all night but it wasn’t as good as I expected it to be. Stuffed breads made from wheat and cereals, served with mashed brinjal. The flavours didn’t come out well. I don’t think this dish made Bihar proud at all!

Clockwise from left to right: Lal Hara Chaat, Kashmiri Paneer rolls, Dalimbichi with Usal ani ArbiAmti and Litti Chokha with Baigan Bharta

I was quite stuffed ¬†by now but it didn’t seem to end. Here I take a trip to Uttar Pradesh on my plate to gorge on this lovely Kanpuri Tikka Pulav- A UP style twin paneer tikka served on a bed of gravy and herbed yakhni pulav.

Now, I was told that there’s no Yakhni Pulav without the mutton and so I was really missing out on that but all the flavours were in those grains of rice as it is cooked with many aromatic spices and it tantalizes your taste buds.

This dish was definitely the winner for me!

Kanpuri Tikka Pulav

Finally it was time for desserts. I believe however stuffed you are, no meal is complete without them.

The¬†Mawa Jalebi with Kesar Rabdi which is the¬†chef‚Äôs version of the renowned ‚ÄėJalebi‚Äô presented with a saffron enhanced Rabdi. I found the jalebis a bit burnt and not quite appetizing but the¬†Kesar Malai Ke Laddo on the other hand saved the day! It was this saffron and rich cream blended in an all time favourite Indian savory that was delicious indeed!

Kesar Malai Ke Laddo

Mawa Jalebi with Kesar Rabdi

So with a few hits and misses, we ended our meal on quite a pleasant note.

I was only a bit disappointed that we didn’t get anything to eat from my state- Karnataka. Was really looking forward to the Masala Benne Dosa and Bisi Bele Bhaat!

29 having just opened, still has so much more potential to shine. I guess they just have to play the game well!

DISCLAIMER: The author was invited to review the newly opened restaurant. However, the views of the author remain unbiased and are completely her own.

ADDRESS: Ground Floor, Mohammedbhay Mansion, Near Cumballa Hill Hospital, N.S Patkar Marg,Kemps Corner, Mumbai

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