Amadeus, the recently opened restaurant at the NCPA, makes a noticeable effort to blend into its surroundings. Music legends adorn the walls of the dining room located within the center’s grounds, as if to suggest that fine cuisine and music go hand in hand. Unfortunately, little music can actually be heard in the air, creating somewhat of an uncomfortable silence and taking away from the otherwise impressively intimate feel of the large space when you first sit down. Aside from well-spaced tables, Amadeus also features a separate bar and lounge area perfect for the up-and-coming SoBo (insert your own adjective) set.
The cuisine is a little difficult to place at first, the menu feeling somewhat like a lengthy food manual (similar to when Chinese is thrown on the back page as an after-thought) and it took a while to figure out exactly what was on offer (according to the restaurant: Spanish and Levantine). Fortunately, the food spoke for itself. For the appetizers we loved the Goat’s Cheese with Rocket. Creamy and soft with just a hint of apple walnut oil, it paired beautifully with its accompanying peppery greens.
The Serano Ham and Rocket Lettuce Coca (described as a Spanish flatbread pizza) was terrific, with the caramelized onions drawing the flavors together beautifully on a delightfully thin crust. Also enjoyable was the Amadeus Mezze platter, featuring Lamb Humus, Zucchini Tzatziki, and a standout Zaaloukh (a Moroccan eggplant cooked salad).
We happened to visit during Amadeus’ special Spanish Week, for which guest Master Chef Guillermo Hidalgo was flown in from Barcelona. Unable to resist, we went with the special Spanish tasting menu, which surprisingly turned out to be a mixed bag.
The Garlic Shrimps were beautifully plump and well seasoned but noticeably undercooked. Meanwhile, the Watermelon Gazpacho felt more like a bizarre shot than a cold soup – an unnecessary recombination of a classic favorite.
However, the Pork Chinstrap with Creamy Potato was juicy, tender and glazed marvelously while the Grilled Sea Bass was cooked to perfection and expertly balanced with Leak Cream and Garlic Mushrooms.
We decided to be a little indulgent and ordered an extra dish of Black Cod with Miso Sherry and the Paella Valenciana off the a la carte menu, to make sure we experienced the regular offerings. Although a little light on flavour, the cod was again well cooked, flaking off at the touch of a fork. Most surprising, the paella tasted authentically of Spain and transported us to the sleepy little fishing villages outside Valencia where we first fell in love with this dish (we suspect Chef Hidalgo had something to do with this – see his Paella cooking lesson here).
We enjoyed the deserts as well, particularly the simplicity of the Torrijas with Ice Cream (similar to French toast), while the rich Crème Catalan was decadent if not slightly on the heavy side.
Aside from food, Amadeus features and extensive wine list with a comprehensive selection of varietals at various price points. A beautiful little wine cellar sits on the left as you enter the dining room for those who prefer to look before they choose. We sampled the Sileni, a Pinot Noir from New Zealand that light bodied and pleasingly drier than most Pinots.
We also found the service to be of a high standard with our waiters exhibiting an impressive knowledge of the menu despite its length. The manager even immediately recognized the wine we were drinking after just a slight peak at neck. We were also pleased when our waiter expertly suggested how to time the food for those ordering a la carte and those ordering from the more drawn out set menu – the type of proactive service that is normally hard to come by in Mumbai.
Overall, we think Amadeus has great potential – with good food, enjoyable wines and impressive service, a few tweaks here and there could make this a fine spot for a memorable meal. Finish it off with a few drinks paired to live music in the lounge, and you’ve got the makings of a complete night out.
Gate No 2, NCPA
Next To Tata Theatre
Nariman Point, Mumbai – 400021
Tel: +(91)-(22)-22821212, 22824242, +(91)-9833047773