In celebration of the Navratri season, Chef Mukhtar Qureshi is putting out a special vegetarian menu at Neel Restaurant. While Neel does regularly serve a variety of vegetarian appetizers and entrées, this special menu includes some very unique and creative dishes. For those of you who haven’t yet been to Neel, we also sampled some non-veg items from their standard menu.
From their appetizer selection, we began with the Khumb Makai Sheekh Kabab, Til Doodiyaa Paneer Tikka, and Awadhi Sunheri Jhinga (regular menu). To wash it all down, I ordered the Kokum Fizz, which was refreshingly tangy and sweet. The Khumb Makai Kabab was a nicely spiced mix of mushroom and corn, cooked in a tandoor. While I did enjoy the flavors, I found the texture too mushy. It would have been better to have a more charred exterior to create a bit of bite. The Til Doodiyaa Paneer Tikka, on the other hand, hit it perfectly. The Paneer had a nice char and chewiness on the outside from the sesame seeds, with a soft delicate inside. It was served with a tasty sweet and savory dipping sauce. Finally, the tandoori Prawn dish was beautifully seasoned with saffron and cooked to perfection. There wasn’t anything left on the plate. ;)
For the entree, we ordered the Gucchi Taal Makhana Korma, Doodiya Channa Dal Masala, and Soya Aur Peshwari Mattar Ka Pulao from the Vegetarian menu. We also selected the Murgh-E-Khaas, Garlic Naan and Awadi Magaz Naan from their standard menu. The Gucchi Taal Makhana Korma is morel mushrooms stuffed with couscous in creamy almond gravy. While this is a very creative and unique dish, I found it to be a bit too rich for me. The gravy seemed to dominate the dish and you didn’t really taste the full flavor of the mushroom. I really enjoyed the flavor of the Doodiya Channa Dal Masala (Bengal gram lentils cooked with white pumpkin). The masala had a nice cinnamon spice that really brought out the natural flavors of the vegetable and lentils. The Murgh-E-Khas dish is a tandoor-roasted chicken cooked in rich tomato gravy. The chicken was perfectly cooked and juicy, while the gravy had just the right amount of spice. The breads were both nicely cooked and chewy. The Soya Aur Peshwari Mattar Ka Pulao was a bit odd. The rice itself was nicely cooked with a good bite, but the soya chunks didn’t really belong. I would suggest ordering their standard Pulao rice instead.
After having already eaten so much, we only sampled one of the two dessert options on the special menu. We tried the Malai Kalakand, which is a milk cake flavored with green cardamom. This was a delicious end to the meal. It melted in the mouth and wasn’t overly sweet. The slivered almonds and pistachios on top added a nice little crunch.
Neel is a high end, beautiful contemporary restaurant. Personally, I am a bit of a traditionalist when it comes to Indian cuisine, but if you want to try something different from your everyday Indian preparations, this is definitely a good place to try.
Neel Restaurant at Tote on the Turf
Mahalaxmi Race Course
Opposite Gate No 5 & 6
Near The Mini Club
Keshavrao Khadye Marg
Mahalaxmi, Mumbai – 400011
Tel: +(91)-(22)-61577777 / +(91)-9890648539