The welcoming interiors of Cheval are dominated by bursts of colour contrasted with wooden furniture, quirky light fixtures, abstract paintings and photographs and near-barren walls evoking a rustic feel. The 3,000-square-foot space is divided into three distinct parts. The first room—that houses a huge bar and is splashed in hues of orange and yellow—is designed to appear like a typical New York loft with, the barren grey concrete wall giving a grunge effect. The second room, inspired by Greece, comprises a powder blue palette with circular wooden chandeliers and a mural of a black horse (Kala Ghoda)—through which Cheval gets its name—on its whitewashed walls. The third room is structured in a similar way with the exception of the blue tinge. Emulating European eateries, this room is draped in bright chrome yellow with plants hanging from the windows.
Most restaurant-goers complain about the lack of variety for vegetarians. Catering to this need, Chef Brian Lopes revamped the menu to add more options for vegetarians using fresh seasonal produce. He has also tweaked his creations to appease the Indian palate; something he felt was missing in the previous menu.
We started with their signature cocktails, Adam & Eve and Death by Afternoon. While Adam & Eve was a blend of peach purée, peach liqueur and champagne with a rim of white chocolate, Death by Afternoon comprised Absinthe, Pernod and Limoncello. The drinks were not as interesting as their intriguing names, but they seem to be just right for a relaxed afternoon.
From the appetisers menu, we tried the Roast Pumpkin Hummus with Crispy Pita, the Z’tar spiced Chicken Skewers, Beer-battered Home-cut Fries with a Chilli Dip and Pulled Pork Sliders. The pumpkin hummus was flavourful with a smooth consistency, but we didn’t quite enjoy the pairing of crispy pita with it. Regular pita bread would have been a better accompaniment as it wouldn’t take away from the pumpkin flavour. The chicken was well cooked and glazed to perfection. The beer-battered fries were a big disappointment; they were soggy instead of crispy. However, the pork sliders were quite tasty.
The highlight of the vegetarian menu was the Maple And Chilli-Crusted Cottage Cheese With Pine Nut Vinaigrette. Comprising soft cottage cheese cooked with a multitude of spices and a variety of vegetables, the dish was a subtle mix of sweet maple syrup and spicy chillies. While the flavour did inch towards how an Indian vegetable preparation would taste, it was still delicious as the cottage cheese was tender and the vegetables were well cooked.
The non-vegetarian menu was dominated by the Baked Jumbo Bay Prawns. With almost 20 ingredients mixed together to prepare the stuffing, the jumbo prawns were finely baked with a golden-brown crust. The secret to the stuffing was a mix of crab meat, chilli, parsley, breadcrumbs, egg, cheese, garlic and various herbs neatly laid in semi-open prawns with the base shell left on. Light and fresh, it is certainly a dish you shouldn’t miss.
Choosing one or two desserts from the extensive menu was a tough task, but we zeroed in on the Banoffee Pie and the Eton Mess. The Eton Mess was a fresh, light dessert with seasonal fruits, peppered meringue and whipped cream. But the Banoffee Pie overshadowed it all. Without a doubt, the best dish on the menu, this delicious amalgamation of banana, toffee and cream was simply outstanding. Served with banana ice cream and a streak of caramel, the circular pie was beautifully layered with each element complementing the others flawlessly.
While there were several highlights in this new menu, it is particularly good for vegetarians, who enjoy food made with flavours that are slightly Indianised. On the other hand, the menu definitely offers a couple of interesting and original combinations that one wouldn’t find elsewhere, as in the Black Truffle Gnocchi and Beetroot Ravioli.
Price: ₹2,500-3,000 for two (approximately)
Written By : Ruchika Vyas