Stories Of The Streets, The Leela, Mumbai
There are some meals that leave an imprint on you and then there are places that make each and every visit of yours worthwhile and memorable.
The Leela, Mumbai is a family favourite and honestly, we are just looking out for reasons to visit!
Chef Surendar Mohan’s food and Deepak’s hospitality at Jamavar and Tushar at Citrus during the brunch service and the entire team at the Leela go all out to make sure you not feel very welcome, they make you feel respected, they make you feel special, they ensure you are happy and leave grinning ear to ear, abiding by the basic rule of hospitality, “Hospitality From The Heart.”
The Leela, Mumbai currently has the “Stories of The Streets”, where every Sunday, they take you through the local foods across a different part of the world. Last Sunday, they took us through the Middle East and our love for food from that region took mom and us to the Citrus for lunch!
Tushar was there that afternoon and took us through the various foods offered and the buffet in general.
The buffet had a large spread, there was Middle Eastern, there was South Indian, there was Thai, there was Indian, there was Italian, there was local Mumbai chaat, there was Dessert and so much more!!
We obviously gorged on most of the Middle Eastern fare that they had to offer, but their South Indian food was equally phenomenal too!
The Middle Eastern fare was huge but we had a few favourites!
The Sweet Potato Steak was a very welcome change to the deep fried hash browns that we usually eat, this was well made and the hint of spice made it an enjoyable appetiser. We also had the Vegetarian Cutlets, Lebanese style and what I really liked about these was that (a) they were freshly made and not out of a packet, and (b) you could actually taste the vegetables used in them.
Tushar mentioned he wanted us to try one of the specials form their menu and there he came with Rock Corn, an appetiser from the Citrus menu, which he thought was something I would be trying for the first time and I was like, “Hey! That is my favourite from the menu and two portions of the same are a must when my friend Kriti and I come over because we always end up fighting over a portion and it is NEVER ENOUGH!”
Excitedly, I took the Rock Corn, called Kriti and then introduced mom to it!
Mom finally ended up getting a platter of some salads and sips that interested her and I got mine!
We loved the Muhammara, the Tzatziki, the Mediterranean Rice Saladthat exceeded all our expectations, the Broken Wheat Saladwas new flavour dimension for both mom and me when to broken wheat and we loved it, the Hummus that was phenomenal (I may have had at least 2 bowls of this!!) and the zatar mac and cheese on the other hand was something we did not like in particular!
Mom had the Tamatar Shorbaand loved it, the flavours were distinct and filled you with warmth every time you took a sip while I awaited my Masala Dosa. The dosa was fantastic and I loved the generosity of the bhaji in it. The dosa came with 4 coconut chutneys, carrot which was a little sweet, the tomato which was nice, the plain coconut which was brilliant and the coriander which was good too!
Tushar got us something called the Maharaja Dosa next. He asked us to taste and guess what it actually was and we loved what we had, we found it to be a little sweet and the colour on the dosa was a little different, so we guessed it could either be a dessert dosa or a dosa made from different ingredients.
Alas, we were wrong, it was the same dosa, slow cooked with more ghee than the usual.
We also had the Falafel Sandwiches which lived up to all expectations!
The Dessert spread was massive and boasted of dishes like the Pink Chocolate Fountain, Sevaiya Kheer, Motichoor Laddoos, Mango Coconut Cake and what not!
Mom went for second helpings of the kheer and I could not resist the Mango Coconut cake! It was the finest I have EVER had!
And then we thought we were done and suddenly there is this delicious looking waffle on my plate. Something Tushar made himself, crisp waffles, whipped cream and chocolate! Very homely and truly soulful!
What we also love about the Leela and their people is how they take you through the journey of food served that day and their attempt to build conversations with their guests and personalise the entire experience for them is genuinely what makes people want to go back again and again and again!
All I can say is, Thank You for the Memories.
You’ll do make every meal worthwhile!
The Non Alcoholic Brunch on Sundays that we usually have is priced at INR 2695++