Almost every restaurant that has opened in Mumbai recently has adjusted to the Mumbaikar’s palate but there are very few that work the other way round.
The 90s boasted of a good music scene with several college and mainstream rock and metal bands ruling the city.”Among the most popular places for gigs was Razzberry Rhinoceros during that time and that is what we wanted to revive”, says Nitin Tewari, current Director of Razz, as it was more popularly called.
The iconic place from the 90s has re-opened its doors in the city with an even balance of old and new. Housed in Juhu Hotel like before and overlooking Juhu beach, the vast expanse caters to people of all needs – more like a multipurpose space with food, drink, music and a Goa-like vibe.
The restaurant has four sections – bistro, patio, pub and the deck. While the bistro is lit-up bright with a coffee and wine bar to drink from, the razzberry-tinted pub lighting is complimented with an equally well-stocked bar counter; the patio works for a cozy date, and the deck overlooks the beach. There is also a lounge on the first floor and a lawn in the middle to sprawl out on air bags once you’ve finished your dinner and looking to listen to musicians play their melodious tunes.
Choosing the perfect section in the restaurant to dine is the most important decision to make and do not hesitate to ask the staff for recommendations. Every section has a different menu specially curated by Chef Ranveer Brar of English Vinglish fame in Juhu. We happened to try a little from every menu for their different flavours and concepts.
The summer almost having set in,we started with a Deck special from the Root to Fruit drinks menu with Sweet Lime and Sage – a refreshing yet mildly potent mix of gin, salt and sugar, sweet lime and sage has a welcoming sweet-sour taste. The Musk Melon and Lychee is a combination of vodka and mint coupled with the sweetness from the melon and lychee.
We started with a delicious plate of mushroom pate, Bocconcini cheese, berry compote and micro greens with coin UTP (Ulta Tawa Paratha) with a kebab. The DIY dish is an amusing combination of mushroom paste blending perfectly with the cheese and compote with a small bite of the kebab.We moved on to the next arrangement, a colourful one at that, almost as immediately as it came to the table. The dish, an interesting combination of wasabi and beetroot hummus with ricotta, pomegranate olives and pine nuts on pita was sweet, creamy and had a nutty flavour that was hard to miss. We were next served large Grilled Kasundi Prawns that had a delicious flavour of lemon leaf accompanied by the orange and cream cheese. The star of the small plates however was the Chicken Nukhti Kebab served on a mini UTP topped with a mooli akhrot chutney (radish walnut chutney). The spicy chicken preparation was complimented by the light chutney to make it an easy favourite.
The Razz Bar cocktail menu is more potent than the other sections and the Razz Sour is proof. The cocktail a take on the classic Whiskey Sour does justice with a strong mixture of whiskey, razzberry puree, lime and aquafaba (a replacement for egg whites). The delicious mixture of whiskey and razzberry adds a great touch to the cocktail menu. The Cold Brew Old Fashioned was even better with a simple cocktail of whiskey, cold brew (coffee), honey and bitters that lent the drink a powerful flavour that would make anybody shake a leg.The refreshing Fish Salad had sliced salmon along with greens, jalapenos, cherry tomatoes and gari (pickled ginger) to make quite an interesting salad. The Gosht Mulayam Seekh Kebab with rose flavoured coin paratha and coriander and jalapeno chutney was a lovely combination and undoubtedly the most succulent kebabs we have tasted in the city. For main course, we had a thick preparation of a North African-inspired Pork Curry with tagine spices (mix of ground spices) and couscous with a sweet and spicy chilli mango salad. The meaty pork pieces cooked in the spices were juicy and quite a delicious treat.
The Mango Expressions – a grainy kulfi (ice cream) in desserts caught our eye instantly and didn’t disappoint. Sweet aam ras on one side and a combination of marinated mangoes and aam papad was quite a treat. The small pieces of raw mango in the kulfi made from the same fruit was a delight just before the much-awaited mango season in May.
Razzberry Rhinoceros has definitely returned with style especially with their unique cocktails artistically curated by Director and Mixologist Nitin Tewari. We couldn’t have expected less from the food menu that has a recognisable touch of Ranveer Brar. The restaurant has created a multipurpose space that will definitely for quite a while stay this time around.
Meal For Two: Rs 2,000 + taxes
Must Try: Razz Sour, Chicken Nukhti Kebab, Mango Expressions