Bandra, the one suburb in Mumbai where you can’t throw a stone without hitting a restaurant’s façade, has welcomed another new establishment. Say hello to Nom Nom, a sister outlet of the popular South East Asian restaurant in Andheri. Th...
Bandra, the one suburb in Mumbai where you can’t throw a stone without hitting a restaurant’s façade, has welcomed another new establishment. Say hello to Nom Nom, a sister outlet of the popular South East Asian restaurant in Andheri. Though just over 2 months old, this 2,200 sq feet Bandra outlet has already caught the fancy of foodies, if the number of people waiting to book a table on an early Friday night is any indication.
As is to be expected, the Bandra Nom Nom shares several similarities with the Andheri outlet – the wooden décor, high ceilings and the sense of space and privacy even when largely occupied. Both restaurants have another thing in common – the muted lighting, except that the Bandra outpost is like a dark tavern, which initially pleases but later leads to confusion about the food on your plate. While mood lighting is fun, a little more light on the table helps one appreciate what’s on the plate; ultimately isn’t the food one of the prime reasons we visit a restaurant?
Nom Nom’s exhaustive menu has dishes overcrowding the pages bound together by wooden flaps. Holding it is a task because the pages keep toppling off courtesy the flimsy binding, as is selecting what you’d like to go for because there’s so much text on the menu. Since Nom Nom specializes in South East Asian cuisine, the menu helpfully mentions the country of origin for each dish, but that still did not make the job of ordering for dishes any less perplexing.
So we decided to let our server do all the work. When he said “Leave it to me,” we thought he was referring to the decision-making process. We later found it to be the name of a ginger based drink! Well, it was quite refreshing, with ginger pieces floating within that added a nice crunch. The Kokum Cooler was too sweet which gave us the impression it was made from kokum syrup and not fresh kokum.
We began our meal with Bird Chilli Prawns (430) – succulent prawns tossed in soy sauce and Thai Chilli and not as spicy as we expected. The Cottage Cheese and Spinach Dim Sum isn’t a great looker but health nuts will probably relish it. The well made Wasabi Mushrooms (240), crispy fried mushrooms doused with a mild Wasabi sauce, made my nose feel funny for a minute when chomping on the mushrooms, but that slight discomfort was well worth the interesting taste.
The Miso Soup with Fish (290) was served in a pot, which when uncovered, flooded our table with its fragrance. With bits of Shiitake mushrooms, tofu, spinach and fish, it’s definitely not for the faint hearted who have only dabbled at the periphery of Oriental food. Either you’ll like this soup or hate it; definitely evocative of a passionate reaction. The Salmon and Cheese roll (690), served with pink ginger slivers and wasabi, was an interesting take on traditional Japanese fare. Call it fusion sushi if you like. While you can see and taste the salmon, I felt the cream cheese was lost in the crowd.
We were told that the Crab drizzled with Singaporean Hot Sauce (750) involved the tossing of fresh crabs with crushed black pepper. It did have crabs, albeit the thick-skinned, puny ones that weren’t easy eat. But the disappointment of the crab was well compensated by the super-spicy garlicky sauce – sauce so thick that it clung to our fingers. Messy as it makes our fingers, it’s impossible to resist the urge not to lick them, which we did and happily too! The Tiger Prawns Robatayaki (750) was not actually tiger prawns but medium sized ones that were charcoal-grilled and basted with lemon-butter-soy sauce. This was definitely a thumbs down, because the salty prawns were too dry and chewy.
The Burmese Khao Suey (290) was the only dish we had in Nom Nom where the portions were surprisingly inadequate. There were miniscule portions of condiments like crispy fried onions, fried ginger, chopped cashew, coriander and chopped Chilli. We would have liked more quantity and options. But the mildly spicy milky