Chef Vicky Ratnani
, whose last offering was the much underrated Aurus in Juhu, Mumbai, ups the ante significantly with his new restaurant Nido in Union Park, Bandra. The junction off Carter Road is already the hub for restaurants, including neighbouring Out of the Blue and Olive, but Nido has enough panache to be noticed in the crowd.
The all-day Nido, which means nest or home in Italian, started last week. White and beige dominate the interiors of the restaurant that favours wildlife—stuffed figures of birds and bunnies sit on their perches across the place and the compact bar has painted images of plants and insects. Blown glass light bulbs hang on pulleys from the ceiling, weathered-looking glass on doors gives it an overall look of a stately English home or a conservatory. Warm lights and cosy sofas confuse me a bit—should I flop in comfort or keep my elbows off the table?
The good stuff A watermelon starter seems like the best way to begin on a humid May evening, the ripe sweetness of the fruit balanced by a mix of Cajun spices, goat cheese toffee, liquid olives, nuts and seed emulsion (Rs.375). The “Sous Vide” Ahi Tuna, with haricot beets and cherry tomato, gets a powerful twist through two additions: olives and eggs poached for 2 hours (Rs.525). Add a hint of truffle oil and it transcends goodness. A risotto usually tends to be a bit heavy during dinner; but the Barley Risotto with five onions, mascarpone-citrus whip (Rs.565) here is much lighter—and the slightly crunchy onions casually contrast the smoothness of the risotto’s texture.
On the chef’s recommendation, I tried the Atlantic Salmon, with beet, fennel, gherkin and rocket hash (Rs.995). He promises to undercook the fish a bit, leaving it slightly crisp on the surface and gently pink on the inside—perfectly done. The salmon lies on a ginger-lime emulsion, giving it a just-so citrusy aftertaste.
The not-so-good Chunky sofas take up a lot of the space, and they are not the most comfortable to sit on while eating—if you lean back, you are too far from the plate; lean forward, and you have no back support. The interiors are overdone. Among the consumables, the tropical cooler (vodka, tender coconut, mint leaves; Rs.495) and Cucumber-Leafy Juice (Rs.200) were disappointing. At Nido’s prices, it’s perhaps best to focus only on the excellent food.
Talk plastic A meal for two without alcohol could set you back by Rs.4,000.
For reservations, call 67706336.