The idea behind the swanky new restaurant POH – Progressive Oriental House in Kamala Mills, Mumbai is to retain the original base of South East Asian food with a contemporary update through flavoured gels, unique pairings and spices (even in the cocktails). You could think of it as Asian food version 2.0. It’s the brainchild of Avik Chatterjee who’s been behind millennials’ favoured watering hole Hoppipolla, while his father has set up Mainland China and Oh! Calcutta.
Two large horizontal cane chandeliers dominate the main area which also features the live sushi counters. The bar has been designed like a modern Chinese medicinal cabinet, with 150 small boxes automatically opening with the touch of a button to reveal the contents of your chosen cocktail. There’s also a private dining area that seats 8, where Alia Bhatt threw a pre-launch party.
Each dish here is distinctly flavoured, low in carbs and the desserts are sugar free. Go with the Chef’s Tasting Menu which features “the best of”. The Yellow Bean Glazed Prawns came with a smoked corn mash that complemented the tangy spice of the prawns with watermelon gel. Crab Cakes were baked with a cornflakes covering and accompanied by jalapeno tartar. Steamed Chicken cubes were held atop herbed pineapple mash and the Kerala Fried Rice with edamame was light, non-greasy, with the organic rice being flown in especially from Kerala. A mention has to be made about the service which was impeccable, well-informed, with an attention to the smallest detail.
Not A Caprese salad was not only downright delicious with tofu, olives and herbs, but also lactose free. In desserts, the Caramel Chocolate Tart with honey wasabi ice-cream was a pairing made in heaven.
The Lamb Shank stood out like a sore thumb simply because there was nothing special about it.
(POH, Ground Floor, Trade View Building, Gate 4, Kamala Mills Compound, Lower Parel, Mumbai)
By Farhad J. Dadyburjor, Mumbai