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Auriga Serves Up Simple, Clean Pan Asian Flavours
Located at the end of the Famous Studio lane in Mahalaxmi, Auriga is very clearly aimed at catering to finer sensibilities in a setting that is a pleasant departure from Mumbai's space-starved restaurant scene.
A two-level Pan Asian restaurant and lounge designed by Sanjay Puri, Auriga's interiors, tastefully lit with a canvas of blue LED lights, creates a perfect setting for leisurely dinner parties. In the daytime, the restaurant is flooded with natural light and coupled with the wood-panelled ceilings and walls, stimulate an appetite for food that is tasty, light and refreshing.
So does Auriga's food live up to its admittedly chic decor? That's what I was there to find out. First to arrive was the Balinese Barbecued Pork. Although accustomed to American barbeque flavours, I felt the sweet and tangy coconut sauce beautifully complemented the meat. However, it was the Asian Greens with Chilly Bean Sauce that won me over with its simplicity. As always, Chef Nilesh Limaya proved that true proficiency comes through in the most modest of dishes. Hoping to pace myself through the rest of the meal, I had decided to limit myself to just a spoonful but utterly failed. Just delicious.
Balinese Barbecued Pork: Copyright KhaanaWaana.com
The Crispy Eggplant Slices dredged in crushed peanuts and chillies are the Chef's personal creation and I would highly recommend it. And the Chicken Cigarillos with a sweet chilly sauce were well-handled.
Chicken Cigarillos: Copyright KhaanaWaana.com
Crispy Eggplant Slices: Copyright KhaanaWaana.com
For the main course, I had the Drunken Prawns in white wine. This was followed by Japanese Jasmine Sticky Rice served with a Cambodian Curry consisting of bamboo shoots, baby egg plant and sweet potatoes. The combination of flavours actually transport you to the Cambodian countryside.
Jasmine Sticky Rice: Copyright KhaanaWaana.com
If I was under the impression that I had no room for dessert, the Unbaked Cheesecake that arrived at the table quickly changed my mind. The passion fruit sauce on the cheesecake was the real clincher. The flavours, texture and temperature at which the dessert was served were flawless.
Auriga gives you a wide array of drink options and a wine menu with a section called Molecular Stars to tease the taste buds of molecular gastronomy fans.
The Vodka Cranberry and Star Anise finished with Basil and Salt Foam, and the Vodka Mixed with Green Tea and Dry-Smoked with Lemongrass and Basil, sounded particularly fascinating. And scotch lovers may appreciate the Glenfiddich 12 year, Laphroaig 10 year and Oban 14 year single malts.
Also it may be of interest to know that located in the South Mumbai-Worli precinct, Auriga has chosen to cater to the sensibilities of diners here by setting up a separate kitchen for vegetarian and Jain food!
From my experience, I felt Auriga prides itself in offering up a subtle palette of flavours, often using imported ingredients to retain authenticity in taste.