A Chef ’s Home­com­ing

Two years af­ter he hung up his apron as the grand ex­ec­u­tive chef at the Taj Ma­hal Palace, Chef Hemant Oberoi has re­turned to Mum­bai to fi­nally set up his own res­tau­rant.

India Today - - CITY BUZZ - By Moeena Halim

“Mum­bai is home; Mum­bai

is where my most loyal pa­trons have al­ways been there to sup­port me and chal­lenge me,” says Chef Hemant Oberoi. Ac­tor Rishi Kapoor is among his most loyal pa­trons. Mourn­ing his de­par­ture from Mum­bai's Taj Ma­hal Palace two years ago, Kapoor is now thrilled by his re­turn. So is Oberoi, who de­scribes his epony­mous res­tau­rant at Ban­dra Kurla Com­plex as his sig­na­ture res­tau­rant.

“It rep­re­sents me, like none of my other restau­rants ever have,” he says. Through his flag­ship refined din­ing out­let, he hopes to take guests on a culi­nary jour­ney based on the food cap­i­tals he has vis­ited across the world. Through his 40-year ten­ure at the Taj, whether it was with Souk, Golden Dragon or Wasabi, Oberoi has al­ways man­aged to in­tro­duce the city to new cuisines. This time he hopes to in­tro­duce guests to in­gre­di­ents that have fas­ci­nated him dur­ing his ten­ure as a chef. Here he speaks to Simply Mum­bai about what din­ers can ex­pect at the much-awaited Hemant Oberoi Res­tau­rant.

The cui­sine is a mix of Euro­pean, Ja­panese and Peru­vian. What makes these good com­pan­ions?

We have taken Peru­vian in­gre­di­ents and pre­sented them in a western fine din­ing way. This holds true for the dishes with Ja­panese and Chi­nese in­flu­ence too. These cuisines pair well to­gether as the in­gre­di­ents used are quite sim­i­lar.

Why these three cuisines in par­tic­u­lar?

Even the coun­try of Peru has the in­flu­ence of three dif­fer­ent na­tion­al­i­ties. The whole world is be­com­ing closer and I wanted to start with a menu from these places. How­ever, I will keep in­tro­duc­ing new dishes from around the world as per chang­ing tastes and trends.

What are some of the sig­na­ture dishes here?

Some of the stand out dishes in­clude the Brie and Truf­fle Souf­flé, Shee­sha of Chilled Melon Gaz­pa­cho with Coconut Snow, Cry-o-pac Three Mush­room Ravi­oli with Roasted Oats and Black Périg­ord Air, Lob­ster Tail with Caviar, Orange, Baby Spinach and Panca Aioli, Choco­late Mille­feuille and the Choco­late Shawarma.

What can reg­u­lars who en­joyed your style at the Taj look for­ward to at this new res­tau­rant?

My reg­u­lars can ex­pect an evolved, up­graded and ad­vanced ver­sion of all their sig­na­ture favourites. They can look for­ward to me be­ing very much hands-on in run­ning my flag­ship res­tau­rant and they can stay tuned for a lot of sur­prises.

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