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.
“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.