Levantine cuisine comes to Mumbai at Sette Mara in St. Regis
If the name intrigues you, the place welcomes you. The inclusion of Sette Mara in the St. Regis Mumbai portfolio was an attempt to offer customers something they had never tasted before. As their Culinary Director, Paul Kinny and EVM, F&B Kevin, have said, “The seven countries of the Mediterranean and the Middle East have foods that can delight the palate…Sette Mara aims to do just that. .. delight the palate of the guests!”
Sette means seven and Mara means seas. Mara was also the name of the queen of the prehistoric era who loved her food and drink and found her love while traveling in the Levant region.
The Negroni bar at the entrance of the Sette Mara serves a myriad of negronis and other innovative cocktails. If you are a Campari or Negroni fan, this bar is a must stop. The idea was once again to offer something the city hadn’t seen. But this is another story.
Sette Mara chef Reuben Bhat and his assistant chef Nitin enthusiastically explain the nuances of the food. “It’s the cuisine of the Levant region with a touch of modernity. For example, we have the roasted corn and jalapeno hummus or the Phoenecia hummus which has avocado in it…or the harra…a normal harra is potato but we all have root veggies and it’s served on a bed of home-prepared red tahini,” says Chef Bhat. “And the Falafel twist – we added sweet potato to the traditional falafel mix.”
The roasted corn and jalapeno hummus has a great texture. It has the well-unified taste of corn and chickpeas (imported from the Middle East). The choice of breads served with it is also very good. They serve root vegetable chips with the regular hummus as another innovation. Non-vegetarians should try the Humus Bin Dijaj, which is ground chicken and chickpea hummus. The falafel added to the sweet potato is deliciously different while still being steeped in traditional taste.
They also have a wide selection of hot mezes. Chef Nitin serves the Lamb and Pepper Souvlaki with the Passion Fruit Negroni and explains that these flavors complement each other. And he’s right. The lightly spiced souvlaki lingers on your palate and washes well with the negroni.
Skip the soup and choose something from the Georgian bar Khachapuri. Traditional boat-shaped buns topped with traditional toppings and unique toppings are sure to tantalize your taste buds. Vegetarians should try imeruli, zhoug and truffle oil and non-vegetarians should opt for tshvari. The Zhough & Truffle Oil Khachapuri is topped with small roasted tomatoes, halloumi cheese, kashkaval cheese and, if available, kasseri cheese as well as on the bed of traditional zhoug sauce. It is finished with truffle oil leaving your palate and nose scented with oil.
Next stop is the Mangal Grill – a typical Middle Eastern open charcoal grill. You are spoiled for choice. Choose prawns – Rubiyan Qalat Daqqa.
Skillfully marinated in seven spices from the Levant, the tiger prawns are perfectly grilled over charcoal which adds to its flavor. It is served with a sweet prune and apricot dip. But we recommend having it without the dip to savor the real flavors. Grilled cauliflower marinated in zhoug, served on a bed of red tahini with crumbled feta and toasted hazelnuts.
For the main course, seafood connoisseurs should surely try the falafel-crusted halibut. Their homemade harissa is a perfect marinade for halibut. The traditional falafel crusted fish is then shallow fried
Perfectly. Don’t miss the Israeli couscous risotto. Mushroom risotto is made from Israeli couscous, which has a sago-like texture and size. It is a delicious dish accompanied by sweet black and white sesame crunchies.
Skip the baklava, but don’t miss the Knafeh and Muhallabieh ‘Pull Me Up’. Pull Me Up is a traditional Middle Eastern cream cheesecake with a twist. It’s scented with rose water. Extra cream cheese dripping from a frosting drips onto the cake after you literally pull the lid off! Knafeh’s vermicelli coating adds a crispy bite to the sweet pistachio paste interiors.
Finish with Affogato Turkish Coffee!
Price: Rs 6,500 for two (including alcohol)
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Published on: Sunday, May 8, 2022, 07:00 IST