There is no term as loosely thrown about in India’s food scene as Modern Indian. There is a deluge of restaurants trying to serve Papri chaat spheres or rasam foams, food that is unoriginal, pretentious and overpriced. But does that make it all tick? Never mind, there is Tamak helmed by Chef Vikram Arora for others who want to enjoy North-Indian food in a contemporary manner, minus the exorbitance.
A 20-seater space, I am greeted by chic blue and lemony glass panels and warm yellow walls as we enter the restaurant. Attentive wait-staff take me through the menu and share their recommendations with me. The first touch is the amuse bouche. This is not your average amuse bouche. A piece of mathri topped with a small dollop of aachar sets a delicious tone for my meal ahead.
Next up is a decadent kulcha made with truffle essence, mushroom, cheese, parmesan, chives and sea salt. Strong flavors tease my taste-buds and I’m literally in kulcha heaven as it is just melt-in-the-mouth scrumptious! Then comes the Lucknowi Tokri chaat (potato baskets filled with sprouts, nuts, yoghurt and imli ki chutney, garnished with pomegranate seeds) which was everything crispy, crunchy and the God of all Tokri chaats I’ve ever had in the city.
For the mains, the Nihari Gosht that is slow cooked mutton with home pounded spices, ginger chili, ginger, lime makes the cut. Tamak’s Dal Tarka with just the right amount of desi ghee is the show-stopper that we would go back for over and over again! I am told that the in-house spice mixes here are sourced directly from the mandis of Delhi and Punjab. No wonder, the flavours don’t lie!
As for dessert, the Gajar ka halwa is beautifully textured, not-too-sweet and a vibrant treat to devour. I finished off with light orange and the crispiest of jalebis made with kesar, accompanied by thick, creamy rabdi (culinary perfection!). The final touch was the cleansing, cooling, and perfect Paan Ice-cream.
My meal here was a multi-sensorial journey into more of the more advanced levels of cuisine and play of ingredients that I have come across. Chef Vikram ensures that the menu and the food is not only engaging but also escalates the scope of cooking with his culinary genius. To conclude it all, Tamak is bliss, a blessing!
Ahiya Apartments, 6, Corner Of 16th Road & Main Avenue,
Santacruz West, Western Suburbs, 400052
Phone: +91 9212340202
Note: The critic was invited by the restaurant but all the opinions expressed herewith are her own.