Review – Citrus, at the Leela Mumbai – We were spoilt for choice with an eclectic menu

Citrus evokes the words something tangy, something fresh, a little bit of this and a little bit of that. The Citrus restaurant at the Lobby Level of the Leela Mumbai, adds a fresh new Japanese cuisine and revamps its existing ala carte menu.

Wood fire pizza oven
Wood fire pizza oven
Atmosphere
Its neat and clean logo along with the simple and elegant interiors is pleasing to the eye. The wooden paneling exudes warmth and compliments the cream and beige upholstery.

The sight that greets your eyes as you enter the restaurant is the huge open kitchen on the left, facing which is their impressive wine collection. All along the length and breadth of the open kitchen are counters with the buffet laid out. The wood fire oven in tiny ochre tiles adds to the charm.

One look out of the ceiling to floor windows transports you into a tropical paradise. Lush green trees and plants, a water body with lily pads floating around and the glimpses of a fountain that you get from between the trees. Sitting by the window you are far away from the hustle and bustle of the city.

citrus-leela-mumbai-4Food and drink
The buffet spread at lunchtime is equipped to entice every palate. The impressive buffet starts with the cold cuts, a variety of salads, bite size starters, the middle eastern delights to the cheese board and a variety of breads from their in house bakery. A choice of three soups and an array of vegetarian and non vegetarian main courses to choose from. For those with a sweet tooth, this is definitely the place to be in ! The dessert all laid out can have you drooling the minute you set eyes on it. From the date pudding in toffee sauce to the baked Alaska to the small assorted pastries, to the various Indian sweets and sugar free desserts one is spoilt for choice.

citrus-leela-mumbai-1Sunday brunches have additional dishes and multiple live cooking stations that serve Pastas, South Indian and Chaat . The number of dishes go up to a whopping 150 !!!

citrus-leela-mumbai-5The revised ala carte menu seems to go on for ever with appetizers and salads, soups, sandwiches, burgers, wraps, pastas, wood fire pizzas, Citrus grill section, main continental, asian section with stir fry and curries, Indian snacks, Indian main course and desserts.

On being asked about the menu, Chef Surender Mohan says

The menu is varied, it includes all our best items but we do not compromise on quality.

The pride of Citrus, the new Japanese counter is spear headed by young chef Constantine. After successfully setting up the Japanese restaurant at the Chennai Leela, the young chef is now in Mumbai to spin his magic here.

One can hear the pride and passion in his voice as he talks about his creations and dishes. On asking him what he recommends, he confidently says “ the entire menu.”

citrus-leela-mumbai-6On pressing him further he recommends the Citrus platter which has an assortment of five non vegetarian sushi rolls.
Chef Constantin says –

The highly curated Japanese menu features innovative dishes with all the ingredients flown in fresh from Japan.

The Japanese counter can accommodate about 4-5 guests who can have the chef prepare their delicacies before them. The also serve a set course menu – the Kaisekizen.

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With 5 different kinds of Sake and Japanese teas including the Gyokuro which is believed to be the most expensive tea in Japan.

The head chef had specially prepared a tasting menu for us incorporating their signature dishes and recommendations.

We started off with soup which came in 3 small cups. The classic tomato, the chicken corn chowder and the creamy mushroom cappuccino. The chicken corn chowder and the mushroom cappuccino were par excellence. Instead of the usual bread basket to go as accompaniments, we were served mushroom pate on toast and babaganoush on bite sized toast.

Middle eastern platter
Middle eastern platter
This was followed by the Middle Eastern platter with small perfectly sized pita bread served with babaghanoush, hummus drizzled with olive oil and paprika and olives.

The all time classics, Ceasers salad, Alio Oglio pasta and Quesidellas were part of our menu. The thin and crisp vegetarian wood fire pizza and the pepperoni pizza with melted cheese was a delight.

The Crab cake was the highlight in its taste and presentation.

The vegetarian sushi platter in all its variety was interesting with the avacado and cucumber roll, the carrot pickle sushi (takuan), the radish pickle and the soya wrap sushi.

The non vegetarian platter was equally varied with Ikura Gunkan ( battle shaped sushi), the blue fin tuna sushi, the Kampachi which is prepared with sea water and is believed to be fattier than the Hamachi which is very similar except that it is prepared in fresh water and not as fatty.

Our main course was the red vegetarian and the green non vegetarian Thai curry served with white rice.

Valrhona chocolate and Giandiya Parfait
Valrhona chocolate and Giandiya Parfait
The desserts served to us were a visual treat not to mention it left the taste buds drooling ! The sticky date pudding with warm toffee sauce was served with vanilla ice cream, the Valrhona chocolate and Giandiya Parfait which had an apricot centre with espresso veloute and sesame lace and the Baked Alaska with the cream swirls on the top and the raspberry sauce.

Recommendations
For a quiet lunch, a weekday at the Citrus is a good option though a Sunday brunch will spoil you for choice with its added live stations and dishes. The mushroom cappuccino and the chicken corn chowder are a must taste. The crab cake was a definite highlight as were the sushi platters both vegetarian and non vegetarian. For those with a sweet tooth, put the calorie count aside and indulge in the Baked Alaska.

Verdict
The Citrus definitely deserves a visit. With its new exhaustive menu, there is something for everyone. It’s a treat for the senses from being a visual delight , to the aroma of different dishes to the tastebuds as you savour each dish.

The well laid out buffet and the exhaustive menu are definitely praiseworthy.

The Buffet is priced at Rs 2950 including taxes without alchohol and Rs 4200 including taxes with alchohol.

Address:
Citrus – The Leela
Andheri-Kurla Road,
Sahar, Andheri East, Mumbai
Tel no: +91 (22) 6691 1344
[The-Leela-Mumbai]

The Luxe factor is

9 Food
9 Ambience
9 Service
9
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