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Wine & Dine
May 31, 2017

Toast & Tonic: A Refreshing Take on Seasonal, Local and Comfort Food

Text by Simone Louis

Chef Manu Chandra’s Toast & Tonic is a forward-thinking restaurant with a fiercely seasonal menu

Impeccably presenting the best of fresh, seasonal, local and regional produce, the buzzworthy restaurant is refreshingly minimal while still maintaining its spirit of innovation. Expect to relish ingredients like drumstick and amaranth leaves, freshly pressed mustard oil, gondhoraj lemons, noren gur and a host of cheeses like Madras Jack, Robiola from Mumbai and smoked Bandel from Kolkata. Don’t miss the four millet salad with kodo, foxtail, pearl and sorghum tossed in a guava gondhoraj dressing, with arugula, toasted pumpkin seeds, pomegranate, green mango, peanuts and baby radish.

The bar shuns anything artificial, choosing instead to explore the possibilities that lie hidden in organic fruits and flowers by making its own shrubs and tonics. Get adventurous with vanilla ice (vodka, beer, vanilla essence, orange juice and elderflower), bacon old fashioned (bacon-infused bourbon, bitters, orange, sugar and ice) and royal Bengal mojito (white rum, pineapple, gondhoraj lemon, mint, gur syrup, tonic and ice), or try the delicious signature gin and tonics.

Comfort food is not to be forgotten, and the 7-hour roasted pork shoulder with pearl millet salsa, caramelised carrots and radish, apple butter and charred tomato relish certainly does the job. The vegetable gumbo with sassafras powder, elephant foot yam, crispy okra, sour cream, naati coriander and brown butter rice with butter crumbs is delightfully hearty, as are the vegetarian risottos and gnocchis. Other must-try dishes are the lobster risotto made with gobindobhog rice, chilli, sweet potato leaves and green onions with mustard oil, the slow-braised lamb shoulder served with a millet risotto, mustard jus, roasted baby potatoes and caramelised pearl onions, and the spinach and ricotta-stuffed chicken roulade with glazed carrots, potato galette with local chèvre and chives, turmeric and carrot purée and smoked chicken jus.

Fear not, your sweet tooth will be just as pleased as the rest of your senses as you indulge in the caramelised white chocolate cheesecake with cocoa nib tuile, cherry, brown butter granola and cherry sorbet, or the filter coffee cremeux with millet coffee cake, coffee cardamom ice-cream, cashewnut sesame granola and filter coffee gel – among many other dessert options.

Laid-back, creative and absolutely fun, Mumbai’s Toast & Tonic is perfect for unwinding after a long day or for a weekend get-together with old friends.

Chef Manu Chandra talks about cultivating a unique food culture. Read more here. 

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