Is there hope behind the hype and hoopla? Alex Sanchez, celebrated chef, leaves the hugely popular “Table” and mid March sets up “Americano” on his own. Excitement, speculation and expectations followed. South Mumbai foodies were atwitter (in the old fashioned way too). To review accurately and check for consistency I dined here three times over the past four months. Each time with a bunch of foodies to get their feedback: globetrotting opthalmologist superachiever family of Padmashree Keiki Mehta, Zenobia, Cyres and Vinifer. Visiting from London are Rustom Mehta (Fashion photographer) Zubin Shroff (real estate finance). The discerning foodies share their palate opinion. Cyres revisited the restaurant several times. Our review follows…
Tucked into Kala Ghoda s by lanes Americano with it’s soaring ceiling, jewel-toned green marble bar near the entrance, potted plants in the main dining room with its cool beige and deep blue interiors exudes casual sophistication. Most of the time its so packed and dimly lit that you may miss all the details. From behind the brighter lit open style kitchen Alex gregariously chats with diners.
Commitment to quality, seasonality, refined yet approachable cooking defines Americano’s menu of bar bites, sharing plates, pasta, pizzas and more. Textural and flavour contrast delight in many a dish: Potato Love Letters, crisp potato wafer roll filled with soft avocado and red onion crème fraiche, Sweetcorn ‘Ribs’, dusted with chatpata BBQ spice, scallion aioli, and lime. Love the sweet kiss of apple membrillo in the Spiced Baby Beetsand the chicken roasted to perfection.
Napolitan style pizza ( 4 day fermentation process) lovers are in for a treat. Pizzas ringed with pillowy, puffy charred edges, which you must dip into spicy garlic aioli, salsa verde, (served on the side). Ask for Pizza Kejriwal, inspired by the Willingdon club signature, with fior di latte, green chili, and a soft-cooked egg in the centre. Pasta aglio olio and cacio e pepe are flavorful al dente. End with silkily-soaked in rum with a chocolate-coated disc tiramisu.
Noisy. Very noisy when packed. Dimly lit. Some of the dishes were good at one meal and missed the mark at the next…like the caper, meyer lemon spiked Crudo of Sea Bass.Ditto for the brussel sprouts. The desserts superb at our first dinner, lacklustre and not sweet enough at the last dinner. Greasy, overcooked chicken wings. Open for dinner only.
Americano ‘s Alex Sanchez delivers something that’s very difficult to pull off: food that's sophisticated without being too clever, in a room that's attractive without being flamboyant. Darren Crawford’s bar serves up many an exciting drink. There’s plenty for vegetarians, Alex’s Californian cuisine exalts the local and seasonal, it’s approachable and stays away from elaborate gimmicks, saucing and gut-busting richness.
Some of the cooking can be inconsistent, and the pricing on the higher side, but it doesn’t take away from the fact that Alex Sanchez and Mallyeka Watsa, have gifted South Mumbai a must-visit neighbourhood restaurant with a claim to distinction beyond its neighbourhood. A destination restaurant.
AMERICANO 123, Nagindas Master Road
Ph 2264 7700
Open dinner only
RATING FOOD 4 SERVICE 3.75 DÉCOR 3.5
Meal for two Rs 4000