Celebration time! This is the most significant Modern- Indian restaurant opening this year. We dined in Ishaara a few days after it opened and came away feeling a happy high (they did not have an alcohol license then). Went back for a second check out a month later and once again it was equally good (by now they'd got their alcohol license).
Perched on the third floor of the gleaming Palladium, the plant filled L shaped room with it’s cane chairs, banana trees is a pleasant surprise. Minnie Bhatt has recreated a conservatory feel with great skill.
What you see in the photograph is a demonstration of how the hearing and speech impaired staff (in dark green T shirts) abetted by managers and owners communicate with the diner.It is no gimmick. There is a warm, fun, friendly vibe.
Ishaara goes straight for the gut ( has an interesting section of crunchy, tangy, knockout chaat, the best dahi puri (Rs 150 in Mumbai). It serves up exquisite subtlety (bruleed shakarkandi languorous on a silken bed of dahi.) It is proudly carnivorous (be it the velvety pounded mutton dori kabab sensuously wrapped around a rod, the raan rapturous marinated succulence or the Dindigul biryani, fragrant yet with hammering notes of masala. Ditto for the mutton ghotala.) Ishara is equally resolutely vegetarian too… patrani mushroom, superb dal haveli, to jackfruit biryani. Chef Dipesh Shinde ensures the seafood is equally flavorful, be it the mellow John Dory moilee or the salmon tikka spiked with dill. Intensely chocolatey.moist, flourless brownie highly recommended.
The menu seems to be oblivious to the dividing line between welcome extravagance and confusing excess. And includes some dishes just to ensure geographical coverage.
Though a lot of the vegetarian dishes are good, many falter, stodgy sago red cabbage, overpsicy Beetroot papad seekh. The desserts are not on par with the rest of the menu.
I owe a responsibility to you my dear reader…and I take it very seriously.Having studied journalism and studies in Higher gastronomy in Paris, Ive also been going on restaurant reviews with many an international critic. True! I will (as a matter of policy) never express my views in a nasty manner, being empathetic to the fact that other than money there is an investment of dreams into each new restaurant too. But I will always speak my mind honestly, rate it accordingly and make it abundantly clear if the restaurant is not worth going to. So, before pronouncing Ishaara a must-visit, landmark opening I checked it systematically for consistency (dining unannounced twice, paying my bills). Checkpoints: Are the ingredients fresh? Is authenticity and innovation balanced in the food? Taste? Texture? Presentation? Is the service attentive without being obtrusive and obsequious? The ambiance pleasant, not overpowering and conducive to a pleasant meal with conversation? The priee points? good value? Finally and most importantly will we go back? In the case of Ishaara: The answer to all the above questions is a resounding positive one. Ishaara powered by the admirable dreamteam of Prashant Issar, Anuj Shah, Riyaaz G.C. Amlani (game changer) , chef Dipesh Shinde serves up a taste-good and feel -good experience.Sign and dine comes of age!
Note: The full menu is served from noon to midnight.
3rd Floor, Palladium, High Street Phoenix, Lower Parel,
Open 12 pm to 12am
RATING FOOD 4 SERVICE 4 DÉCOR 3.75
Meal for two Rs 2000