Indian Accent graces Mumbai at the Nita Mukesh Ambani Cultural Centre showcasing culinary artistry in an Art Deco setting
DEC 14, 2023 | By Shriti Das
The accent is many things. Often, it is charming and alluring. Or it can be funny and twisted. At times a mix of everything and more. At Indian Accent, this rhythm of speech speaks the language of gastronomic ingenuity. It got our tongues rolling and palates spiralling, with elements of surprise punctuating every course when we sank our teeth into their newest.
It has been over a decade since they launched at Manor House in New Delhi, helmed by the chef Manish Mehrotra, followed by New York. And it was only time that they found a rightful place of pride at the Nita Mukesh Ambani Cultural Centre (NMACC) at the Jio World Centre in Mumbai.
Reminiscing the time when restaurateur Rohit Khatter, was toying with the idea of Indian Accent that would go on to win countless accolades, he reveals, “We wanted to take global ingredients, give them an Indian accent and present the food beautifully.
But the taste will be authentic.” The choice of the name is fitting, just as India speaks many languages, each with its own unique voice. Cut to their latest in Mumbai, with the city’s layered history and the influence of multiple dynasties, Art Deco became the inspiration for the new space.
The brainchild of London-based Russell Sage Studio who worked closely with EHV’s Design Director Rohini Kapur, the Indian Accent in Mumbai played with certain aspects of Art Deco to render it relevant to their discerning patrons.
There’s a softness that permeates the space with arches, and fluted surfaces creating the right balance of texture and whimsy. Pastels and warm woods create a familiar palette which takes an unexpected twist with the introduction of black and white photography by Rohit Chawla, a mix of UNESCO Indian sites and the heritage Art Deco precincts of Mumbai.
This dichotomy almost metaphors the culinary voyage that awaits. Bringing out the big guns, we were presented with the tasting menu. A mix of comfort food but with an edge — the humble aubergine, the often unsettling bitter melon, crowd-favourite chhole, a creamy truffle risotto but in Bengali Gobindobhog rice, a wasabi infused raita to name a few.
My personal favourite, however, remains the meetha achaar pork ribs. Succulent fatty meat, extremely indulgent but cut by the sharpness of mango pickle just as the fat coats the mouth, like an alluring, mysterious accent.
But the one thing that remains constant, even if the accent may not, is food that makes you feel beautiful things and memories to savour even when the experience ceases.