Colaba's new Asian eatery offers a mix of refined fare and comfort faves in a cheerful ambience, at prices that won't make you weep
Kung Pao Chicken and Mushroom Pot Rice
We'll tell you later about how we nearly filched something from Kuai Kitchen, but first, let's talk about the food this adorable new restaurant in Colaba has to offer.
A casual dining space, Kuai Kitchen is the newest offering from the Royal China stable, but you never would have guessed it. Its faux-grungy interiors, complete with graffiti-splattered walls and red-and-blue accents, are a far cry from the brand's other restaurants, including the recently launched Jia, which caters to those with fat wallets. Moreover, it is matchbox-sized in comparison to its sprawling siblings. Kuai is the kind of place where you can make a mess and still breathe easy.
While the ambience is cheerful and the menu inviting, we dropped in to check if the wallet-friendly food matches up to the standard we're used to expecting from the brand.
Volcano Prawn Tempura Roll. Pics/Shraddha Uchil
Cheap Asian restaurants are a dime a dozen, but not too many feature a sushi menu. Sushi, after all, does not come cheap because of the quality of ingredients and owing to the impeccable knife skills required by the chef.
Which is why we're surprised when we spot a sushi selection on Kuai's menu. While the absence of sashimi and nigiri is sorely missed, we're more than happy to dig into a Volcano Prawn Tempura Roll (Rs 550), which comes drizzled with mayo 'lava'. When it arrives - really quickly, may we add - the generous portion impresses us. Digging in, however, we realise that the chef may also have been a tad generous with the salt, a problem compounded by the fact that we've happily dunked our roll in soy sauce. That aside, we're thoroughly content: the tempura prawns are juicy and crunchy, and the rice wrapping is not stodgy.
Truffle Edamame Dumpling
The Truffle Edamame Dumpling (Rs 425) fares much better, with the strong, earthy aroma of the truffle oil balanced out by the creamy edamame mash. A surprise comes in the form of water chestnut bits, which provide texture to a dish that otherwise lacks it.
Quirky graffiti adorns the walls inside
Yabba dabba doo
Next, we try the Combo Meal (Rs 450), which includes an appetiser, a main course, and a rice or noodle preparation. Our meal arrives in a cute pastel dabba, and this is what we nearly steal (lucky for them, we didn't have large enough pockets). Each part holds contents that are equally appealing. The Fried Corn Curd melts on contact, the Kung Pao chicken is tender and lays off eye-watering spices, and the mushroom pot rice is oh-so-comforting.
With delicious food and a dearth of budget Asian eateries in the area, we see Kuai Kitchen fast becoming a SoBo favourite.
AT: 16/A, Cusrow Baug, Shahid Bhagat Singh Road, Colaba.
TIME: 12 pm to 3.30 pm, 7 pm to 12 am
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