Monday. That very word is enough to draw sighs and long face. Talk about the power of one word that can bring out so many emotions in different people! Well I have this thing about Mondays, no I don’t like them, but I have a technique that will make them easier, better, oh well, just a little more tolerable – I ensure that I do something I like at the end of the day. Simple. Whether it is catching up with a girlfriend for a quick drink, something the husband and I like to eat for dinner or even watching my favourite movie. Yes, something that simple. Try it. I know it’s worked for me and you may find that it eases the Monday Blues for you too.

So when I got this invite from Food Bloggers Association of India (FBAI) for a tasting at Vicinia on a Monday morning, I was kicked. I knew I had my solution for this Monday. Vicinia is a quaint little cafe-cum-bar that’s located in Kemps Corner. Since it is not too far away from home, the husband and I had been there before and we quite liked it. But I was curious to find out more especially because they said, “The menu has been revamped.” So I reached the place when it was pouring outside and there were already a few bloggers who had arrived at the same time. Introductions were made and we were all chatting about the weather, the awful traffic and the Mumbai food scene in general.

Star Wars

I wanted to have something warm and even though my glass of Chenin Blanc was at the table, I decided to waited till the Seafood Bisque came. It was worth the wait, the soup was warm, comforting and just what I need to calm the chills. Next came a glass of Sangria, which I wasn’t too impressed with, as one of the people behind Vicinia, Girish Ragnekar, joined us to take us through the whole concept and what he has in mind for the future. Girish suggested we try some of the signature cocktails – one was a Green Dragon, which was a olive and jalapeno martini and the other, Star Wars, which was a mix of Limca, Gin and star anise. I went in for the latter and found it very refreshing.

Spicy chicken skewers
Cranberry and goat cheese crostini 

Meanwhile we also sampled some of the starters, some spicy and delicious Chicken Skewers, which looked simple but were an explosion of flavours that just made the senses tingle. We also had some Beetroot hummus, which was strictly average, and some Goat cheese and cranberry crostini. While the combination for the crostini topping was yumm by itself I wasn’t very convinced about it all coming together. For me, it was a bit too sweet and creamy, I wish there was some arugula or rocket leaves used as a garnish to add some texture and also colour.

Beetroot hummus

Lamb and cheese tarts

Next we had some Bacon wrapped prawns being served at the table. I’ve eaten some very stellar versions of this dish so I had my hopes up really high. And I guess that was the problem, the bacon was a little chewy and I was hoping that the prawns itself had some more flavour which could make up for this. We were also served some Lamb and cheese tarts, which looked exciting, but unfortunately the tart shell was sweet and for me this ruined the whole thing. By now I was hoping some dish would come along that would make us all go wow. So next up was this salad that stole my heart. Really. This was a Poached pear salad with walnuts, the pear was poached in wine which gave it this real depth of flavour and a beautiful, silky texture. The salad had about three ingredients but it just worked so well together. Since I liked this salad so much I ate a little more that what I should have, I know that would mean compromising on tasting some of the other dishes but I didn’t mind.

Salmon, caramelised onion and arugula salad

Following this was a salmon, caramelised onion and arugula salad, which was a beautiful combination of flavours that were sweet, salty and sharp at the same time. This was followed by some Mushroom Risotto, which had that beautiful earthy flavour that you get when you’ve cooked the mushrooms really well. It smelt great so I was eager to dig in. Now risotto is a very tricky dish to master, it is known as the ‘death dish’ on Masterchef Australia for a reason! This one was packed with mushrooms, which I loved but the rice was bit more than al dente so I wasn’t too impressed but on the whole, it was a good dish to tuck into.

Mushroom risotto 

I knew that after this I couldn’t eat much so I only managed a teeny weeny slice of the seafood pizza that came next, this was delicious and I wished I could have another slice but I knew I’d be pushing it. Anyway, this was okay with me as I had to leave at this juncture. I would have loved to stay on and see what else Girish and Vicinia had to offer but, maybe some other time.

Seafood pizza

If you want to visit Vicinia, here’s where you need to head to:
Ground floor, Chinoy Mansion, Near Gangar Opticians, Kemps Corner. Mumbai. 

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