Home HEALTH & FITNESS New In BKC: Dig Into Comforting Pan-Asian Classics At Kembara Mumbai

New In BKC: Dig Into Comforting Pan-Asian Classics At Kembara Mumbai

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New In BKC: Dig Into Comforting Pan-Asian Classics At Kembara Mumbai

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There has been a spate of new Asian restaurant openings in Mumbai in recent months. While a few have chosen to specialise in particular cuisines or offer niche dishes, others have embraced the broad umbrella of “pan-Asian” food. There’s no denying the latter’s popularity, along with the delicious attraction of such variety. In February 2024, Mumbai saw the opening of Hyderabad’s Kembara in the Bandra Kurla Complex (BKC). We had the chance to dine there and spend a leisurely evening sampling yummy dishes.

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Photo Credit: Kembara Mumbai

Kembara Mumbai is a venture led by Shilpa Datla and Chef Seefah Ketchaiyo. Chef Seefah is well-known for her eponymous restaurant on Hill Road in Bandra – widely considered among the best in the city. Therefore, we looked forward to discovering the chef’s signature touches at this new launch. “Chef Seefah helped modify the menu to suit the tastes of Mumbaikars,” Shilpa tells us. “Compared to the Hyderabad menu, this one has more seafood. The type of spiciness exhibited in the dishes is also rather different,” she adds.

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Photo Credit: Kembara Mumbai

The restaurant derives its name from the Malay word “to wander”. The menu takes diners on a comforting culinary journey across Asia, with handpicked delicacies from Japanese, Thai, Chinese, Vietnamese, Malay, Korean, and other cuisines. The decor is elevated with pastel and earthen hues, paired with furniture and artwork made from natural materials such as wood, jute, linen and cane. Like the food, the ambience maintains your comfort zone rather than challenging it too much. It makes the space more inviting and relaxing – perfect for an escape after a hectic day at work.¬†

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Photo Credit: Kembara Mumbai

The crisp Turnip Cake was the first appetiser we tasted, and it immediately won us over. The stuffing of radish, carrot and mushroom was satisfyingly soft and didn’t feel heavy on the system. We enjoyed how the spice of the chilli and garlic hit towards the end. This is a dish worth returning for.

Among the vegetarian starters, we also liked the Greenhouse California Roll and the Vegetable Peking Dumpling. While delicious in their own right, they didn’t have a wow factor. Peruse the food menu for a few minutes and you’ll realise it’s all about comfort and flavour. The sophistication lies in crafting a memorably scrumptious version of beloved dishes found in many other establishments. Chef Seefah manages to ensure Kembara stands out from the crowd.

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Photo Credit: Kembara Mumbai

The non-vegetarian appetisers brought us back around. We highly recommend the Chicken Chilli Basil Xiao Long Pao. It had an aromatic stuffing and was served in a warming broth. If you’re bored of the same old offerings, this one is sure to provide a different sort of dim sum experience. If you want to stick to classic options, you cannot go wrong with the Chicken Gyoza.

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Photo Credit: Kembara Mumbai

Among the cocktails, don’t miss the refreshing Green Tea Geisha (gin, sake, cold-brewed green tea) and the delightfully sour Galangal Grove (vodka, vermouth, galangal, lemongrass and kaffir lime, with a hint of Thai chilli). There are some well-balanced mocktails available as well. Our picks are the Shandong Fizz (a watermelon-berry combination), and the Sawayaka (apple, basil, elderflower, lime and ginger ale).

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Photo Credit: Kembara Mumbai

In the main course, you can choose between conventional rice and noodle options. There are also a few signature takes worth checking out. We enjoyed the pungent earthy flavours of the Chengdu Potato with scallions and lotus root. Note that this is a dry preparation, not a gravy. The subtle¬†Thai Thai-Style fried Rice, made with sticky rice, was another hit. If you feel like losing yourself in the comforts of curry, don’t hesitate to order the Chicken Katsu in Japanese Udon Curry. Just a whiff of the aromas whetted our appetite further. We appreciated how the chicken remained crisp on the outside, even after being submerged in the curry for several minutes. We can already picture people growing to crave its warmth on rainy evenings in the city.

Desserts are limited, but unique. We liked the Lemongrass Cheesecake with seasonal berries but would have preferred less caramel as a topping. Other interesting choices are the Water Chestnut with Coconut Milk and the Pandan Crepe Roll.

We had a delectable dining experience at Kembara, complemented by great service and a soothing ambience. If you want to indulge in pan-Asian cuisines without unnecessary frills, this new restaurant in BKC may just become your go-to option.

Where: Shop no 11, Kembara, Ins Tower, Opposite Indian Oil Petrol Pump, G Block, Bandra Kurla Complex, Bandra East, Mumbai.

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