Mustard, the award-winning restaurant from the picturesque shores of Goa, has opened its doors in the heart of Chennai, captivating food enthusiasts with its unique blend of Bengali and French cuisines. With a passion for authentic regional experiences, Mustard has quickly become a haven for socially responsible dining, advocating the exploration of the humble mustard seed in its various culinary forms.
Ambience: Located on the second floor of Pharos Hotel in Nungambakkam, Mustard seamlessly merges earthy sophistication with warm elegance. The restaurant offers an outdoor space by the poolside, providing a delightful setting to indulge in a culinary odyssey.
The Mustard experience is a tribute to the creative fusion of Bengali and French cuisines, not in fusion, but in flavours that dance on the taste buds, weaving stories of cultural heritage and gastronomic innovation. The Franco-Bengali backdrop sets the stage for dishes that guard untold tales, connecting the diner with centuries of culinary evolution. Bengal’s tryst with French culinary artistry, dating back to the 18th century, finds its echo in the inspired creations at Mustard. The menu at Mustard is a carefully crafted masterpiece, highlighting the essence of the mustard seed in every dish.
Here are some culinary delights that stood out during our visit.
Roasted Beetroot Salad: Slow-cooked beetroot sautéed with crushed pepper and balsamic, served with pickled onions stuffed with goat cheese cream and arugula leaf. A harmonious blend of textures and flavours.
Freshwater Fish Cooked in Banana Leaves:
Bhetki fish marinated in mustard paste and cooked in banana leaves, infusing the dish with unique flavours and aromas, a true celebration of regional cooking techniques.
A tartelette filled with the sunniest Mediterranean vegetables and mozzarella, delivering a burst of flavours with each bite, capturing the essence of French culinary finesse.
A little-known face of Bengali cuisine is its strong Muslim Influence, as one can tell by the pride of place that this kebab occupies. Finely minced mutton is ground to a paste with fragrant spic filling that delights the tongue with its sudden sharp taste.
Heritage Vegetarian Bengali Platter
Showcasing healthy techniques from homestyle cooking, the platter is served with the Baqarkhani roti, a celebrated tandoor baked bread named after Baqar Khan, a governor of Bengal during Nawabi rule. It is accompanied by Paka Kumror Aumbole, Begun Pora, Palong Sager Bhorta and Til Badamer Jhuri.
Baked Crab with Water Spinach
Fresh crabmeat baked with kolmi saag (water spinach) in its shell, topped with crispy kolmi and served with batabilebu makha (pomelo mash), an exquisite dish that marries local ingredients with international flair.
Thali: A customisable thali where you can curate your own plate with a selection of dishes. For vegetarians, options like Green Banana Kebab, Paneer Paturi, Begun Khaasi, and Stuffed Spinach Balls offer a diverse and delectable experience. Non-vegetarians can savour delights like Fish Fry, Chicken in Black Sesame, Prawns in Malai Curry, and Dal Bungalow Mutton, allowing for a rich and varied dining adventure.
Rye Bread and Grilled Fish with Mustard Hollandaise:
Rye Bread and Grilled fish served with mustard hollandaise sauce, accompanied by baby spinach, crunchy potatoes, and bok choy, showcasing the harmonious union of French and Bengali culinary techniques.
Baked Cheesecake: A delightful finale featuring a cheesecake made from Philly cream cheese, baked to perfection, offering a smooth and indulgent sweetness.
Mustard not only offers a feast for the senses but also embodies a commitment to culinary excellence and cultural preservation. The restaurant’s innovative use of mustard, its homage to Franco-Bengali culinary traditions, and its socially responsible approach to dining make it a trailblazer in Chennai’s culinary landscape.
As I left Mustard, my taste buds still tingled with the vibrant flavours of the dishes. Mustard is not just a restaurant; it’s a testament to the artistry of flavours, the richness of cultural heritage,
Must try Mustard dishes: Baked Crab with Water Spinach and the Non-Vegetarian Thali
Where: Second floor, Pharos Hotel, Sterling Road, Nungambakkam, Chennai.
Meal for Two: Rs. 1800. Call: +91 9639693666.