Frankly, I haven't come across a single person who isn't fond of pan-Asian cuisine. After all, those delicate dumplings, hearty ra...

Review: Lemon Leaf, Colaba

Frankly, I haven't come across a single person who isn't fond of pan-Asian cuisine. After all, those delicate dumplings, hearty ramen bowls, and zingy curries exploding with umami easily equate to soul food. However, the popularity of this cuisine is, unfortunately, offset with its often disastrous execution. I have had my fair share of shoddy Thai curries, folks. So when I was invited to try out the newly opened Lemon Leaf at Colaba as a part of the Diabetic Food Trail, I was both excited and nervous (for all the right reasons). Thankfully, it delivered what it promised it delivered more than it promised.

Just before we dive into all things Lemon Leaf, I would draw some attention towards the Diabetic Food Trail which happens to be a much welcome health initiative presented by Britannia Nutrichoice Essentials in association with Biocon with the objective of urging the food industry to create a healthy and diabetic-friendly menu. A wide array of restaurants in Mumbai, Pune, Delhi, Bangalore, and Chennai participated in this wildly successful instalment of the food trail. Hence, it is safe to say that eating out doesn't have to be unhealthy anymore.

Neatly tucked away in one of the numerous quaint bylanes behind the iconic Taj Mahal Palace Hotel, Lemon Leaf is the ultimate pan-Asian restaurant you always knew you needed. Nope, I am not exaggerating. For starters, Lemon Leaf is an extremely photogenic restaurant- the chic yet colourful decor paired with a peppy ambience instantly puts you at ease as soon as you step in. 
Left: Chilli Straw Potatoes. Right: Mushroom Yaki

Chilli Straw Potatoes

Firm Tofu With Spicy Miso Glaze

The food, surely, doesn't disappoint. We began our food journey with 'Chilli Straw Potatoes' which happens to be the tastier counterpart of the traditional french fries. Next in line were 'Mushroom Yaki', a delectable mix of grilled Shitake and Button mushrooms on a stick, and 'Firm Tofu With Spicy Miso Glaze'. The 'Mushroom Yaki' was perfect in every sense and packed the required flavours. The 'Firm Tofu with Spicy Miso Glaze' happened to be absolutely melt-in-the-mouth and delicious, but we unanimously agreed that the spice quotient was a bit lower than you'd expect from a dish which is labelled as 'spicy'. 

Roasted Vegetable Dumpling with Edamame

Roasted Vegetable Dumpling with Edamame

Shitake & Scallion Tortellini With Miso Broth And Wakame

Shitake & Scallion Tortellini With Miso Broth And Wakame

Post whetting our appetites with the finger-liking appetisers, we readily placed our order for the 'Roasted Vegetable Dumplings with Edamame' and 'Shitake & Scallion Tortellini with Miso Broth and Wakame'. Both the dishes were pretty good but after the explosive first round of appetisers, we couldn't help ourselves from wanting more flavours from the 'Roasted Vegetable Dumplings with Edamame'.

Center: Crimson. Right: Blush

Whilst waiting for our main course of 'Korean-style Fried Rice' and 'Aubergine, Lotus-root & Water Chestnut in Claypot' to be served, we happily sipped on the inviting mocktails. I loved my 'Crimson'- a cinnamon tea based drink infused with cranberry juice and peach. On the other hand, my +1 swore by 'Blush'- a refreshing blend of lemongrass and passion fruit with cranberry lemonade. Although the drink of our choice differed, we both reconciled on our liking for the delightful drinks menu. 
Korean-style Fried Rice

Aubergine, Lotus-root & Water Chestnut in Claypot

The arrival of the main course broke us out in glee. As the aroma of the luscious curry filled the air we couldn't help but not dig in. In my opinion, the 'Korean-style Fried Rice' was a bit lacklustre on its own. Yet, when paired with the curry we couldn't complain. By this point, you would have guessed how much we loved the 'Aubergine, Lotus-root & water chestnut in Claypot' and how full we were with all the hogging. Hence, the only (il)logical thing to do was ordering a dessert. 

Strawberry Ice-cream

Originally we intended to treat ourselves to 'NYC-style Cheesecake with Miso Caramel' and 'The Dome' (A dome of chocolate mousse and brownie flambeed on the table with dark rum and cinnamon), alas, our stomachs were so tightly packed that we gave up and ordered the 'Homemade Strawberry Ice-cream'. The ice-cream was lovely and didn't leave any room for criticism. However, our hearts are still set on the cheesecake and the dome. So don't be surprised if we visit Lemon Leaf again just to savour them. 

Verdict: 4/5
In a nutshell, if lip-smacking and generously portioned pan-Asian spread at pocket-friendly prices is what you are after, Lemon Leaf is where you need to be brunching soon. 

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