‘We met over cocktails, clicked over starters, fell in love over mains and remained ‘happily ever’ after desserts, reads the menu at the new Italian table- Le Mangii

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Le Mangii, the latest Italian, for which I raise my doubts, restaurant to have mushroomed in South Mumbai is in, to spread love and how. The menu composition is more Mediterranean than Italian, hence, the raised doubt.

Launched, around Valentine’s Day, it was a perfect foodie gala organized by Sameer Malkhani and his beautiful ‘Masala Chic’. Clinking glasses over the usual bar trail of mojito, sangria and caprioshka. We were served some crisp pizza wedges straight out of the clichéd wood fired ovens. The fare included sundried tomato and zucchini, pepperoni with kalamata olives, peri peri chicken, pork salami. Served crisp with a juicy smear of tomato sauce and topping, nothing extraordinary , but anyway, that’s certainly not what you are here for.

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Calamari and prawn fritto misto, for starters, was fresh, crunchy and had the perfect bite. Chicken skewers with remoulade was breaded and over herbed. Grilled aubergine with haloumi and hints of a sweet topping was a riot of flavours.

Falafel balls on skewers were dry and can be best ignored, unless the chef churns out mini bullets stuffed in a pita pocket with some hummus and pickles.

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Amidst the charade, a stand-up comedian tried to pitch in.However, I best leave it at that. We preferred our sit-down comedy with our share of cheesy jokes. ‘Cheesy’ pick –up lines made the rounds, which pepped up the evening. The foot tapping, thump of music kept rising and kept us swinging.

The music, ambience, non- intrusive-casual service and ‘potent’ beverage-flow can get you to this place, time and again

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With all meeting, greeting and air kisses, finally, we settled at our dining table for the perfectly flaky and buttery sea bass with spinach and potato lyonnaise. A classic combination one cannot rustle up the wrong way. And I was content they didn’t. Brazilian tenderloin with mash potato zakuski and garlic tossed broccoli- medium rare and to the point. A little mushy was the broccoli. But is that even the point of consideration, when you have a steak with potatoes and jus to accompany. Absolutely not. Anyway, it could just be a overlook on the part of the chef. Benefit of doubt granted, amidst all the media frenzy.

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Heading the dessert way. Baked cheese cake was creamy and baked well. However, we wish the accompanying compote was more. Blueberry cheese cake was sour, creamy but nowhere close to its baked counterpart. Chocolate Mousse was absolute basic, but neither did the name announce for more.

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It definitely was the most happening and well-curated events in a long time, with so much  bustle, reloaded retro music, good company, mood-lit ambience and absolute madness!

Food, with a hearty mix of Mediterranean (not just Italian; let me re-state, clearly and convincingly) – for once, could be just an add on. This coming from a chef- I mean it!

Anyway, Buon Apetito!

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