I think many of us are victims to this little condition I like to call “convenient compassion”. We are self aware human beings who feel for people who aren’t as able bodied as we may be, but in most cases we don’t consciously do anything about it. We care, but it’s not something we tend to make an effort towards unless a means is provided to us to make that effort slightly easier.
Hence the term, convenient compassion.
So when I got a wind of Mirchi and Mime owner Mr Prashant Issar’s sincere attempt in providing a culinary experience that benefits society in more ways than one, I didn’t need a rating for once to seal my intent on visiting the place.
Mirchi and Mime has been making its rounds in the Mumbai food blogging circuit for being the first of its kind to hire individuals with hearing and speech impairments in a major way and ensuring it causes no compromises to their offerings in any manner.
We got there at around 1.00 pm, despite having made a reservation 30 minutes prior. Since the place is crowded, reservations are necessary but should anything delay you a bit, the staff is nice enough to hold your table slightly longer if informed.
You walk in to a modest seating area with minimalistic yet earthy tones and buzzing staff dressed in all black, sneakers and a smile to offer to anyone who walks by.
We were seated and introduced to the manager who explained the concept to us and he later showed us our waiter for the meal. She gave us her sign and provided us with their menu to look through, while beaming throughout. It honestly is so pleasant to be around such evident optimism-almost infectious, really.
The menu is fairly easy to peruse and signs to order each dish have been provided. You are given the option to either point at what you’d like to order or use the aforementioned signs for it. We chose to do the latter, as terrible as we may have been at it.
This is what we ordered:
Berry Pomegranate Granita
Fairly refreshing, with notes of the pomegranate, punctuated by the acidity from the berries every now and then.
Very clear flavours of the lime and mint coming through. And the ice thankfully didn’t dilute it even as the meal progressed.
Peach Iced Tea
Such a welcome change to get an iced tea that actually tastes of tea and the peach and isn’t just sugar overload. As much as iced tea seems like a safe choice, it’s apparently not as common to get it right. So good on them.
Since we were two non vegetarians and one vegetarian, we tried to order a little of both. It may have resulted in some over ordering and parceled leftovers, but noone is complaining. Not really.
Paneer Sheekh Kebab
The paneer is crumbly and soft, enveloped in a mild cashew and fenugreek base. It was an interesting difference in texture when compared to the usual skewered blocks of cottage cheese we get when a kebab is ordered.
Amritsari Fish Tikka
Large chunks of basa, cooked in a tandoor in an extremely flavourful marinade. The fish is tender and cooked just right and the marinade completely negates the need for any dipping sauces.
Tandoori Baby Potatoes
The potatoes were well cooked and the creamy kasundi mustard and sweet pomegranate seeds drizzled on top cut the spiciness in every bite.
Badam Rogan Chicken
The dish consists of a creamy almond based gravy with just enough spices and green chillies to add flavour to the sauce but not overpower it completely. However, what made this stand out for us was the chicken. It was perfectly pink when cut into, tender to the touch and cooked evenly throughout. It complemented the mild gravy and had us polishing off every last bit with our naan.
It’s almost awe inspiring how something as simple and basic as Daal can be done so incredibly well. As I try to describe it, all that comes to mind is care- whether it’s in the impeccably julienned bits of ginger and chilly you chance upon or the mild hint of smokiness from the lentils that keeps you going in for more.
The rice and vegetables aren’t overdone to the point of it being mush. And it is served with a simple yet tasteful raita. Quantities are fairly large however and we weren’t able to make and significant dent, so keep that in mind if you do plan on ordering it.
Sugarless Sitaphal Pannacotta
Clearly, when there is gluttony involved, we turn a blind eye to our bursting stomachs and insist on trying something from their dessert menu. So we settled for the small but extremely satisfying Sitaphal pannacotta.
You get the familiar graininess of the custard apple in your very first bite. The pannacotta itself is perfectly set and not overpoweringly creamy. Maybe it’s just us being keralites, but the lingering question on our minds while eating it was if there was some tender coconut added to it. But sadly we were too full to order a second one for our taste buds to confirm. We enjoyed it, regardless.
Mirchi and Mime’s novel concept and positively scrumptious fare ensures no tables are left unturned as far as customer satisfaction goes. It’s a place I would gladly recommend to anyone and I look forward to visiting it again.