The Mumbai Brasserie sits at the top of Andover High Street, a contemporary, modern, bright Indian restaurant that is now under the skilful management of Tito Fernandes, the brains behind the applauded Blue Ginger indian restaurant in Whitchurch.
We booked a table on a Saturday evening and despite the restaurant only being under new management for a couple of weeks, it was very busy, with nearly every single table, upstairs and downstairs, full.
We were welcomed by Restaurant Manager, Armstrong - a friendly, efficient and competent manager who was brought in by Tito to manage the Mumbai Brasserie. With his vast experience of working all over the world in the best Indian restaurants, he is the perfect man for the job. Armstrong showed us to our table upstairs, a lovely area - especially if you are looking to book a party - it has its own bar and a lift direct to the kitchen to ensure food is brought to your table piping hot and in a timely manner.
We were brought menus, which were clean and well laid out. There were lots of dishes that we had never seen on an indian menu before, but all had a good explanation of the dish so that we were able to make our choices.
Crispy, perfect, warm papadoms quickly followed our drink order, wrapped cosily in a napkin in the basket along with a variety of sauces and chutneys. The mango chutney we were told, is homemade by the chefs, it was possibly the best mango chutney my partner and I have ever tasted, rather than the sometimes overpowering sweetness of a jar of mango chutney, this had a smooth mellow taste with a warm spiciness. The same can be said for the other sauces, the star of the quad was the chef's 'special sauce' it was a meaty earthy sauce with a kick - when you visit, definitely give this a try!
Our waiter for the night was Aimn, a dynamic, enthusiastic and bouncy waiter who knew the menu well and was able to explain it to us in an articulate way. We ordered starters of a Chicken Haryali Kebab (£4.50) and the Scallops Royale (£6.95). Our mains were the Mumbai Butter Chicken (£9.50), the Mumbai Lamb Shank Special (£14.50), Kerala Chicken (£8.95), Special Fried Rice (£3.73), Mushroom Fried Rice (£3.75), Onion Bahjis (£3.95) and we requested tasters of the Lucknow Chicken Biryani, Bombay Potatoes and Chana Masala.
The starters arrived and I was surprised that my Chicken Haryali Kebab was green, it was served with a beautiful fresh crisp salad and a rose shaped tomato, which was very pretty and lets face it - who doesn't love a flowered up tomato! The chicken pieces were tender and sat atop the chef's special sauces, there was a lovely heat running through the whole dish, it was so nice that I cleared the plate with ease.
My partner's Scallops Royale were lightly seared with a lovely caramel colour, tender and meaty, fresh and soft, the sauces on the plate gave the dish a delicate heat.
There was a fair wait for the mains to arrive, but it was nice to relax and have a drink and it didn't feel like we were being rushed out so that the table could be refilled. New member of staff Emma, made sure we had enough drinks, and that any used plates and cutlery were removed quickly and efficiently from our table, all with a smile.
The mains arrived on a trolley, our white clean plates were on the hot side of warm, ensuring our food would stay hotter for longer.
The Kerala Chicken was served in a warm, lightly spiced rich sauce with tender chicken pieces, garnished with fried onions, garlic and ginger, this was definitely my favourite dish of the night.
Whilst not very spicy, the Butter Chicken was a lovely dish that was served in a beautiful creamy sauce, the tender chicken melts in the mouth and is a definite must to try, especially for those who aren't looking for a hot spicy meal.
The Lamb Shank was served in a beautiful rich spiced sauce, a monster of a dish, only for the very hungry or the very brave. I absolutely loved the sauce and the meat was so tender that it fell from the bone with ease. I am not a big lamb eater and therefore I did not do this meal justice, I found it a little too fatty for me after a diet that mainly consists of chicken as my main protein, but if you are a lamb lover - you will absolutely love this dish!
The onion bahjis were beautiful spheres of deliciousness, crisp on the outside and packed with soft onion, lentils and spices, they were the perfect accompaniment that brought a different texture to the meal.
I love Bombay Potatoes - you can't really have an indian without them can you? The Mumbai Brasserie ones are possibly the best I have ever had - they are made with baby new potatoes, which are just soft enough without losing their form, the tomato based sauce was just spicy enough and again added the perfect touch to the meal. Similarly the Chana Masala (chick peas in curry sauce) was delicious and cooked quite perfectly, I have never tried this dish before but I will definitely be ordering it again!
The Lucknow Chicken Biriyani was a surprise, traditionally served with a Raitha rather than a vegetable curry, it was different to how we have ever had a biryani before, I missed the vegetable curry but my partner - who is much more of a biryani connoisseur than I, loved it and said he didn't ever want to have it in the westernised way again.
We tried a plain Naan bread which was thin and more crispy that the big puffy versions I have had before. It was delicious and much nicer and less heavy to have with a meal like this, we also tried the Garlic Naan which was much spicier but it was delicious and now my preferred choice when I go back to this fabulous new eatery - thank you to Armstrong for the recommendation.
This really is a very exciting new addition to the eating scene in Andover.
Tito is a forward thinking businessman who has a strong passion. Not content to just whack open a standard indian restaurant to cash in on the drunk weekend trade, he genuinely wants to bring an authentic taste of india to our town. I have often eaten in sister restaurant, The Blue Ginger in Whitchurch, which rates very highly in my favourite restaurants, but I have to say, whilst I didn't think it possible, the food at the Mumbai Brasserie, is even better.
Working hard to put together the best team to fulfil his authentic indian dining vision, Tito has managed to bring together an incredible pedigree of staff, and it really does show in the experience of the night. Great clear and friendly communication is essential on a meal out and you get this here, the chefs are all award winning, which shows in the skilful preparation and execution of each and every dish, no meal is more important than another when it leaves the kitchen, each are prepared and presented to the highest standard.
We will definitely be returning and would like to thank Tito, Armstrong, Aimn, Emma and the rest of the team that we did not meet, for allowing us to conduct a full and honest review.
You can book a table or arrange to collect a takeaway at The Mumbai Brasserie by calling 01264 338337.
Papadoms with Chutneys and Relishes
Chicken Haryali Kebab
Mumbai Lamb Shank Special
Mumbai Butter Chicken
Lucknow Chicken Biryani (Tester)
Bombay Potatoes (Tester)
Chana Masala (Tester)
Mushroom Fried Rice
Special Fried Rice