The team behind Sassy Spoon and Baraza have opened a third property, Mandarin & Mircchi, inside the premises of Ishanya Mall. Taking its cues from the public that is torn between choosing from the Chinese and Indian cuisines, Mandarin & Mircchi decided to gift us the best of both worlds, perfect for those times you cannot decide if you’d rather settle for some fish tikka or chilly chicken.
I checked out this new place last week at the soft launch, and here’s what I have to say about Mandarin & Mircchi-
This new establishment is located right next to Baraza (even before entering I had made a mental note to keep this as a dinner option for those weekends we head to Baraza) and appears to be fine dining. You walk in to a space that has been creatively customized to showcase the amalgamation of Oriental and Indian elements. Origami art decorates the walls on either ends, soft lighting & earthy tones of the furniture add to the fine dining vibe and ambient music (alternating between Indian classical and Oriental) offer a soothing effect. The ambiance is on point if you’d ask me, a typical atmosphere that will get you in the mood for some chow down immediately. No frills, no Instagram worthy pictures, just a beautiful menu card and a tonne of options to choose from before you dig in.
Since this was a media event, we were well looked after. I’d be able to comment on this once after I visit on a regular day. As far as the event is concerned, we were extremely satisfied with the service. The staff was knowledgeable, they helped us out with recommendations according to our mood (and diets) and a huge shoutout to the bar staff who recommended some great cocktails. Our order took a lot of time to arrive though, and since this was the first night I could once again reserve my judgement till after a second visit.
The cocktails are fun, a refreshing and potent concoction of Indian and Oriental flavours. Try the Mandarin & Mircchi cocktail if you’re wondering where to get started from – with vodka, triple sec, basil, green mirchi, muddled orange, and citrus fizz, this one’s a potent refresher that leaves behind a strong aftertaste of some fresh green chillies.
There’s also Eugene, a mix of vodka and dark chocolate, but we’d recommend you opt for the Mandarin & Mircchi cocktail.
Unfortunately I wouldn’t say this is exceptional. With the fine dining vibe setting the expectation for this place really high, we were a little disappointed to find the quality of the food to be average. Here’s what we sampled-
Kung Pao Chicken – if you don’t know what else to order, this one is a safe last bet.
Envelope chicken – interesting presentation, and a new taste I’d like to opt for.
Chicken Pepper Fry- Too much masala made this pretty avoidable.
Lasooni & Ajwaini Machli Tikka- I fell in love with this. The fish was fresh, the flavours were on point, and I’d highly recommend this from the Mircchi menu. I’d totally go back for this, yeah!
Vegetable & Chive Steamed Dimsums- Rice flour dimsums got us excited (we’re avoiding maida from our diets) and I’m glad to report that this was something we could have eaten more of.
Aghani Murg – YES PLEASE! Loved this one.
Butter Chicken Biryani – Unfortunately the dish wasn’t as exciting as the name.
Chicken Singapore Noodles – Rice noodles! Great preparation, and one of those rare times I actually liked a rice noodle preparation.
Sweet & Sour Chicken- ah. Unfortunately, this one was totally avoidable. I expected the dish to tease the taste buds with the sweet and sour bits, but this one felt really close to eating simple chicken fried with cornflour and some soy sauce.
Classic Banoffee Pie – I was so excited about this! It isn’t exactly great, but it’s not bad either. Coming from Sassy Teaspoon, this lacked the oomph factor, you know what I mean? It was a fun dessert, but the flavour of the bananas was missing, and I felt like I was only eating whipped cream and caramel with the pie crust. The bananas it came topped with were not ripe either.
Rabdi Mousse- The table LOVED this since it was not too high on the sugar content, and still retained the flavour. Since I’m not a fan of rabdi or desserts with less sugar (lol) I stayed away. The general reaction though told me they’d opt for it compared to the banoffee pie.
Verdict – I’d definitely want to go back to see what the service and food is like on a regular day. The interesting part is that for all the fine dining aura around Mandarin & Mircchi, a meal for two without alcohol costs under 1000 bucks! No harm giving this one another dekho, right before we head to Baraza.
This new property does come with a set of shortcomings, but I’d like to repeat that I’d give them the benefit of the doubt and term these as “teething problems” – we need to give them 3 months to truly judge the quality of food and service. This being a launch was exclusively tailored to meet our requirements, and am not sure if this is what reflects on a normal day too.