The name piqued our curiosity. The promise of a farm to fork experience sealed the deal. And that’s how we landed at Henpecked after winding up a busy day at work.
First things first. The understated, easy ambience put us instantly at ease. We nurse a Pickle-o-tai to calm the frizzy nerves, and hair, soaking in the old world charm with the gentle banter playing in the background like an old LP. Although Henpecked is a new entrant among the restaurants at Kala Ghoda in South Mumbai, patrons walk in with the confidence of being old timers. That’s because this place is a reincarnation of Farmer and Sons, a café that garnered a steady following in its brief existence here, we are told.
Let’s face it, farm to fork is a trending label—and everyone’s joining the bandwagon. Plus, we’re all sold on the idea of eating farm fresh veggies, stress-free dairy and cage-free eggs. We’re curious how the restaurant has worked the concept. Chef Ajay Thakur tells us that his kitchen churns out all the sauces and preserves from scratch, using fresh produce bought from farmers.
The Burrata Caprese has the makings of a beautiful classic, and was our top dish of the evening.
A creamy blob of burrata sits on a bed of homemade, stone-ground pesto that was easily one of the best we’ve had in a long time. It is topped with a chunky strawberry balsamic. Spoon it all together and you’ll have a mini riot of flavours in your mouth. And then lick the pesto clean…ummm!
The Wild Arugula met our salad craving and created music—okay, we are salad lovers—and we especially loved the way the bitter tones of arugula met the caramalised figs.
Braised Lamb Smoked Aubergine
We also enjoyed the Braised Lamb Smoked Aubergine, save for the yoghurt which overpowered the aubergine. The lamb is lightly spiced and tossed with pinenuts, giving it a firm bite. The mains has a robust seafood selection, from classic Fish n Chips to Coconut Prawns and Sea food stew.
Among the cocktails, the Salted Banana Caramel is clearly the star—it has vodka, banana, caramel, vanilla and sea salt, and once again, comes together very well.
Henpecked gets most things right. It serves generous portions with fresh ingredients, balancing flavours and finesse, so go ahead and pick your favourites.
We were recommended this as one of the signature dishes. Listed prominently under a collection of pizza that includes both classics as well as chef specials, Mr GoGo comes with a generous topping of shitake, gorgonzola, chevre and parmesan cheese. And while we love the fungi, it was nevertheless a trifle too overwhelming, especially when you have a whole 12 inches of mushrooms and that much cheese to deal with! Also the Pickle-A-To, a promising concoction of dates, aam papad, jaggery, vodka, rum, gin, tequila and tomatoes came so chilled that it gave us a brain freeze, before we called for some warmer spirits to warm us up.
Where: Kala Ghoda, Mumbai
Wallet Alert: INR 2,500 for two