Rivers2Oceans – Salut to inventiveness!
One more from Kalra
The latest offering from the ever expanding portfolio of the prolific and creative Zorawar Kalra, Rivers2Oceans offers up a plethora of sea-food (not only!). Also boasts of a unique champagne bar to boot! The focus is on highlighting local produce while incorporating international influences. The food on offer is not constrained by national boundaries in the sourcing of produce or the cuisine style followed. Fortunately, the signature molecular gastronomy is toned down. Also, the freshness of the produce is allowed to shine through and flavour elements combined to hit the high notes.
Palladium is where the action is
Rivers2Oceans has taken over the space earlier occupied by TGIF and transformed it into what feels simultaneously like a much larger, spread-out yet cosy place – I guess the artful lighting and white marble/granite contributes much to this. Rivers2Oceans boasts of a unique champagne and wine bar as well – bubbly lovers head over!
Chef’s tasting menu – a sea-food menu
What better way to get a sense of the span of offerings than to sample the Chef’s tasting menu! Though it did look intimidating with 14 courses and a bucket-load of sea-food to get through! We were reassured by Mayur, our knowledgeable and passionate server that the portions were manageable baby ones. Also, we decided to do the champagne pairing to sample whether the spirits lived up to the hype.
First up, the Yuzu sorbet with melon
Cold Bar paired with Moet Chandon Brut imperial
- Rock oyster with caviar or Barley, apple Waldorf with squid blanket
- Scampi tartare, mandarin dressing
- Modernist salad Nicoise
- Leek and crab soup, butter crab stick
Hawker’s street paired with G.H. Mumm Cordon rouge
- Sea bas otak otak with citrus pandan dressing
Small plates paired with Piper Heidsieck Cuvee Brut
- Textures of mushrooms or Asparagus Arancini
- Chardonnay poached mussels or Chicken Cacciatore
- Sushi taco, avocado & cream cheese
- Truffled lobster, black caviar or herb crusted chicken
- Pulled lamb ragout with Parmesan biscuit or Belgian pork rib with maple, balsamic glaze
Mains paired with Louis Roederer Brut
- Field mushroom stuffed morels with Corzetti
- Malabar crab curry with parotta or Red snapper with buttermilk sauce
In conclusion, Dessert!
- Black truffle gold leaf
- Eton mess
Some of the dishes are downright brilliant but a few are middle of the road while others miss the mark completely. So, the Rivers2Oceans standouts for me among all the sea-food and more .…….
- The minimalist crab and leek soup with crab-stick tempura (the only crib being the quantity served – I could drink a gallon of this)
- The tuna Nicoise salad – a modernist take with tuna bits, edamame and sous vide eggs
- The sea bass otak otak with its completely on-point seasoning – if there is one dish that will keep me coming back, it’s this one
- The textures of mushrooms – maxi flavour punch in a mini dish
- The smoky balsamic maple glaze on the Pork ribs
- The pulled lamb ragout with Parmesan biscuit – to get this depth of flavour and fork-tenderness into lamb is an art – the Parmesan biscuit is not to be missed either!
- Corzetti (pasta) with field mushrooms – the mushrooms add an incredible taste depth to the pasta
- Red snapper – ooh that buttermilk sauce! Truly inventive!
- The husband loved the coconut and chilli oil hit of the crab curry and the flaky parotta
Red meat lovers!
For a place purporting to focus on sea-food, the red meat quality and treatment is simply outstanding! So, come for the sea-food but order the red meat! The detailing in every dish down to the crockery its served in is what delights at Rivers2Oceans. For instance, the fish shaped dish that the Otak otak was served in could (almost) challenge the cute-as-a-button, carrier of pork belly skewers piggy at Pa Pa Ya. Also, the 4 champagnes were served in different glasses so that they hit different parts of the palate and for the interplay between the crispness versus the flavour notes – innovative this! The Piepr Heidsieck Cuvee Brut champagne with its apple, pear, hazelnuts and citrus note won hands down giving the feel of white flowers on a crisp winter’s day.
Though the oysters sourced from Goa were fresh, they needed a flavouring element stronger than the apple vinegar sauce they were served with. No particular flavour coming through in the Asparagus arancini, it could have been a deep-fried ball of almost anything. The dal-chawal arancini at Farzi café……..now that’s something to reorder! Also, the scampi tartare and the truffled lobster were both middle-of-the-road on the taste gradient. Both the desserts were misses – this is not the strong suit of most of the restaurants in the Zorawar fold. Clearly the intervention of a genius is required to sort this part of the menu.
Why you should sample the goods – the answer is clear! Always reach out and support innovation wherever you see it. We spend so much of our time and mind-space as creatures of habit. To sum up, anyone who attempts to break the mould of stereotypical thinking needs a show of hands, what say you?
“Oh, here I am baby I’m coming back for more
I’m like a wave that’s going to roll into the shore.”
– Hand in hand, Dire Straits