TYGR TYGR burning bright
The latest entrant from the Zorawar Kalra stable, TYGR replaces the innovative Rivers to Oceans. Alas! Quite a few dishes will be missed besides the champagne bar and my favourite, not-so-easily-available Champagne brand – Piper Heidsieck. The food at TYGR is Thai casual dining and is a vast improvement on the price points versus R2O. Thankfully, the food we sampled on our first visit delivered on the flavour and taste balance as well.
Delicately balanced cocktails
A lot of restaurants tend to bung in a few Thai dishes as part of a larger Asian offering. Especially, Som tam, Tom yum, Green and red curries and Pad thai. So, it’s great to have a Thai speciality restaurant in this part of town (Lower Parel). TYGR does feature some American specials like Burgers, flatbreads and savoury waffles on the menu though. Minimal changes have been made to the erstwhile R2O decor. So, the bar still exists but with a vastly depleted stock though the cocktail mixer is as skilled as earlier. Heart of the TYGR was the signature cocktail with clarified milk(?) and whiskey. My tequila based Water of the ‘something or the other (can’t remember) had a lovely orange citrus hit and bitters to balance it out. The non-alcoholic Ting-tong, a blended thick smoothie of coconut milk and pineapple was not overly sweet and quite comforting.
Flavours banging away in all our Appetizers!
In the meanwhile, our appetizers arrived at the table – the soft shell crab salad with green mango and curry leaves. The spice powder topping it gave the dish a nice kick which was tempered by the tart mango. This was rapidly demolished and was immediately followed by the grilled blue crab (cakes). Excellent flavours though a trifle over-salted. The accompanying rice crackers delivered a nice crunch to the dish. The pork belly lotus flower bun completed our set of starters. This was messy eating with a satisfying amount of sauce and meat and a tender bao.
Steamed or Fried?
Onto the main course and the flavours in the Prawn green curry were simply banging! The only complaint were the prawns which had been diced instead of being left whole. While the son insisted on pairing this with the Thai basil fried rice, the chef (sensibly) sent a portion of steamed rice to the table. The Thai basil fried rice had a lovely smoky flavour with strips of omelette and crispy fried chicken pieces. Good enough to scoff on its own with no requirement of an accompanying saucy main. Too tiny portions of rice, surely this can be more generous? Our server missed our order of the Pork belly burger though this was a blessing as we were almost full to bursting!
Dude, where’s my Tab tim krob?
Onto the last course of the meal! Unfortunately, our preferred dessert of water chestnuts in coconut milk, Tab tim krob was unavailable. So we settled for the Mango sticky rice. Imagine our horror when the mango was an artificial tasting mousse on a Scrooge like bed of barely there rice. No coconut ice-cream alongside either! A vanilla (/) ice-cream graced the plate. Serious work needs to be put in on the dessert section. Somehow, desserts seem to be a challenge at most Zorawar restaurants. Even at the dearly beloved Pa Pa Ya. So ended the first meal at TYGR and so much more to be sampled from the interestingly put together menu.
Meals to travel before I sleep
The husband was heard to remark that post Bangkok, this was the first place to deliver on authentic Thai flavours. If that was not enough, he even ranked it higher than Nara Thai at BKC. The price point seems to have been carefully planned out with most dishes priced between 300-450 rupees. In conclusion, I would urge everyone to go sample the food at TYGR so it stays open giving us access to some great tasting Thai food!
Update from a subsequent visit
Do not miss the Avocado and preserved raw mango salad! Creamy avocado paired with crisp coconut chips. Fried onions, sharp aragula leaves and a tangy-sweet dressing. I think I have found a new love! We ordered 2 portions of this one – it’s so good. And went ahead and ordered the avocado rocket flatbread as well!
The edamame hummus was served prettily dolloped on the plate and looked like pista green icing on a cake. Though good, a bit of truffle oil would have amped up the flavour quotient. The crispy lotus stems delivered on the promise. Crispy they surely were with a sweet glaze on them. No pics, but try the Ayam (chicken) satay on lemongrass sticks. Also the tamarind glazed crispy prawns. Good stuff this!
Managed the Tab tim krob on this visit! Pretty as a picture but too sweet as the ice-cream was part of the dish. Would have been better served on the side. The ‘Oohs’ and ‘Aahs’ at the table were reserved for the Chocolate Fudge though. Brilliant part of going in a group is that you don’t have to choose a camp. Try both and go to dessert heaven!
If you are a fan of Asian food then check out Asian style tapas at Foo Mumbai. And the latest entrant for affordable (not only) Japanese food – Happy Thai. A sushi and sashimi fiend – check where you can get the Best sushi and sashimi in Mumbai. Also check the review for Kofuku – my best bet for modern sushi.