Restaurant Review: Ellipsis
Our first impression of Ellipsis was similar to German interior designer Thomas Schoos’s reaction to Mumbai (watch it here). Schoos was clearly overwhelmed by our city, just as we were taken aback by his work for the Colaba fine dining establishment, in both a good and a bad way. Ellipsis is made up of a lounge, a dining area and a private dining room. We had our meal in the dining area, a room so excessively decorated that no one element stood out. The tables are tightly packed and lorded over by globe cluster lamps; a communal table in the centre of the room is flanked by two carved pillars; and the walls are cluttered with oil paintings. The lounge, decked in plush sofas, a shag rug and warm lighting, has an inviting allure, ruefully absent in the dining room.
We were quite taken by its seductive charm until they served us the overpriced cocktail menu. Of the 12 signature concoctions, we tried the Nightcall (Rs1,200) a boozy mix of judiciously spiced bourbon, aged rum and vanilla that will quickly dispel any first date awkwardness, but also leave you considerably poorer. The Hot Shot (Rs700), a salt-rimmed beer cocktail that combines lime, hot sauce, Worcestershire sauce and Asahi, did no justice to its name and tasted more like a Bloody Mary but without the tangy punch of the tomato juice. Dinner is an equally pricey affair (the average price of a dish is Rs700) with meagre portions that thankfully do not lack in taste. We generally pay no heed to the bread basket, but devoured Ellipsis’s freshly baked, salted, pretzel-brown rolls that are served with excellent in-house spreads: goat cheese butter, a smoked paprika dip; and a miso honey dip, each of which the kitchen obligingly replenished when we asked for more.
We had keen hopes of being dazzled by the food when we read that American chefs Bryan and Michael Voltaggio, contestants of the popular TV show Top Chef, were involved in the restaurant conception. Ellipsis serves a page-long menu that lists soups, salads, appetisers and mains. It’s printed daily and undergoes minor edits, depending on the availability of produce. The night we visited, the menu featured an exquisite Holland pork belly tortilla (Rs650) that should remain a permanent fixture. A wonderfully crisp piece of pork belly is placed in the centre of each mini tortilla over a bed of undressed cabbage slaw and a tangy tomato, cilantro and jalapeno salsa. Sadly though, they only serve three to a plate.
The beef, chicken and cheese sliders (Rs700) were the only truly awful part of the meal, mainly on account of the flaky mini burger buns and the greasy pakoda-style chicken patty. We tried the seaweed pappardelle (Rs700), a visually captivating and curious preparation of black coloured seaweed pasta, baby corn and pappardelle-thin slices of carrot dressed with soy lime and chilli. The sourness of the soy and the lime cut through the strong flavour of the pasta. The grilled chicken (Rs750) comprised two chicken breasts on the bone, poised on shredded green mango and papaya served with a meagre albeit flavourful green Thai curry sauce heavily scented with kaffir lime. It’s a light, summer-appropriate dish for the calorie-minded. The same can be said of the Cioppino (Rs850), made up of a moist fillet of rawas and a subtle Asian-style red pepper, fennel and chilli broth.
The dessert, however, was rich enough to induce guilt pangs. Their dulce de leche cheesecake (Rs450) had a subtle tartness owing to a mix of goat cheese and cream cheese. The combination of the candied sweetness of the dulce de leche ice cream and the tartness of the cheesecake, is nothing short of revelatory. The remarkable lightness (and small portions) of the savoury courses encouraged us to indulge in a second equally sinful dessert, a sculpted dish of chocolate truffle with an oozing creamy peanut butter sauce and a crumbly chocolate cookie base. Ellipsis’s name bears the promise of something more and based on our first dining experience here, we’re keen to know what’s next. The manager said that chef’s table dinners, which will be restricted to five people at a time, are likely to be launched soon.
That said, the prohibitive pricing, certainly higher than the owners had indicated, ensures that Ellipsis might become for many a “special occasion” kinda place, where you pay a premium for the many high profile names attached to the venture. The food, while certainly good, is not as we’d initially hoped game-changing, but don’t let that dissuade you; if you have the money, and believe in judicious consumption, you’ll find something to love even with the littleness of the servings.
A meal for two costs approximately Rs6,200 with alcohol. This review was conducted anonymously.Tags: Bryan Voltaggio, Ellipsis, Michael Voltaggio, restaurant reviews, Restaurants, Thomas Schoos
LocationB-1 Amarchand Mansion
16 Madame Cama Road
Next to the YWCA
HoursDaily, 7pm to 1.30am