A rooftop dining experience is always an addition to a great meal. A brand new edition to the city’s repertoire of rooftop lounges, Zerua, owned by Gaurav Choksey, is the city’s first-ever Basque culture-inspired rooftop lounge perched high above the busy lanes of Worli, atop the Atria Mall.
Zerua’s exquisite open-air design was conceptualised by architect Ashish Kambli. Spread across 14,500 sq. ft., the interiors borrow elements from the Spanish-French baserri design. These come alive with eclectic lighting, subtle furnishing, and traditional materials like timber and stone paired with tropical potted plants and greenery. Set the image of a Basque flora in the mind that shifts gently from the rough coastal landscape to the semi-desert regions.
The space is segregated into multiple seating zones, a large courtyard for bigger groups, and a series of air-conditioned glass cabanas for a more intimate experience. The gabion wall-inspired bar presents a rustic visual, which at sundown is probably one of the best sights to catch!
The menu, curated by Chef Rakesh Talwar, features a mix of Asian, Mediterranean, and Indian options such as platters, sushi, pizzas, flatbread, and grilled dishes.
My dinner companion and I began with a dish called an avocado smash. Creamy, light and flavourful, the avocado was served with pomegranate and smoked feta on a toasty slice of bread. Given the light texture of the plating, this was a great start to the meal.
A non-vegetarian rendition of the avocado smash, our next dish was a chicken ghee roast served in a similar way on bread, with pickled onions, fried cashews and curry leaves. While the avocado smash was refreshingly light, the chicken ghee roast was a richer, more indulgent appetizer and a must-try for all non-vegetarians.
Having heard praises of the sushi, I was keen to try out both the smoked salmon and the volcano asparagus sushi. While the smoked salmon rainbow roll was commendable, I found myself favouring the asparagus roll! Sweet, crunchy and creamy, this was the clear winner!
Zerua knows how to play around with names. Our next meal was something called Speedy Goes Desi. The dish included a dangerously delicious pulled tandoori chicken served cooked in chipotle agave, served with a mint mayo sauce and smoked feta and jalapeno kulchas.
With the variety of appetizers served, my dinner date and I skipped the main course and ended our meal with a chocolate hazelnut tart. Despite the simplicity of the dish, the tart was rich with complex flavours that went beyond a modest sweet treat. The buttery flavour of the tart melded with the rich dark chocolate ganache, perfectly balanced with a creamy whipped cream topping, the dish came together beautifully.
While the food at Zerua is commendable, it is the vibe that makes you want to stay longer. With the open air, the quaint music, the greenery, and a handful of mini water fountains, the ambience is truly majestic. And if you’re planning on visiting for dinner, we suggest making it an early one where you can catch beautiful glimpses of the sunset!