A vibrant escape amidst the concrete jungle of Andheri, Ammata is an all-new entrant in the busy neighbourhood of Andheri with an all-day restaurant and bar, and a charming garden setting.
Talking about the name of the restaurant, co-director Nitin Chawla said, “Ammata which means ‘Love’ in Spanish was created with the idea of having a natural garden like space amidst a man-made jungle of concrete buildings.”
An airy courtyard surrounds the main restaurant, where a pool table instantly grabs your attention. Walking through the door, one is instantly transported to a garden like space, with potted plants hanging off the ceiling, and vines running across the walls. Dim lighting, eclectic wall paintings and comfortable velvet seating transform the restaurant into a comfortable space, surrounded by nature.
“Ammata in the basic sense means ‘beloved’. And, so, the restaurant is a dedication to God and his creation, which is surrounded by nature.” says co-director Aditya Chopra about the interiors and design of Ammata.
After being seated at a comfortable table close to the bar, we started our meal with a refreshing round of cocktails. The drinks here are said to be a combination of “dry and sweet flavours”. My vodka-based Hasty Melon came with a sweet-and-salty flavour of watermelon and kaffir key lime, while my lunch date savoured an At Sunset cocktail which was made with California grapes, cucumber and a bouquet of fresh coriander, atop a gin base. With its refreshing flavours, the At Sunset drink would make for a great sip during the hot summers.
Moving onto the next round, upon our host Ganesh’s suggestion, we opted for an Easy Over which was a refreshing concoction of Bourbon Whiskey with a homemade grapefruit and rosemary cordial, and a Dame Uno made with cucumber and jalapenos combined with tequila.
A burst of flavours
At Ammata, one of the most impressive factors about the food other than its flavour is the plating of the food, which is quite impressive to look at. The restaurant’s farm-to-table concept ensures the use of organic produce that pays homage to a fusion of flavours that aren’t bound by demographical boundaries. In such, the food follows a ‘cuisine-without-borders’ theme, where Ammata brings together flavours from different regions.
Starting with appetizers, the first dish that arrived at our table was a ‘Kolhapuri Pulled Chicken Kulcha’ which looked like an open taco. It was filled with delicious pulled kolhapuri chicken with ghati masala, topped with oven-dried tomatoes, scarmoza and rocket leaves.
Next came a plate of fresh-and-creamy burrata, served with a Mediterranean olive salsa, a chilled spice Spanish Soup and citrus butter naan. We were most excited about this one because of the burrata, anticipating its creamy texture and flavour. And we were not disappointed. The creamy texture of the burrata with the tanginess of the soup fused quite well together, in a citrus-y mishmash with the naan.
Another example of incredible plating was their Haleem Boreks appetizer. Served in a crispy thin pastry, the dish resembled a fancy dumpling, filled with slow-cooked lamb, broken wheat and lentils creating a crunchy-on-the-outside-creamy-inside texture that melts in the mouth. This was served with a unique vegetable charcoal aioli which adds a velvety smoked flavour — charred vegetables have never tasted better!
Anyone who absolutely loves tacos, ought to try out Ammata’s fusion-style tacos. Tender pulled lamb served on crunchy corn tacos garnished with pomegranate seeds and sour cream, this dish served to be a great combination of warm and cold, creamy and spicy, creating the perfect fusion for my taste buds. It was definitely my favourite meal.
After the ample amount of appetizers, came the main — an Ammata Grilled Meat Platter. Mushroom stuffed Vietnamese grilled chicken was served alongside a barbecued Rajasthani Laal maas and garlic poi bread, complete with a side of salty stir-fried veggies.
A sweet note
Closing our meal on a sweet note, we were served Ammata’s popular Ashtray dessert, an anti-smoking initiative.
Served in an oval ashtray, the dessert was a Bailey’s Pannacotta, topped with a bed of Oreo cookie crumble and edible silver dust. Sticking to the theme, it was decorated with an edible No Smoking sign and cigarettes filled with chocolate ganache. This was by far one of the most deliciously decorated desserts I’ve ever eaten.
Aside from The Ashtray, there was a selection of homemade ice creams with commendable flavours like dark chocolate and chilli, banana and salted caramel, and a unique sweet and savoury watermelon, balsamic and black pepper sorbet.
The innovative mixing of European and Indian elements, complemented by zingy cocktails in a natural setting is what makes Ammata a unique experience right in the middle of the city. Add to that the all-day dining experience and we have a winner giving partygoers, foodies and beverage enthusiasts a new exciting space for their endeavours.