In addition to his exceptional skills as a cricketer, Virat Kohli is known to be an avid foodie. The star batsman, has on many occasions, spoken about his love for community-style dining, sharing snippets of precious food memories like his mother’s hearty rajma chawal or the delicious street treats in the lanes of Delhi. Translating his love for food, Virat Kohli opened his own restaurant, One8 Commune back in 2019 in Delhi, with outlets in Pune and Kolkata following shortly after. Owing to the success of the three, One8 Commune has finally made its debut in Mumbai, and is co-owned by Ankit Tayal, Vartik Tihara, and Anshul Goel.
The location for each property was chosen keeping in mind the context of the respective cities. And when it came to Mumbai, the team went with Juhu, zeroing in on the late Bollywood legend Kishore Kumar’s original bungalow.
Commenting on the reason behind choosing Juhu as the location for his dream venture, Virat Kohli says, “It has a unique identity that I adore. It’s why I chose to live there as well.”
Fine dining meets comfort
Located at Kumar’s old house “Gouri Kunj”, One8 Commune is inspired by the principles of pluralism and humanism that lie within community dining. The interiors were designed to resemble a home-like space, reflecting the relaxed nature of the city of Mumbai. This meant large open spaces, lighter textures and hues, minimal decor and plenty of nature seeping in.
Walking in through their large main door, I was taken aback by the ample amount of space within the restaurant. Behind all the grandeur, the restaurant has a warm and inviting ambience with seating both indoor and outdoor seating. The restaurant really shines during the daytime, thanks to the glass doors and ceilings that draw in light with hints of greenery. The courtyard area with its glass ceiling is one of the most beautiful sections in the area. Pretty cane lanterns and stone sculptures add to the elegant rustic theme with an edgy, minimalistic vibe.
The menu at One8 Commune boasts a selection of vegetarian-friendly options, ranging from street favourites to experimental curations, all catering to a Mumbaikar’s tastebuds. Talking about the menu and gearing up for the big launch of One8 Commune, Chef Pawan Bisht, heading the kitchen at One8 Communecommented on the menu, “The destination of one8 Commune is sitting on the property of a man that admired world culture and arts. As a tribute, it’s only fitting that we offer the world’s cuisines from behind the doors of our kitchens.”
Being a fan of seafood, my dinner companion and I started with a dish called seafood al ajillo (Spanish-style garlic shrimp). It included a selection of seafood such as clams, shrimp, squid and mussels tossed in a sweet and salty broth. We followed this dish with a cajun chicken, recommended to us by our server who stressed upon the popularity of the dish. And he was right. Rolled in a spicy mix of herbs and spices, the chicken had a nice hint of spice that bode well with the sweet chipotle aioli served with it.
Additionally, the menu also featured favourites like the mushroom googly dim sums made with assorted wild mushrooms, cream cheese, vegetarian broth, and truffle oil; salmon tartare made with sliced smoked avocado, fresh salmon and a savoury ponzu soy dressing; and the calamari fry with curry leaf, green chilli, coconut oil and coastal spices.
Complimenting the delicious food, the cocktail menu curated by Beverage Manager Saurav Samanta is said to be a modern reincarnation of cocktails, inspired to help drinkers discover multi-dimensional cocktails from the bold down to the subtle.
Offering a well-balanced mix of new experimental curations, the menu includes concoctions like white chocolate punch, an in-house special with earthy, grape, and smooth white chocolate flavours; or a modern G&T, a take on the classic drink defined by a burst of fruity and smoky flavours.
My date and I opted for the Tiramisu Monk and Mango Vino respectively. The Tiramisu Monk is a classic combination of Old Monk rum with rich undertones of coffee which would make for a great dessert drink. My Mango Vino was a sweet and sour concoction, that was refreshing to sip on given the current humidity in Mumbai!
The main course is filled with a variety of Asian, Indian and European dishes. My dinner companion opted for a lamb shank, a tender sous vide lamb shank, served with mashed potatoes, asparagus and a red wine jus. I, on the other hand, chose the curried lobster Thermidor. The tender cooked lobster was served with a rich coconut and onion-garlic butter base with cream and a corn-stuffed potato.
One of my favourites from the night, the lobster might seem like a smaller portion, however, it is perfect for those looking to grab a quick but hearty bite. We dug into our main course with another round of cocktails, with a lavender gimlet and a rum julep punch.
Talking about the menu, Virat Kohli said, “Our main focus was to experiment with all sorts of greens & grains and turn them into dishes that are not only healthy and light but also packed with bold flavours. We wanted to push the concept of ‘good-for-the-soul’ cooking, to focus on something that’s not just more wholesome in nature but serves up a gourmet experience. You’ll find the menu vegetarian-friendly.”
Among the many sub-sections on the menu, Virat’s Favourites is approved by the cricketer himself. He recalls that the avocado tartare is one of his top favourites from the entire menu. It is made with sliced avocado topped with tempura avocado, sweet corn sriracha mayonnaise, scallion, and ponzu soy. “I specifically asked our chef to set aside a portion to take home with me. It is really THAT good,” quoted Virat.
My favourite section on any menu is dessert, and the dessert selection at One8 Commune does not disappoint. It seemed like a truly difficult task to select just one item on the menu. And so we went ahead with textures of chocolate and salted caramel tart. Textures of chocolate was a lightly bitter yet intense dish. Made with 70 per cent dark chocolate cream, cocoa nibs and crystallised chocolate, the dish is a chocolate lover’s dream. The salted caramel tart was on the sweeter side, but combining the dark chocolate with the saltiness of the caramel, it was a match made in dessert heaven!
Overall, One8 Commune is an impressive space. The delicious selections of comfort food combined with the enchanting European chic ambience and relaxed vibe makes for an ideal brunch spot, especially if you’re someone who enjoys a great view with their meal.
Cost for two: ₹2000++ without alcohol
Address: 18/B, Juhu Tara Rd, behind Little Italy, Shivaji Nagar, Juhu, Mumbai 400054
For reservations call +91 8108401818 | +91 8108411818