Inside Foo, Phoenix Mill’s Latest Asian Entrant | All The Deets

By Sama Ankolkar August 23, 2018
Interiors At Foo

Retail therapy can be highly rejuvenating but also quite exhausting when at it for a couple of hours. If you’re out on a shopping spree, you’ll be happy to know that Phoenix Mills in Lower Parel is now home to Foo, an Asian tapas restaurant from the Tham brothers, who also own KOKO down the road and Kishore who owns WTF! And The Tanjore Tiffin Room in Versova. With interiors that take away from the mall bustle, well priced, comforting yet modern Asian food is served with flair and a touch of Asian nostalgia here.

Standing right next to Hamley’s, the red signage immediately drew my attention with large, glass doors beckoning me inside. The restaurant is designed stylishly and is divided into various seating areas that are separated by chairs and archways, lined by a dimly lit bar on one side. The high ceilings create a sense of space and the burgundy walls and sake barrels add a nice touch. Dim archways and a large cherry blossom tree gave this space a real sense of Asian charm.

The menu has been created by Chef Eric Sifu (from KOKO) who believes in the power of traditional cuisine and has adapted it to modern tastes. The bar menu has been designed by Dimi Lazinksa and features a whopping list of 30 types of sake, eight types of negronis and over a dozen cocktails.

I love a good Asian meal and normally know what I’m craving. A brief glance at the menu at Foo had me thanking my stars because all my favourites seemed to be incorporated amongst many other interesting items. From dim sum and salads to soups and sushi, the menu has something for everyone. I started off with the Kokum Club. This gin-based cocktail with kokum syrup, coconut and lemon was a great way to kick start my evening. My companion; also an Asian food fanatic, called for the Boulevardier which had Bourbon, sweet vermouth and hints of sandalwood. We both thoroughly enjoyed our drinks and had a second round later on in the night.

For someone who likes a good salad, I would recommend the Arugula and Avocado Salad. The dressing was creamy with hints of wasabi and the ingredients were fresh and delicious. The bitterness of the arugula leaves was balanced by the smooth and creamy texture of the avocado. For sushi lovers, I would pick the Foo Wild Salmon Uramaki; which featured salmon, guacamole and a creamy spicy sauce. The flavours worked well together though I found the portion to be a little bit small. Since this menu also incorporated Nikkei cuisine, I found an interesting twist to some of the sushi rolls on the menu. I loved the Truffle Togarashi Black Rice Maki. It is not your traditionally rolled out sushi, as it has layer of Philadelphia cheese encasing the black rice, but the flavours sat distinctively well on my palette. The traditional California Roll was a good balance of creamy with a crunch from the cucumber and burst of flavour from the crabmeat.

We then moved to the dim sum, the highlight of my meal. Vegetarians, you must call for the Wasabi Truffle Edamame Dumpling. It was a burst of bold flavours balanced well against the luxurious truffle and smooth, umami-ish edamame. I also liked the Chicken Gyoza Nikkei Style which had a thin coating with a crispy base filled with mildly flavoured chicken mince. The traditional Charcoal Har-Gow was pretty to look at with its glossy black coating and was delicious too.

I am a huge fan of duck pancakes, so when I saw them on the menu, I was thrilled. However, the Peking Duck with the Pancake didn’t live up to my expectation. I found the meat to be dry which was disappointing, and the usual accompaniments didn’t have the usual kick and flavours I was familiar with. However, the Sichuan Lamb which had tender pieces of lamb in the familiar Sichuan sauce on skewers appealed to my Chinese loving palette and redeemed the duck’s failure. I also enjoyed the Tenderloin Chilly with Leeks which took me down memory lane. It reminded me of the umpteen times I’ve eaten at Ling’s with family and wiped the plate clean.

We were already quite stuffed by the time we got to the mains so we didn’t order too many dishes. However, we did try the Sambal Prawns with the highly-recommended Foo Butter Japanese Fried Blue Rice. The prawns were juicy and the sauce was just the right amount of tangy and spicy. I fell in love with the pea flower rice, and could have eaten a few more portions if it wasn’t for my companion’s wise words.

For the last bite, we ended on a decadent high. The Black Marble Sesame Cheese Cake was a winner. We found that the cheesecake‘s glistening exterior was only enhanced by its creamy texture and unique combination of flavours. This was a perfect end to a seriously satisfying meal!

In a nutshell, I can safely say that Foo is on my list of Asian haunts in the city. Whether you’re looking for comfort Asian food or something with a twist, the menu caters to all. So the next time you’re at the mall looking to replenish your energy after all that retail therapy, head to Foo!