Inside Keiba, Mahalaxmi | New Opening
How many Asian food restaurants are too many Asian food restaurants? The answer is, not enough. Adding to the sophistication of Mahalaxmi Racecourse, comes Keiba, a dashing new oriental food space. Pronounced as keyh-ba, the word means hose-racing in Japanese. Keiba, the word, is truly fitting for this modern space, with booths lined up along a glass wall, the other side of which, are stables for all the resident horses of the racecourse. The outside area is decorated with faux Sakura flowers acting as a canopy for cute little booths and bar stools below.
Keiba was an experience for the senses. Our eyes were welcomed to the intricate and tasteful architecture, our ears were exposed to soft melodies of the orient, and our taste buds were in for the biggest treat of all.
We always end up starting our lunches with a couple of cocktails. The Matcha Root was a subtle drink basked on an in-house Matcha Tea Liqueur. Countering the strong personality of Matcha, this was a faint suggestion of an unfamiliar taste. The Blueberry Sour, was our second cocktail with a bourbon base. It had the quality to reel s straight back into childhood, struggling, trying to remember that one specific memory somewhere, related to picking blueberries, or popping sugary blueberry candies non-stop. Every small sip was electric.
For Appetizers, we had vegetarian Thai Crispy Pancakes that came along with a refreshing bird-eye chilli and cucumber dip, a Yakitori Chicken Togarashi, a silken tofu with asparagus in a mushroom oyster sauce, and lastly, our favourite from the appetisers, the pork spare ribs in a black pepper sauce. The perfect spare ribs are made, when the meat falls off the bone gently, like a breeze, and that’s exactly what we were served.
Like any great restaurant, they have an entire section of their menu dedicated to dim-sums and sushi. There’s no such thing as a bad order, if a Chicken Gyoza coupled with Chilli Oil makes the cut. Another surprising item from the dim-sums section, was sticky rice and chicken packed in lotus leaf.
For sushi, we stuck with a popular favourite Prawn Tempura Roll, and for the first time, were introduced to incredible vegetarian sushi in the form of a Miso Aubergine Gunkan.
When it was time for main course, we indulged in Yaki Soba noodles with a Sichuan Mapo Tofu Gravy, and a spicy Chicken and Basil gravy. The flavours of the gravies complimented the subtle noodles. The most delightful part of the main course, was the absolutely melt-in-your-mouth tofu.
Finally, onto the desserts, it was time to delve into some authentic delicacies. Fair warning, don’t expect any stereotypical sweetness overload that we have unfortunately gotten used to. Try out their desserts like the Lemongrass Pannacotta, or their Baked Drunken Apple Cake, spiced with cinnamon and served with vanilla ice cream. Be ready for eating desserts whose sole flavour profile isn’t sugar, but is instead a complex balance of multiple subtle elements.
We truly enjoyed our visit, and are looking forward to visiting again, this time in the night, because we did get the premonition that it’s going to be quite a happening scene in the later hours. The vibe of the casual and upscale restaurant really impressed us, and we’re super excited to spend more time at Keiba, exploring the menu.