Asian delight: The newly opened East and Orient dining space Eight offers authentic delicacies served with a twist
The focus point of the restaurant is the sushi bar, which offers dine by a counter facility while you witness their hand-rolled sushi being made freshly in front of you
We may not approve of Chinese interference at our borders, but our palate seldom disapproves of a delectable Chinese meal. A bowl of chop suey, a serving of dim sum is hard to resist, especially when it is delicious. And the newly opened culinary destination, Eight at Phoenix Mills in Lower Parel promises it all.
Conceptualised and spearheaded by Prashant Issar, the eatery is named after the luckiest number in China, Eight. It imbibes the many qualities of this mystical numerical which include Intuition, Wealth, Innovation, Abundance, Strength and Tradition. Resonating with the belief is the Chinoiserie of the place that boasts a western European style of art and design influenced by the artistic traditions of pre-industrial China and East Asia. Combined with simplicity and modern style with quintessential red, black and golden colours dominating the décor, Eight has an environment of harmony and serenity supported by the meditative music in the background.
Fairly new in the city, we were surprised to see the restaurant full of a lively crowd enjoying the scrumptious meal paired with a variety of cocktails and mocktails. We learn that on the very first week after its opening, the place has been going full capacity. Serving oriental cuisine put together by chef Sagar Sarkar, Eight offers authentic delicacies served with a twist, with the menu featuring favourites from Canton, Hongkong, Taiwan, Malaysia and Japan as well as some signatures from forgotten regions of China.
As we scroll through our menu we see a list of over 20 varieties of dim sums from which we tried Translucent Dumplings with Carrots, Squash and Mushrooms along with Classic Japanese Pan-Fried Dumplings and Peruvian Asparagus. There are Prawn and Crab Rolls that would entice even the most reluctant palate, while the Spicy Hargaw is a sure winner. The tempura selection includes Seabass and Yam that are equally tempting with their delicious aromas. Black Cod in White Miso and Braised Pork Belly with Daikon are some of the other favourite on the menu. The assortment of wok-based dishes and ramen bowls also make for a perfect meal in itself.
Though we were encouraged to try a steaming hot bowl of Seafood Spiced Fried Rice or the signature curries – Thai, Malaysian and Eight Spices made from scratch entirely by house-made sauces, we settled for Thai Green Vegetable Curry and Malaysian Noodles. We paired our meal with a Pomegranate Basil Mocktail and finished it with Five Textured Chocolate Cake from their soon-to-open patisserie. The dessert section also has Yazu Tart with a sweet crust, curd, meringue and vanilla ice cream; Choux Fleurs made with cream and raspberry confit; and Sticky Toffee Pudding that has sponge cake, dates, toffee sauce and vanilla ice cream.
“The focus is on artistic contemporary cuisine that captures the lightness of the traditional dishes from that region. While the perennial favourites will still be an important part of the menu, customers can now start the meal with the lilting flavours of Eggplant in Tobanjan Sauce, Smoked Duck with Spicy Black Bean, our signature Cantonese Pork Belly and the popular favourite Soft Shell Crab to name a few,” says chef Sagar Sarkar.
For vegetarians as well, the menu offers extensive dishes made of tofu and eggplant like the Black Bean Clay Pot, Truffle Edamame and Blue Pea Jasmine Fried Rice among many others. The focus point of the restaurant is the sushi bar, which offers ‘dine by a counter’ facility while you witness their hand-rolled sushi being made freshly in front of you.