Social comes to Thane and their Chaat Ke Gubbare and Momos are a must-try
The cafe-bar Social opened its 29th outpost in Thane's Viviana Mall last month and to our delight, it continued with its tradition of introducing a new theme with every outlet. Designed by Sameer Balvally of Studio Osmosis, the outpost pays homage to Thanekars. While the bar, which takes the centre stage here, reminds one of Natya Griha (theatre) courtesy the red curtains that have become synonymous with Marathi theatre, the left side of the bar features a series of small shops with tiny houses above them - a reminder of ‘niche dukan-upar makan’ concept that the city has witnessed and on the right of the bar is a big concrete seating imitating the ‘katta’ - the boundary of the lake which also doubles up as sitting area. Plus, thankfully, they have made glass partitions on community tables besides putting tables at a safe distance and creating sitting space that offers both privacy and breathing space, which are ideal if you are eating out in the current times.
We chose to sit inside one of the "shops" in this 84-seater restaurant spread across 3300 sq feet to keep us socially distanced from the remaining crowd, and soon indulged in their new menu. The first dish that we tried was Chaat Ke Gubbare. Made from Chole stuffed tart with several layers of toppings, first being a squishy oval ball shaped curd, then two kinds of chutney - tamarind and coriander, followed by finely chopped onion and tomato and lastly sprinkled with sev, it was like a riot of flavours and textures, none too dominating though. The curd, made squishy by a molecular gastronomy technique called spherification, literally bursts inside the mouth like a balloon (and thus the name Gubbare) while the remaining elements keep it crunchy and flavoursome, ensuring that you can’t help but order another round.
Next, we tried their Achari Paneer Roll that was spicy and filling and would make a good accompaniment to beers, we felt. Their avocado toast had sriracha paste spread on the bread. It was then topped with a generous amount of guacamole, followed by some rocket lettuce and then sprinkled with nachos and feta cheese. A wholesome dish, it had crunch, flavour and a generous portion.
Social is my most successful property so far: Riyaaz Amlani
Riyaaz Amlani's much anticipated Social is now open in Chennai and it is like nothing we've seen before!
Thanks to Chef Ajay Kadam we soon learnt the difference between dim sums and momos. Apparently, we were told that the dough for momos is made from refined flour where the dim sum’s dough is made from star wheat. The dim sums did look Cantonese but the filling of boiled and mashed vegetables was a tad bland. On the other hand, momos emerged as a winner. Filled with saute vegetables like bell peppers, carrot, zucchini and garlic, the momos were steamed and then sprinkled with parmesan cheese.
Though the chef attempted to convince us to have the Thali for the main course, we refrained once we noticed that the offered meal comprised - Dal Makhani/Butter Chicken, Butter Paneer Masala, Dry Paneer Tikka, Naan, Papad and Gulab Jamun! Instead, we opted for Tiramisu from their old menu. Soft like it always is, the mild coffee-flavoured dessert was dusted with cinnamon and crackers, and it was a delight to our eyes as well as our taste buds.
Price for two: Rs 1500
Our recommendations: Go there for Chaat Ke Gubbare, Avocado Toast and Social Momos