Mumbai is the city of dreams, it’s India’s notorious El Dorado. This is the place a large number of individuals rush from the littlest of corners of the nation hunting down the pot of gold toward the end of the rainbow.


Few do discover it and numerous end up frustrated. Some of them make it huge, some are glad to stay mollified, and some are diminished to summary shanties, continually needing for additional. However, in this confounded network of the rich and poor people, those who are well off and the less wealthy, there is a repeating theme that ties every one of them. It is instilled in the destiny of each Mumbaikar, a thing none can escape from.

That theme is Food.

(^ Such were my thoughts while travelling on the Local train to reach a Vegetarian restaurant at the end of this city. Vegetarian food is absolutely a not have when I am out, but a certain blogger invited me to review this place along with her friends. Offers to not be missed.)

Rustico is located bang opposite Lion’s Gate, and behind the famed Dalal.St, and after a rather long glance at the day’s bulls and bears, I entered the rather homely place.


Imagine an average Indian’s hall lit with sunset yellow lights and contemporary billboards sown all around. Now put a couple table lamps here and there, a mirror in the middle of nowhere, plants at the end of the hallway, imitation wood in place of trays, tables which shook too much, women and their oh-so-fancy clutch, music completely out of place, I think I am gonna disappear without a trace.



The five of us called for six drinks. Watermelon Mojito was a virgin mojito with watermelon in it. There was too much of lemon in the drink, and I feel the watermelon should have been the centerpiece of this lemon and mint mixture. A huge blob of ice was dumped into the glass, and was blocking fluid suction. A little less ice would have done everyone wonders, and I really want to find that Subjiwala who sells such huge, juicy lemons.




The Oreo Shake is a recurring milkshake order in everyplace which, well, sells milkshakes. Any mixture of Oreo with Vanilla ice-cream is bound to taste good, provided the proportions are correct. This shake was too lumpy for my tastes. And the ice problem again (argh). We called for two of these.


(Grittygatorr tip – I usually do a (n-2) for my oreo shakes. This means that you remove the cream of two cookies and just put the biscuits in the blender. I.E if you’re using 10 cookies, remove the cream of 2 and use only the biscuits, if you’re using 5, remove the cream of 2 and use only the biscuits. I do this because we need to take care that the vanilla in the cookie adds up to the vanilla content in the shake and cookie cream and ice cream do generally result in a clumped up mess. The resultant will be a very smooth oreo shake, minus any clumps and no change of taste whatsoever. )


The Kala Khatta was a rendition of the beautiful tasting syrup found in lanes and beaches of aamchi Mumbai. This was your regular Kala Khatta, and not much to be written on.




The Pina Colada was served in a ceramic Pineapple, and is certainly the best Pina Colada presentation I have seen ( In Mumbai). However, like it is with other places, too much of vanilla cream was used in this one, and the vanilla completely masked the flavors of the coconut and pineapple juice.  I wouldn’t complain much thou, since this is a perennial problem and 9 out of 10 places do the mistake of adding exorbitant vanilla cream. Decent drink to order here.


A Guava based drink was the final drink here, and it was certainly the best of the night. Simple, unpretentious guava flavors, with a hint of salt and chilli powder.


Kung Pao Tofu

The first starter of the night, was Kung Pao Tofu. I hate this coagulated soy milk mixture. Tofu is basically coagulated protein and unless you add other stuff to give it flavor, it shall be bland. This property is where the magic lies, because it is a blank slate- you can then create all sorts of taste and texture out of it – as it is extremely versatile.

Rustico used a firm tofu in this dish, and it was slightly sear with soy sauce, nuts, burnt garlic, and chilies. A sure shot Umami flavour on this one, and although I don’t like Tofu, I absolutely loved this one.



Galouti Kebab

Perfectly round minced mutton Galouti kebabs are my Kryptonite. originally made to help a toothless emperor with eating kebabs, I am sure they shall come to my rescue as well 60 years down the line. You just can’t beat them. These veg Galouti kebabs were a serious contender to my tastes, and I am amazed that they actually managed to impress me. I don’t know what they were made of, but it was probably a mix of potatoes, rajma, and a few other vegetables. Served over warm pita bread and a dab of chutney, these ones took the Kebab. A must try !



Achari Aloo

I am not a fan of potatoes, and neither do I like pickle, but full marks for presentation on this one. One of the flaws of the night sadly, as the potaoes were probably frozen ones before they were grilled. This was evident from the soft outer part, but equally hard “core”, and the firmness spoiled an otherwise impressive dish. Great work on the marinade thou, and I really hope Rustico works on this dish to make it acheive its potential.



Cheese Poppers

The whole point of naming a dish cheese popper is that it must be cheesy enough. When I say cheesy, I MEAN dripping cheesy, not a miserly attempt at making cheese poppers. The potato coating was optimal, the crispiness just perfect. You have a brilliant dish here, Rustico. Why ? Just why would you spoil it with using less cheese ?





This is the Grittygatorrcertified dish of the night, Sesame Potatoes. Unlike the chinese version you’d expect, Rustico ups the ante by presenting a contemporary, continental flavour of the same. The potatoes are really soft on this one, and i reckon they used fresh potatoes. I didn’t even have to wrestle with it, the fork went like it was butter. The dip was extraordinary, and I couldn’t figure out if it was ranch, mayonnaise or something else entirely. There was a presence of chives in the dish thou, which lend an amazing flavor to the dip.



Veg Laksa Soup

Southeast Asia – particularly Malaysia – is a food aficionado’s playground. Foodie or not, very few people can resist a second bowl of tangy laksa after sampling their first. Laksa is one of those unique dishes, possibly hard to find at home, that people crave long after their Southeast Asia suntan fades to a fond memory.The laksa broth offers the right balance of spice and coconut milk, a distinctive noodle soup that will tickle the tastebuds. A good vegetatian Laksa soup here at Rustico.



Thai green curry

Green Curry is the most popular and famous of all Thai dishes. To have a vegetarian counterpart is tough, and to make it taste good is even tougher. The characteristic flavor of a Thai green curry comes from the liberal usage of fish oil in the gravy, and herein the challenge lies. How does one make a thai curry without fish oil ?
Rustico says “Challenge accepted”, and dishes out an absolute wonder of a thai curry to the diners. The curry contained all the authentic trimmings – lemongrass, coriander seeds, green chillies, galangal, kaffir lime leaves, coconut milk – without the meat, but with meat substitutes – wheat gluten and tofu.


Paneer Lababdar

Just another Paneer dish. Butter, tomatoes, cream. You get the point:)

Sabzi Miloni

The Miloni was served in tart-like baskets, and consisted of beans, peas, cream in a rich, cashewnut gravy. The tarts were then placed in a tomato based gravy, and each serving was meant to be had just like that, i.e with out any roti/rice. You pick the tart, spoon some of the tomato gravy, and you’re good to go. Great flavour on those peas and beans, and while this is a very experimental dish, I would highly rate it.

Nasi Goreng Rice

Coming to the last main course, we went with a Nasi Goreng as I have heard a lot about it. While not the authentic Nasi Goreng, Rustico did a wonderful job here and served what i can term as a Barack Obama version of Fried rice.

Sizzling Brownie

Rustico serves the best brownies in Mumbai. Hands down. No Theobroma, Le15, or any of those patisserie chains for me anymore. The brownie here was moist, doughy, perfect sweetness and the correct balance of chocolate. It didn’t even need chewing, almost like liquid chocolate cake when in the mouth.


Caramel Custard with Smoking Cold Popcorn

While the custard was firm , and much better than the custard served in Britannia, which I feel is Overrated, it was the balance of the caramel and milk which blew me away on this dessert. The popcorn was a simple gimmick here, and is completely unnecessary to the dish. A perfect ending to a decent dinner.



All in All, a decent place for vegetarians. The food can be much much better than what they serve, and I sincerely hope the management is liberal with their ingredients.

Laters, Gatorrs.

(P.S – A few pics have been used from my fellow blogger’s instagram, while you’re at it, check out her blog as well –

Published by Shauryä Malwa