<Review & Photography by: Sailesh Ghelani>
Hey guys and welcome back to another food review. Well it’s not only food of course; it’s the experience that makes a difference. A friend and I decided to try out Nom Nom at Bandra in Mumbai for an eclectic mix of Asian cuisines. Nom Nom boasts signature dishes from Malaysia, Thailand, Korea, Japan, Singapore, Hong Kong and Burma.
Tucked into a small lane next to the popular eatery Mini Punjab in Bandra, Nom Nom is totally unassuming and looks really small from the outside with its black façade and little door. Inside, it’s quite roomy actually and I liked its seating areas, some stalls, some bench-type chairs, and some cosy little nooks. But it was so dark. Perhaps it was the rain outside coupled with the very low lighting with only candles to read your menus by. Our waiter told us people prefer a ‘romantic’ setting but I’m guessing it wouldn’t be in the middle of the day and not at what looks like a more family dining-experience restaurant.
The menu has a vast variety of dishes and it took some time for my companion and me to decide.
We started off with soups. My Miso soup looked like a black pit inside a white glacier. Partly because of the very low lighting. If you recall my Ginseng Chicken soup at the Grand Hyatt’s China House (read that review here) looked very stark but was surprisingly beautiful and alluring. It was tasty as hell to boot. The Miso at Nom Nom okay with a light flavouring of fish. The mushrooms at the bottom however were extremely chewy and I couldn’t finish them.
My companion’s Hot and Sour soup – which she always has since she says it’s a good way to judge an Asian restaurant – was a bit more on the sour side but she liked it that way.
Next up was the Yakitori. This is a Japanese skewered grilled chicken that may also use other parts of the chicken like skin, liver etc. Ours was just chicken. It’s sort of like satay only more on the soy sauce taste side. Passable.
Sushi is served and we were recommended Tuna Akami Nigri, which had big chunks of tuna on a quenelle or rice. Wasabi and pickled ginger accompanied as usual but the Wasabi wasn’t that great in texture. The pickled ginger however was quite lovely.
I’m not a big fan of the do-it-yourself Burmese dish called Khao Suey but my companion thought we should try and it turned out to be a good decision. The yellow curried chicken with coconut milk was divine with the noodles and the condiments added the needed crunch. I polished off most of it and this was by far the standout dish of the day.
Brazilian Pork was a choice my companion made after it was suggested by our waiter and turned out to be a sort of minced pork, quite spicy and a good mix with our average Burnt Garlic Chinese rice (not that much burnt garlic).
The Chicken Chilli with Basil was nice too but one gets the feeling you’ve eaten all this before. That’s the problem with Nom Nom: there’s nothing particularly special about the food here.
And then to provide balance we ordered a vegetarian dish called Cottage Cheese in Koh Samui Sauce, which tasted nothing like a Thai dish. The picture speaks for itself and we just left it there covered in its green gloop.
Should we try a dessert? We did and were informed our Tiramisu would contain no alcohol, which was fine. It was served just as the original is supposed to be: As a nice square on a plate (and not how they do at some restaurants in a tall ice cream glass) dusted with coffee and neat layers of sponge with mascarpone cheese. Quite nice.
Now while the waiters were exceedingly attentive they were not very well trained. They fumbled when serving, used one of our tablespoons as a serving spoon since they didn’t have one in a dish they brought. They were also not versed with the menu and what certain dishes were or what they contained. One of them had his hands in his pockets while answering my companion’s query about a dish. Certainly not proper behaviour and neither of us blame the otherwise very friendly and helpful staff.
The management are fully responsible for training their waiters in the fine art of serving and etiquette while attending to patrons.
Nom Nom is a quick pit stop on your way somewhere or the place you’d go if you couldn’t find seating in any of the other fine restaurants that Bandra has to offer. It’s also okay for a family meal every now and then for standard Asian fare. Acceptable but forgettable food. And please Nom Nom, train your helpful but ignorant wait staff.
1 & 2, Delux Mahal Building, Ground Floor, 16th Road, Bandra West, Mumbai
Landmark: Opposite Mini Punjab Restaurant
Tel: 022 26057878, 022 26057766