The most recent inductee to a thriving community of restaurants in the Lower Parel belt, Foo serves Asian small plates and signature cocktails of Oriental and Japanese bent. Foo, the brain child of Pebble Street Hospitality that own Koko and The Good Wife, has had its covers mostly occupied for many reasons. Here’s five though that we believe Foo is worth talking up for.

The Space

The Restobar ambience done well on account of design and light – the tastefully done wide fronted wooden bar with oriental lamps streaming down from the ceiling and books stacked behind bottles, is a certain magnet for cocktail aficionados and alluring pre-dinner pause for walk ins before the table’s ready. The warmly lit space fills up with a balance of lounge music and urban chatter that give Foo the feel of a restaurant that’s not simply about dining.

Nikkei

The Nikkei spread is the first and best foot forward the first selection’s a winner – Wild Salmon Uramaki (595) topped with fish row upon a slice of salmon stuffed with salmon and avocado flavoured with spicy sauce. The Nikkei Prawn Tempura Uramaki (450) is the next delighter – the crunch of crispy prawn tempura tempered by Chimichurri mayo and avocado. Rounding off the seafood triumvirate is the Peruvian Lobster Uramaki that’s got lobster tempura, avocado and Anticucho sauce packed into Nigiri rice rolls.

Dumplings

The assortment of dumplings that had us contemplating seconds included duck dumplings – the fish row sprinklings a nice touch to the sumptuous stuffed sacks. The dumpling truffle chicken and prawns Siu Mai tasted well and distinctly layered while the Charcoal Har-gow was notable too, though the wrap around was a tad dense. The Chicken Gyoza Nikkei style could have done with some more salt but was still well cooked.

Cocktails

Dimi Lezinska has authored all of that Tham brother’s bar signature menus and is on form by early evidence – theme appropriate spins on classics and Asian and local ingredients adding flavour dimension. The quartet of cocktails we tried exemplified this starting with the Foo King which combines French Vanilla with the very Asian flavours of plum liqueur and tropical musk melon atop a backbone of vodka and Yuzu Negroni garnished unmistakably with the dehydrated orange slice adds the very Japanese fruit into the classic recipe. The Kokum Club is an indulgent nod to the local fruit, using gin and coconut, another tropical fixture. The Foo King. The Boulevardier further reaffirms the approach with the subtle addition of sandalwood tincture and home infused Campari giving the age old recipe, a discernible spin.

Pricing

There’s just about enough time that lapses between walking into and taking in the space and then giving the menu a look over for presumptions about the pricing to form. The speculation about a pricey menu in sync with the urbane décor is quickly dispatched, considering the small plates listings —  the crystal dumplings 290 and .Wasabi truffle edamame dumplings (320) deliver that pleasant surprise while the Wild Salmon Uramaki (595) and Prawn Tempura Uramaki (450) are relatively good value.

By Bhisham Mansukhani

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