By Nikhil Agarwal, Sommelier & CEO at All Things Nice
Chef Sergi Arola hosted a small group of people including me to celebrate the third anniversary of Arola at Mumbai’s JW Marriott. The group was made up largely of fellow wine writers, chefs and bloggers invited by the Food Bloggers Association of India.
Arola is Chef Sergi’s India outpost. For the uninitiated, Sergi specializes in cuisine from Catalunya, Spain with multiple Michelin stars at various establishments across the globe. The excellent Chef Manuel is at the helm of the restaurant in Mumbai and an all around star in general. Sergi spends his time globetrotting and looking over his restaurants in Istanbul, Spain, Portugal and other parts of the world.
The dinner started off a little quiet with my fellow diners more interested in tweeting about their food and drink rather than actually eating and drinking. Things seemed to find some balance eventually over endless Martini’s interrupted by Gin and tonics (we were after all at a gin bar) and the night unfolded into conversations about food and music. We had the resident DJ playing Led Zeplin as we chowed down on some delicious food.
Here’s the menu for the evening
Iberian Ham served with Pan-Tomato
Salmon Ahumado, Queso de Cabra, Esparagos Blancos
Smoked Salmon, Goat Cheese, White Asparagus
‘Bravas de AROLA’, Fried Potatoes, Filled with a Spicy Tomato Sauce
Pollo de Corral
Chicken Wings, Deboned and Lacquered with Spices
Gambas al Ajillo
Prawns, Garlic, Fresh Red Chili, Fresh Parsley
Coca de Pollo Moruno
Moruno Chicken, American Corn, Coca
Coca de Verduras
Sauteed Vegetables and Bocconcini Coca
Arola Special Seafood Paella
Arola Style Vegetable Paella
Huevos y Canela
Caramelized Eggs, Cinnamon”Crema Catalana”, Mandarin Sorbet
Baileys Truffle with Coconut Mousse
Arola is Mumbai’s only Spanish restaurant, well there could be one more but I don’t think they are in the same league. I actually love the vibe of the place; they have a beautiful lounge section at the far end ahead of the bar that opens out to the JW pool below and the sea. The bar itself is probably one of the coolest bars in Mumbai, the food is super and the wine selection is good. On a personal note I have always loved Spanish cuisine and wine. I do hope that we see an influx of standalone Spanish restaurants that are accessible to everyone. Until then, thank you for being around Arola.