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Restaurant Review: Loci And Toot Mumbai Is Winning Fans With Its Refreshing Vibe

Come here for good times, zero-proof cocktails and uncomplicated cooking

Nivedita Jayaram Pawar

Now that our collective Omicron-induced nightmare is slowly phasing out and life is slowly inching back to normalcy, how about checking out a new restaurant? Loci & Loot in Khar, the newest dining offering from the people behind Café Panama, is a compelling proposition.

All about the ambiance

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The sun-drenched alfresco area feels perfect if you are still wary of crowds. The hand-painted bougainvillaea walls, lush greenery, and dangling creepers lend a gardenesque vibe. The swings lining one of the walls add a sense of whimsy to the area.

To continue the sense of cosiness, Loci and Toot’s indoor section has a wood-panelled bar and tables lined next to a large window. Mood lighting and more playful swings make it a fun place for a casual date night or late-night cocktails (liquor license is still awaited). Oh, there’s also a giant, somewhat trippy, mural of a wine-guzzling dog!

The Hits

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But the real reason to visit Loci and Toot should be the eclectic, homestyle cooking by chef Shahbaz Shaikh. Largely European, the menu focuses on seasonal ingredients with just a bit of quirk. The Everyday Mediterranean Salad is effectively a supercharged bowl of greens, maple-glazed tofu, intensely caramelised cherry tomatoes and, strangely, a bed of hummus, all tumbled with a livewire red wine dressing. It looks and tastes like summer in a bowl. Avo Toast fans will love the Avocado mufalata toast, which is basically an avocado and olive salad on a slightly tangy, chewy sourdough. One light, crunchy and creamy slice with a long, lusciously complex sourdough finish is enough to render anyone speechless. Try it.

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But if there’s one dish I’d gladly go back for it’s the pan-seared chicken. The robustly scorched chicken breast and thigh pieces come dressed in a sweet and spicy jus with a side of crispy potatoes. It’s an unpretentious dish that sings of exacting craftsmanship. Another unsung hero on the menu is the fazzoletti a square-shaped pasta, which literally means little handkerchiefs in Italian. The neatly pinched parcels hold a delicious mixture of mushroom and burrata. The thyme butter sauce gives it a lovely colour and a deliciously rich texture. 

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There’s also coffee from Bombay Island, a small-batch artisanal coffee roaster. The one boon of the relative lightness of a meal here is this: it leaves more room to try all three desserts – a decadent dark chocolate mousse, a delicious vegan blackberry cheesecake, and a delectable lemon tart.

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The Misses

There are some curveballs too on the menu. The Moroccan flatbreads are cripplingly average. Crisped to a fault the breads lack any moisture and the toppings too skimpy. As the alcohol license is still awaited your choice of drinks are limited to zero-alcohol cocktails, non-alcoholic beers and a range of lemonades and tonics.

Address: Shangrila Vaibhav, Building, 14th road, Khar w, Mumbai.  Tel: 91 9004147787, +919004146787. Timing: 11 am to 10 pm

Price for two: Rs 2000

Photo: Loci and Toot
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