The newly opened restaurant, Corra in Oshiwara, with its endearing decor makes for a delightful place to hang out or work out of which comes with a standard taste of Italian and other international cuisines.
Not sure what one would have encountered while visiting the New Link Road of Oshiwara — the northern suburbs of Mumbai — earlier, now, the whole area is jam-packed with multiple restaurants and cafes that Instagrammers would love to call, "cute and pretty". We also did pay a call to one such restaurant called Corra in Oshiwara and for sure, the "prettiness" turn out to be the saviour.
We entered an open-air seating area of the restaurant dipped in the merriness of Christmas, as the festival was just a day before our visit. In the usual white backdrop of the restaurant, the tint of redness perfectly mingled with the theme of the restaurant — rustic. The wooden setting of the restaurant, right from the chairs and tables to the lamp decor hanging above the head made for good aesthetics for the modern-age restaurant.
Impressed by the interior and owing to the pleasing winter that falls in Mumbai, we plumped for sitting in the open area instead of going inside. Turned out, a good decision as we sat facing the greenery spread by the banyan tree that was set in the interior, on the wall, and that made us feel relieved. Now was the perfect time to devour the food items.
Taking a glance at the "air menu" of the restaurant took us to some amazing Italian, Mexican, Japanese, and Lebanese food in the form of Tacos, Nachos, Hummus, Falafel, Sushi, Dimsums, Tiramisu, Pizza, Pasta, and much more. The menu did not surprise us as the chef, Radhe Shyam, who hails from Darbhanga, Bihar, and has an experience in the culinary industry of more than 14 years, already claimed that he loved making all international cuisines except for Indian.
While we conversed with Mr. Shyam, he ordered us Ruby Rose — a cold drink made of watermelon, raspberries, and lime with apple slices on top. We sipped on this while listening to Mr. Shyam's journey of working at Taj Land End, and Hayyat, both in Mumbai. Since the drink was big and in good quantity, it was the story of him working at Central Africa and Musket that ended first.
It was obvious that we were to taste the chef's special and hence, we allowed him to surprise us with his favourites from the menu and the first to come our way was Paneer Tacos, a mixture of Indian and Mexican recipes. The bright-coloured dish was a perfect blend of tanginess, spice, and cream, which, made it very messy to eat but that could be afforded. The tacos, as per my knowledge, always come with a crispy fold but Radhe Shyam liked to highlight that many tacos, nowadays are made soft. He also took pride in mentioning how he has maintained the shells to be hard and the fact that they are "homemade" at his house and not taken anywhere from outside.
Along with Paneer Tacos came the Chicken Skewers, eating which was like taking candy from a baby. The hub-marinated chicken made for a good dish, at least, I would say, better than Paneer Tacos. The supporting dips were, no doubt, a big helping hand in making the dish, worth our salt. The smoky flavour also gave a little hint of eating a fish but it would not be justified to put it in a bad light. Apart from this, what made it unique, at least for me, was how the chicken was not cut into pieces to put it on the stick and was in one piece.
Following the above two dishes, landed Ravioli in Pepper coulis sauce, the appearance of which impressed our taste buds in advance. This popular Italian dish called Ravioli came with spinach and ricotta stuffing that was topped with mascarpone cheese and made for a good cheesy dish that should be tried once when in here. Enough quantity to serve two people like us who might want a light snack was yet another add-on for this Rs. 500 dish.
As my colleague and I share a sweet tooth, we excitedly ordered a Baked Cheese Cake for me and a Chocolate Mousse for her after the Ravioli. Contrary to the experience in food, the Chocolate Mousse settled my colleague's mood, and she also did not refrain from saying that such was a taste that she got after a very long time. It also appeared to be an appealing dish by its look and the chocolate turned out to be in good quantity.
To our dismay, the cheesecake — which was equally appealing — adorned with Aparajita and one more flower, did not fully satisfy our craving for cheesecake the way we liked it. Even with the slightly sour and tangy taste added to the sweetness of it and topped with frozen raspberries could not make for a completely satisfactory cheesecake.
Corra also left me with enormous amounts of doubts. Contrary to the claims of being experimental in the dishes, the food items, at least the ones tried, felt not more than usual at other eateries. Even though the restaurant and the chef claimed to serve "only international cuisines", dishes like Paneer Tacos, an Indian-Mexican recipe, and Chicken Skewers, which has its profound detailing even in the Mughal cuisines in India, also pinched us with their "Indian-ness" in the taste.
Moreover, the stated fact to have been importing all the ingredients and essentials for the dishes from Italy is a fact I would like to skip for now. In a vast expanding world and time like now, when such required essentials are easily available around, a restaurant that's nearly two to three months old would perhaps focus more on customer building than sourcing the ingredients from a distant land. Having said that, even the taste of the dishes helped us stand on our observation.
Speaking of "standing", while the interior was impressive the small stones creatively made as the floor in the open seating area, which, instead of giving it a standout attribute, complicates the walking activity on it. With Corra, the same is only a half-side story. As one enters the inside sitting area, the creativity gets minimised to simple settings, but not completely leaving the wooden theme. This further states how the outside area has been created to entice customers but whether it is a good thing or a bad is hard to tell. But what surely is not good is the waiting period for the orders to arrive which can be tiresome, as in our case.
There has been a continuous urge to make restaurants, "Instagrammable" and in due process, restaurants come up with unusual ideas like these, which might not always turn in their favour, especially when they give their preference to it over the taste of their food. But this also works the other way round, like in the case of Corra, that seemed capable of successfully driving people — the ones who craved photos more than food.