Being in an era of dining out very regularly and in a city that’s ever expanding in the food scene, there’s constantly a search for exciting new dine outs – ‘exciting’ be it in flavours, presentation or cuisine. And voila, here is the new menu of Above Sea Level at Raintree that is an amalgamation of all of these. Progressive is their menu and creative their Chef, resulting in dishes that are scintillating and lip smackingly delicious. Above Sea Level is a niche restaurant located at the rooftop of Raintree, St. Mary Road. Subtle and minimalistic decor covers the outdoor seating that has a lit view of the city’s skyline. Dining tables by the pool are a great place for a date and intimate conversation with the calming water and low lighting. Indoor seating is sort of a casual bar setup with comfortable sofas and high tables.
We were told that the new menu will be served to us over 20 courses and though it seemed daunting in the beginning, boy were we glad to get to taste all of the creative brilliance Chef Deepak created for us! The first round of beverages in, we had the Flaming Blitzz, On the Sea and the Long Island Iced Tea. Flaming Blitzz was a toffee flavoured Sambuca cocktail that literally was LIT. It was quite strong and unique in flavour unlike the Vodka based On the Sea which was very mild and refreshing.
Beginning with the starters there were the:
Avocado Crisps – small puris stuffed with a guacamole sort of a stuffing. Clean, crunchy and delicious.
Dahi ke Kabab – Simple, mild and with a bomber of a tamarind chutney.
Palak & Akrot ki Tikki – One of the best starters of the night. Crunchy walnuts, slightly spicy palak and creamy cheese it was delicious with the sauce it came with.
Oreo – This is one of those munchies that’s to be paired with wine. Deceptive, it looks like an Oreo cookie. It’s a beautiful blend of black olives and herbed cheese, something that’s SO mild, yet so tantalising both visually and on the palate. Again, another one of the Chef’s masterpieces of the night.
Tacos – Another fusion done right, the Indian version of soft beans and salsa tacos was light and satisfying. Black Chole, spicy salsa and cream and it was devoured in seconds.
Peshawari Chicken Tikka – The usual spicy, flavour packed tikkas with the added jazz of sizzles and silver coated tops! The cinnamon smoke only did elevate the tikka above sea level!
Sliders – A Mutton Kheema patty with uber soft pav buns, the slider was too good to resist. The Patty was the right mix of juicy meat and balanced spice.
Sultan e Samundar – As regal as it sounds, this starter had grilled, luscious, JUMBO prawns on a bed of smoky dry ice with the sounds of the ocean. Talk about representation!
Chilli & Duck Ravioli – This was another one of the winners for the night. Chef had taken the traditional Ravioli, combined that with the rich masala packed Andhra spiced duck meat and deep fried, it was such crunchy goodness that was very suited to the Indian palate.
Coal – Now this is a stunner! Placed on a pebble, this piece of black beauty was nothing like it appeared. The Chilli foam accentuated the juicy fillet of Bhetki that was grilled with spices that resemble charcoal in colour! It was yum and the most ‘progressive’ dish of the night.
If that’s some wow there, here’s what we had for our mains!
Scallops – Another very artsy dish, this was subtle and very pleasing to the palate. The beetroot purée and creamy corn purée gave the scallops all the pizzazz!
Lamb Loin with Beetroot Gel & Foam and Edamame – The beetroot foam was mind blowing. The lamb loin was slightly tough and chewy for me, a perfect dish for the European palate.
Baked Kulcha with Tiffin Kheema – A non-vegetarian version of Pav Bhaji, the Kulcha was melt in the mouth goodness. The Kheema was just about alright, nothing that stood out for me. It was a representation of the ‘Dabbawala’ of Mumbai.
Murg – E – Rogan with Mughalai Naan and Bhurana with Khamiri Naan – These were some uber delicious fragrant breads with uber punchy Chicken and Mutton gravies respectively. The fragrant masala, the succulent meat and the pairing with the bread is very apt and close to the authentic home made masalas.
If this got our eyes drooling, the desserts were the perfect showstoppers.
ASL Garden – Their signature dessert, a pista and chocolate sponge cake, a lick off the plate delicious crumbs, white chocolate dome filled Bailey’s (OH YEAH!) and other white & dark chocolate bits and bobs that made a wonderful dessert that was unique in literally every possible way.
Crown – Ideally this would be Zenon’s dream planet! A dome glazed with Raspberry, Chocolate and Hazelnut mousse and a base of Raspberry Gel, This was another scrumptious dessert, worthy of the Crown.
The new menu clubbed with its old charm has made Above Sea Level a fresh, roof top fine dining that is sure to woo anybody you take along for a cosy dinner. VFM is right up your alley too for the fine dining, a progressive tag that they’ve taken to a whole new level! A pioneer in the city, the Chef has sure opened us up to this type of a dining that’s sure to go very very far with its panache and finesse.
WTF METER FOR ABOVE SEA LEVEL, rAINTREE:
Quality & Taste –7/10
Beverages – 9/10
Reservations – Recommended
Parking – Valet