TOTE BAR RE-OPENS AND IS A WHOLE NEW EXPERIENCE IN DESIGN, FOOD & MUSIC
On September 9 & 10, 2011, Mumbai’s much sought-after destination, Tote Bar at Tote on the Turf reopened it doors. Rahul & Malini Akerkar, along with the team from Network Prive, hosted an evening of glamour to celebrate a “new beginning” for the award-winning bar.
In 2010, Tote Bar, designed by none other than Kapil Gupta and Chris Lee of Serie Architects, was voted the “World’s Best Designed Bar.” The bar is located on the upper level of the historic Tote building and is radically modern, truly dramatic, and visually spectacular. The bar is adorned with polished teak paneled surfaces that are intricately faceted. The Tote Bar also includes a forty-foot vaulted interior, designed to mirror the trees outside. In addition, two wrought iron mezzanines, suspended from the ceiling, create intrigue. These mezzanines are limited to VIP bookings and feature service by private butlers. The music is on point and current.
The attentive bar staff serve up a fantastic array of classic and unique cocktails. The bar’s food menu offers Nawabi Muslim cuisine from the renowned restaurant Neel at Tote on the Turf.
Neel at Tote on the Turf
Presenting Nawabi Indian Cuisine
Neel at Tote on the Turf is the first Indian restaurant to be characterized as a grill. deGustibus Hospitality is the proud creator of this unique establishment, which opened its doors on July 30, 2011. As is the case with all of the company’s other restaurants, Neel reinforces Director de Cuisine Rahul Akerkar’s belief that presenting a tasteful blend of authentic flavours, textures, and colours will create a sensational gustatory experience.
Tote on the Turf got a major menu makeover in the summer of 2011 and became Neel at the Tote. Having created an unprecedented run of successful European restaurants starting with Indigo, Rahul Akerkar returns to his Indian roots with Neel, which literally means indigo in Hindi.
Opened in place of Tote on the Turf, at the Mahalaxmi Race Course, Neel retains the fairyland interiors (slender white trees and twinkling lights) of its predecessor, but overhauls the menu completely. The focus is on Nawabi cuisine from Hyderabad, Kashmir, and Lucknow.
Hyderabadi fish and whole lambs make appearances, along with chicken tikka and biryani. Neel at the Tote has a menu of 50 kebabs, twenty of which are vegetarian. These delectable items include Sofiyani Paneer Tikka (cottage cheese prepared with saunf or fennel), Jaituni Kumbh Tikka (stuffed grilled mushrooms served with a green olive chutney having the consistency of tapenade), Adrak Ke Panje (New Zealand lamb chops in a spicy ginger marinade), and Raan-E-Mukhtar (tandoor-roasted leg of baby lamb).
The diverse vegetarian dishes at Neel include Chilgoze Ka Shorba (a thick soup made of pine nuts), Kashmiri Seb Ki Sabzi (a curry made of Kashmiri apples), Jhinga Dum Anari (prawns in almond and pomegranate curry), and Gucchi Ki Biryani (rice cooked with Morel mushrooms).
Traditional slow-cooked non-vegetarian preparations such as Haleem, Nalli Nihari, and Taar Korma promise to be savory favourites. For a sweet ending to the meal, try the uniquely delectable Parde Me Khubani (baked apricot Halwa).
Akerkar has the ability to give even the most familiar of dishes a new twist, serving them alongside pineapple chutney, orange soup, and/or mildly spiced apple curry.
Of utmost importance is the Master Chef of Neel at Tote on the Turf, Mukhtar Qureshi. Originally from Lucknow, he had been since 2008 the Indian Cuisine Chef for Moveable Feast, the deGustibus catering division. As head of the kitchen at Neel, he is being assisted by a team of chefs from Lucknow, Hyderabad, and Mumbai.
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