Neeti Goel is a genius restaurateur. After carrying out her thorough research she saw a huge gap for demystified Central Asian cuisine in Bombay and launched OSTAAD.
Speaking about the upcoming haunt, Neeti Goel commented, “Central Asian cuisine is where Mughlai cuisine in India originated but the true essence of the cuisine is unknown to most Mumbaikars. We would like to bring to our guests the authentic recipes with ingredients sourced from Central Asia, which accentuate the experience and transports you to the cradle of this ancient culinary world.”
A large variety ranging from flavorful rice dishes, flatbreads, grilled meats, vegetables with exotic stuffing and skewered kebabs will be served from countries like Tajikistan, Uzbekistan, Balochistan, Afghanistan, and Turkmenistan.
The food served is as authentic as if it were from the origin countries. It is conceptualized by the head chefs. The master specialists were accompanied by an expat chef from Afghanistan. Ostaad will serve an extensive vegetarian menu. It is with a separate vegetarian and Jain kitchen.
The interiors of Ostaad are designed by Zara Eisa and Rohan Poojara, under the mentorship of Mustafa Eisa. They are elegant and minimalist. Complementing the interiors cultural motifs of Islamic design, hints of art deco, splashes of black velvet, opulent chandeliers and abstract artwork, adorned by Zara Eisa and Rohan Poojari.
The contemporary bar is highlighted by arched mirrors. The subtle lighting highlights the arches, the mirrors, the beams and the geometric tiles that line the beams. It is simple exuberance.
“We did light touches of Central Asian influence in the walls or the beams, or the use of arches. We just went along with whatever we thought was working, and when it wasn’t, we tweaked it or switched it around. There was a lot of back and forth. We used task lighting throughout the place, but also we focused on the mood lighting. Examples are the chandeliers or the cove lighting that you find in the false ceiling.” Zara Eisa said.
The exquisite menu will serve the following lavish dishes that are very rich in taste. This include Adana seekh, Barraha kebab, Sheena kebab, Kadak seekh different types of Raan and Hakkari style pot roast chicken. Also included are Murgh pashtooni sheek, Kalem Boregi (Turkberish crunchy rolls filled with feta, haloumi and parsley), Spanakopita and Balochi sajji, Tajik mushrooms and Umali. There are also specialty breads like Afghan kameri, Taftan, Bakharkani and delicious desserts like Al Shariya, Gul firdaus and Mushroom Baklawa.
The drinks are specially created for the food menu. These include Iranian berry sangria, dates and a cheese martini. The Ishtafan rose is a blend of botanicals pistachio and rose water. They dance with the gin. Listening to sufi music from their own in-house Sufi singer from Afghanistan playing the guitar created ravishing memories.
The hosts, Neeti and Pranay Goel, invited Bombay’s power celebs and personalities such as Sandhya Shetty, Poonam Dhillon, Laila & Farhan Furniturewala, Yash Birla, Monisha Jaisingh, Avanti Birla, Giorgia Andriani, Rhea Pillai and others.
“Central Asian cuisine is where Mughlai cuisine in India originated, but the true essence of the cuisine is unknown to the city of Mumbai. This is because Mughlai cuisine evolved with local influences and ingredients over the centuries,” says Neeti Goel, owner of Ostaad. “We would like to bring to our guest the authentic recipes with ingredients sourced from Central Asia (Iran) which accentuate the experience and transports you into the cradle of this ancient culinary world. Hence the quest to find the right team began. After our research in the countries and provinces of Central Asia we formed our team of expert chefs to bring the cuisine to Mumbai which has a small presence in the form of Persian cooking in India.”