Husein Haveliwala & Pratishtha Rana
The glass facade of the Capital building in Mumbai’s Bandra Kurla Complex houses a brand-new venue for friend groups and office goers alike. A fun, fresh concept by founder Saloni Rupani, combined with a diverse menu curated by chef Mitesh Rangras; and you get Derby!
LuxeBook visited Derby for an exclusive chef’s table tasting of the menu, and got some delightful insights on the food curated by chef Rangras himself. We also got to know a little more about the sporty ‘eatertainment’ concept of Derby.
What’s the concept?
It’s all fun and games at Derby, where eating and entertainment coincide. The diners, from corporate visitors to student groups can enjoy a global platter along with Derby’s reward programme based on an array of staking events, where the bidding works on artificial intelligence (AI) system. The term Derby comes from England’s horse races, which signifies a sporting contest between two local opponents. To sum it up, Derby is a hub where a medley of sports, food, music and fraternity comes alive.
“Our customers are adventurous and looking for new flavors…Our menu will also evolve; always looking to surprise”
– Saloni Rupani, Founder, Derby Restobar shares her vision
What’s the menu?
Chef Rangras believes we are a global audience today, with international trips becoming more common, as well as the availability of international cuisines right here at home. “We eat dim sum one day, paani puri the next, and Japanese another day,” he observes, understanding that it is something that comes naturally to all of us now. So, the menu at Derby reflects the same global flavours, which Chef Rangras believes need to converge at a certain point without being forced. The three-month long process of putting the menu together brought that point to life.
While there are enough dishes on the menu to tantalize even the most developed palate, the basic thought-process includes simple, not overly complicated flavours that can be enjoyed by everyone. Office goers get 45-minute lunch breaks which cannot be spent in deciding what fancy-sounding dish to order. “We have a couple of crowd-pleasers like nachos for starters, butter chicken and biryani in the main course, and some hard-core chocolate desserts,” he says. At the same time, the existence of a more discerning diner is also kept in mind with some exquisite signature dishes on offer, and Chef Rangras takes us through some of the best.
“We eat dim sum one day, pani puri the next, and Japanese another day”
– Chef Rangras on India’s global palate
Small plates include seasonal vegetable chips such as carrots, sweet potato, plantain and beet with salsa and a queso dip, which Rangras believes is an appealing new option as people may be sick of regular French fries. A chicken liver pate – which the chef thinks will catch on with the Indian consumer – with tortilla chips and grilled onions is another option. One can also opt for the chirashizushi which includes tableside smoked salmon on a bed of sushi rice with truffle mayo.
The special Derby fried chicken that is perfect for large groups, as it is served as a whole chicken that is rubbed with spices, and comes with grilled flat bread, ginger scallion sauce, jalapeno garlic sauce, pickled vegetables, radishes, herbs and sriracha. Rangras encourages guests to ditch the cutlery and go all in, either eating it as is or making a wrap with the flatbread/tortilla and adding accompaniments as desired.
The extensive dimsum menu features eight varieties including the truffle and sweet-pea dumpling, and the pan-fried chicken gyoza. There are a lot of exciting types of bao on the menu as well, such as the pulled jackfruit bao with Kerala spices, scallion and ginger, and the fried chicken bao with a lemon-garlic aioli, Szechuan chili oil, pickled cabbage and crushed peanuts.
The tandoor menu showcases Chef’s innovative amalgamations of the Indian barbeque style with global flavours. Preparations like a smoked mushroom galouti kebab with a goat’s cheese centre, a chicken jalapeno tikka with queso and guacamole style chutney, and a mutton seekh kebab with a blue cheese raita and rocket, are some of the exciting dishes that must be tried.
For mains, you can try one of the delicious curries like the golden Katsu curry with sticky rice and chicken or tofu katsu, an absolutely authentic Sindhi mutton curry with steamed rice, that Rangras highly recommends guests eat traditionally with their hands, or a Mediterranean bowl that includes tahini grilled chicken or paneer, pickled carrot noodles, hummus, spicy chickpeas, and salad greens.
The dessert menu includes a selection of homemade ice-creams in some fun flavours like Hass avocado with honey, caramel and cheese popcorn, spiced guava, and real hazelnut. For an option with more theatrics, try the chocolate chiffon cake that comes inside a white chocolate sphere that is melted with a piping hot salted caramel sauce that is poured tableside.
What’s the vibe?
Lit in electric blue, Derby’s entrance sign exudes energy of a restobar, tightly weaved in its sporty essence. Stepping inside, the upbeat music grips your mood and its sport-like interiors elevate its visual appeal. The walls are framed with interesting elements like trophies and medals, cowboy hats, a locker’s orange canvas depicting two robust rugby players and more. The overall spacious spread boasts of vibrant high chairs, low chairs and sofas, commanded by a fancy bar area which is crowned with three TV screens and shelves exhibiting a collection of fine spirits.
In an exclusive unveiling, Derby very artistically announced the opening of its second outlet in Kamala Mills, Lower Parel soon!