15 January 2015

The Millky Way

This is my first blog post of 2015. I know, it's been a while. I decided to take a mini sabbatical from eating out, was trying to be healthy and all that. Plus work and wedding season has taken up all my time. But, nothing, and I mean nothing, can keep me away from food for very long. And when I saw that no amount of cutting calories, and yoga class was helping me drop the pounds, I decided to follow the path to food once again. Of course, supplementing it with exercise. Bring on the carbs, I say!

Kamala Mills in Lower Parel has recently become home to Millk - a kiddie recreation center, spa, and cafe - and this was where I headed on behalf of Mumbai Food Lovers for a fun evening. Snuggled next to a bunch of watering holes and youth centric places - namely Please Don't Tell, Tilt, and Smaash, - Millk attempts to walk down a different path. No alcohol, no loud music, a massive play zone for kids, and a spa! And of course, there's food too. 

I trudge over to Millk not knowing what to expect from the place. The bright silver entrance gives off a night club like feel, especially after sunset. The entire space is clearly demarcated into three zones - the cafe, the kiddie recreation area + kiddie cafe, and a spa. This helps if you're like me, single with no child in sight, and yet want to enjoy a leisurely meal or spa session. The entire space gives off a colourful retro vibe with metallic techno elements thrown in for good measure. Also since the place is called Millk, be prepared for the cat figurines that blend into the decor. Meow!

The spa is monochromatic, noir, and has some kitsch elements that I loved. They do everything from mani - pedis, to haircuts, to elaborate rope massages.(I should go back and do a spa review someday.)

Hairdryer Chandelier
Rope Massage Room

The Salon
The kid's section is exactly the opposite - bright, colorful and fun! There's a huge play section, and a cafe for the kids that has a DIY counter for the kids to experiment with fun cooking.

Kiddie Cafe
We settled down at cafe and munched on the complimentary lavash and delicious mango salsa they put out in front of us, while we waited for our order to arrive. First up, the veg Tempura Melt (Rs. 295/-) - tempura fried veggie sticks that were a tad bit too oily for me, but the BBQ sauce accompanying it added heaps of flavour. The Spicy Rock Shrimps (Rs. 325/-) were chunky harrisa marinated prawns on a delicious five grain tostada. I actually preferred the tostada to the prawn, which is really unusual for someone like me.

Tempura Melt
Spicy Rock Shrimps on Five Grain Tostada
My 'Opposites Attract Milkshake' (Rs. 225/-) was a perfectly blended amalgamation of two of my favorite fruits - strawberry and banana - with neither overpowering. The Basically Basil (Rs. 175/-) was a tangy drink made of muddled basil leaves and orange, and is something I'd recommend hands down. Chilled, citrus and refreshing!

Basically Basil and Opposites Attract Shake
Our Pesto Marinated Vegetables Home Style Sandwich (Rs. 295/-) was a medley of assorted veggies smothered in a green, pesto  looking sauce; but tasted nothing like pesto. Slightly disappointed, considering how perfectly grilled and buttered the bread of the sandwich was. But immediately next up, the hero of the night entered - A Pounded Lamb Mince Burger (Rs. 390/-). The slightly dry and crumbly bread was redeemed by the moist and flavorful lamb mince that was neatly packed inside and not too messy. This comes with heaps of molten cheese, caramelized onions, and an egg on top, to make it worth every calorie.

Pounded Lamb Mince Burger
Pesto Marinated Vegetable Sandwich
The Pumpkin Parade (Rs. 410/-) was a mushy butternut pumpkin and chevre risotto, which my vegetarian friend did not care much for. The Spaghetti Solution (Rs. 375/-) was a perfectly cooked Aglio Olio, with luscious, al-dente spaghetti strands cooked in olive oil with garlic and chilli to season. It's amazing how many places go wrong with a simple aglio olio spaghetti, but this one we  completely approved of.

The Punpkin Parade
The Spaghetti Solution
The might of the meat was proved yet again, with the chicken risotto standing out as the clear winner. The 'Who Came First - The Chicken or The Mushroom?' risotto (Are you loving these whacky names, or not?) was a roast chicken and wild mushroom risotto. The risotto rice was perfectly cooked, flavoured in a creamy white wine sauce and topped with scamorza making it a really delicious dish. The menu mentions the dish as having corn, but we didn't get any on our plate. No complaints though, keeping it simple only elevated the flavors. 

Chicken and Wild Mushroom Risotto
The dessert menu features the staples - cheesecake, ice creams, and tarts. Our Blueberry Cheesecake (Rs. 295/-) tasted average and like a run-of-the-mill cheesecake you'd find anywhere. We particularly enjoyed the Hot Chocolate fondue (Rs. 510/-) with marshmallows, cake bits, brownie and fruit that made for a fun dish that our table could share.

Hot Chocolate Fondue
Blueberry Cheesecake
Millk works as a concept, and caters to parents who want a leisurely time at a spa or at a cafe, but don't know where to drop their kids off. Millk to the rescue! Dump them (pardon my language) at the kiddie play zone where they get supervised attention, and then set off for some much needed pampering at the spa or a bite at the cafe.  I just pray that they don't go down a 'Jack of all trades, master of none' route.

I'm hoping this concept sets off a similar trend where we get to see more restaurants that cater to the parent as well as the child in terms of child menus, and special dining sections for kids in a restaurant. Win- win situation!

Contact: Millk, Kamala Mills, next to Please Don’t Tell, Senapati Bapat Marg, Lower Parel.
Phone: 022 24954456

(The author represented MumbaiFoodLovers for the review, and dined there on invitation.)

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