All those who were lamenting the closing down of Lemon Leaf in Bandra, you’ll have to make a trip to Colaba to tuck in a bowl of your favourite Vietnamese Pho or Khow Suey. Lemon Leaf has replaced Busaba in Colaba and is slated to open on October 10.
The restaurant is split in two levels with lower level acting as a casual lounge and bar and the upper level decked as a casual diner with bookshelf, a small balcony and plants. The graffiti walls, hanging airplanes and vintage knick-knacks bring back the Aoi feel (the now shuttered Bandra restaurant owned by Sid Hospitality). Lemon Leaf is still to get its liquor license, but we hear that the bar menu will have a touch of molecular mixology. For now there’s an interesting list of mocktails. The food menu retains some of the old favourites and the sushi menu from Aoi.
There will be Asian tapas 7 pm onwards featuring sushi rolls and charcoal grills. The menu is heavy on starters with tempura, yakitori and baos on the offer. We loved the Crispy Chilli Sesame Potatoes, Mushroom Yakitori and Tempura Sushi Roll – deep-fried maki sushi roll with a crunchy bite to it, and the juicy Fish Bao.
There are baos, sushi, yakitori & more to eat at Lemon Leaf.
The Tuna Poke is an interesting take on Hawaiian poke; the version here is more like an open sushi with sticky rice, tuna slices topped with fried nori. Go for the Wheat Noodles with Coriander Pesto if you’re up for a light, healthy lunch. What impressed us completely was the Sambal Fish – red snapper coated with mildly spicy sambal, wrapped in banana leaf, steamed and then grilled. The steaming and grilling gave the fish a nice chewy texture. The dish is served with a portion of jasmine rice and salad. The highlight of the menu is the homemade ice-cream with flavours like Beetroot, Pumpkin and Black Sesame – each with a distinct taste. The black sesame with its nutty flavour was our favourite, and the beetroot was a revelation with its roasted flavour and natural sweetness.
Lemon Leaf is staying true to its idea of serving simple Asian food, but with jazzed up interiors and new dishes they’ve taken the Bandra outlet up a notch.