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Review: What We Liked At The Quarter, The Restaurant Next To Mumbai’s Royal Opera House

Mumbai’s Royal Opera House opened with much fanfare in 2016, after extensive restoration work. Since then, it has emerged as a cultural hotspot in the city, hosting a wide variety of plays, performances and events. More recently, what’s also back in a new avatar is The Quarter – Nico Goghavala’s popular establishment at this legendary location. In the past, the space functioned as a wine and cheese bar that doubled as a live music venue. With its re-opening, the restaurant has retained some of its old offerings and given others a fresh twist.

Photo Credit: The Quarter

At The Quarter, guests have the option of indoor as well as outdoor seating. The latter is sheltered enough that the sounds of traffic are not too bothersome. There’s also the awe-inspiring view: the lit-up facade of one of the city’s most iconic buildings. The indoor space is intimate and elegant. It comes alive especially on weekends, when diners are treated to live jazz performances. During the course of our meal, we took turns sitting in both spaces and sampled its advantages for ourselves.

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Photo Credit: The Quarter

As for the menu, expect a limited yet tempting selection of Italian, European and Middle Eastern delicacies. We commenced our evening with an exquisite Pear Salad with fennel, Auroblochon cheese, rocket and dill. We loved the light nuttiness of the almond honey vinaigrette. The well-balanced dressing, paired with the pear, ensured the bitterness of the rocket was kept in check.

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Pear and rocket salad. Photo Credit: Toshita Sahni

Among the appetisers, the Beetroot Borani emerged as the favourite. Served with wood-fired pita, this yoghurt dip was light and refreshing. It is sure to provide respite on warm, humid evenings.

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Photo Credit: The Quarter

If you want to try an Italian starter, go for the Stracciatella di bufala, made with mozzarella and cream. It is topped with confit tomatoes and basil, which lend a subtle flavour. We scooped it up with deliciously toasty pieces of pizza bread fresh from the oven.

Stracciatella di bufala

Stracciatella di bufala. Photo Credit: Toshita Sahni

At the other end of the flavour spectrum, we liked the fiery robustness of the Red Hot Chicken Wings. Beware: the spiciness can make your eyes water – but there’s also delight to be drawn from the experience.

Margherita pizza

Margherita pizza. Photo Credit: Toshita Sahni

We decided to return to lighter combinations for our pasta and pizza courses. Our top picks were the Fettucine Fresca and the Margherita. The fettuccine was a homage to the magic of olive oil and basil. The cherry tomatoes and zucchini provided further freshness, without making the pasta too heavy. After tasting the pizza, we understood well why the owner has such a good reputation for Napolitano treats. The base was satisfyingly chewy and the tomato-mozzarella ratio was perfect. Simple comforts are truly underrated.

It was disappointing that we didn’t get the chance to try any signature cocktails that evening, as our mixologist was missing in action. We sipped on wine, but our experience seemed rather incomplete. Those wanting non-alcoholic options should know that there are decent options for mocktails, milkshakes, teas and coffee.

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Panna Cotta. Photo Credit: Toshita Sahni

Among the desserts, the Secret Dark Chocolate Cake sounded and looked like a decadent indulgence. But we were left hoping for more complexity within the layers. Instead, we highly recommend choosing the Panna Cotta. It was a great medley of texture and flavour, as ours came with a berry sorbet and coconut tapioca.

Our experience at The Quarter had a few downsides. However, on the whole, we enjoyed the food and ambience. There’s also the unbeatable convenience and attraction of its location, being situated bang opposite the main entrance of the Royal Opera House. The next time you’re in the area, consider dropping in for some delectable dishes.

Where: The Quarter, beside the Royal Opera House, Charni Road, Girgaon, Mumbai.

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