While cricketer Virat Kohli is known for wielding his bat on the field, we also know his immense love for community style dining since childhood, which is now translated through his F&B chain, One8 Commune. With an already existing line of restaurants under the same name in Delhi, Pune, and Kolkata—Mumbai becomes the latest addition to the list.
Every outpost is a tribute to the area it is nestled in. Unlike the other locations that fit the category of a resto-bar, Mumbai’s One8 Commune pays homage to the late Kishore Kumar as the swanky new restaurant is built within the legendary singer’s old bungalow in Juhu.
It’s only been a week since the restaurant has opened its doors and it has already become abuzz with city folks pouring in. I’m not kidding, the restaurant was almost full on a Monday afternoon, the day I paid a visit here to find out if it’s worth the hype or not. It certainly is.
A European Feel In The Heart Of Mumbai
Enter through the large wooden door and set foot into a world of calm with high ceilings through which sun rays hit cobbled walls and little spurts of green from the trees peep in. The interiors are reminiscent of a European holiday, a contrast to the bustling area of Juhu. While the surroundings scream fine dining, One8 Commune brings a relaxed touch to the space that allows you to relax, chill, hang out and just unwind, with a homely yet elegant social vibe. It is spacious enough with an ambience that works well from day to night.
There are different sections. The outside seating area is cool and casual where you can hop in for a quick coffee or snack post lunch. Head inside and the mood changes. On my left is wooden seating and surroundings are predominantly in warm, earthy tones. The areas with a library housing books and a horizontal table with lamps and mirrors caught my attention in an instant. Go further to the left and you’ll find a living room set up, with a sofa, chairs and a rectangular low table. The restroom too is in this section and is Instagram-worthy, just like everything else around.
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Walk towards the right and you’ll find yourself in an open space that makes way for more daylight. Massive sculptures on walls, huge hanging lamps, cosy corners for date nights and a glass house-like ambience by the bar–for me, this is the best spot at One8Commune and I found myself looking at the sky and gorgeous surroundings way too many times.
Adding a quirky touch to nooks and corners are the iconic KAWS installations in varying sizes, KAWS’ COMPANION–the Mickey Mouse-inspired character with a signature skull-and-crossbones head, crossed eyes and white gloves.
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It in interesting to note that the whole ambience changes in the evening when the restaurant is lit up. And just to get that different experience is good enough reason to come back once more.
Warm Hug Of Flavours
Your facial muscles might be tired by the number of times your jaw dropped looking at the interiors of this place. But wait until the food is served. Your jaw is going to get to work again and belly, supremely satisfied. Chef Pawan Bisht has curated a mix of global cuisines including meals with flavours that hit home (don’t be surprised when you see dal khichdi on the menu) and plant-based food which is in tandem with Virat’s health-conscious lifestyle.
Begin with one of ‘Virat’s Favourites’ on the menu, that is, Avocado Tartare. “I remember the first time I tasted it. I specifically asked our chef to set aside a portion to take home with me. It is really THAT good,” says Virat. This dish consists of sliced avocado topped with tempura avocado, sweet corn sriracha mayonnaise, scallion, and ponzu soy. With that nice balance of soft and crunchy textures, the dish was quick to be on my list of favourites too. If you like the addition of fish to the dish, opt for the Salmon Avocado Tartare. Other must-try appetisers include Mushroom Googly Dimsums made with assorted wild mushrooms, cream cheese, vegetarian broth, and truffle oil; Calamari Fry tossed in curry leaf, green chilli, coconut oil and coastal spices; and Cajun Herb Spiced Chicken with cajun spice, mixed herbs and garlic yoghurt.
The mains have an array of options to choose from across Asian, Indian and European dishes. I opted for something familiar yet comforting. The Chicken Railway Curry with Malabar Paratha reminded me of the way my mum cooks chicken at home and I liked that the dish took me on that nostalgic journey. The Singaporean Prawn Curry is also a wholesome plate of food, packed with flavours.
Don’t forget to pair your meal with refreshing cocktails. As a certified gin lover, I enjoyed sipping on the Modern G&T and the Gimlet. The Deconstructed Picante and White Chocolate Punch are also solid recommendations. And of course, the desserts are unmissable, especially the Vegan Hazelnut Tart and Crème Brûlée–it’s light and airy, and doesn’t have that predominant eggy taste, making it the clear winner of the afternoon.
With surroundings that transport you to Europe but still has a chilled out vibe coupled with food that brings comfort, One8 Commune assures you leave the space with a big smile and memorable moments. After all, good food is good mood, so why visit once when you can come back over and over again, right?
On the hunt for new restaurants across India. Check out our list here.