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Koh

135, NSC Bose Road, Marine Drive, Churchgate, Mumbai, India

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Koh is the creation of executive chef Ian Kittichai, born in Bangkok but who studied in London before cooking in Australia prior to returning to Thailand in 1993. There he worked in five star hotels including the Four Seasons, and then opened his own eponymous restaurant in New York in 2004. In 2008 he opened Murmuri in Barcelona, then in 2010 he established Koh in Mumbai. He has a high media profile, being one of the resident chefs on the Thai version of "Iron Chef".  He has since opened further restaurants in Bangkok. The person notionally in charge of the kitchen at Koh is Paul Kinny, the executive chef of the hotel.

The Intercontinental Hotel is on Marine Drive, facing the Arabian Sea, though Koh is a ground floor room with no view. It is smartly decorated, with blue banquettes, high ceiling, well-spaced tables, wooden floor and background music of the kind that played in Hakkasan a few years ago. A nibble at the start of the meal was a spoon of fried noodles with corn, sweet chilli sauce. This was harmless enough, though the overall effect was rather dry, and the coriander seemed an afterthought (11/20). My starter was diver-caught scallops wrapped in a vermicelli-like pasta and then deep-fried, served with a spicy sauce. In a similar way to the nibble, this dish came across as very dry, even with the sauce on the side. The scallop flavour was lost within the frying, which seemed a waste of a scallop, though the overall effect was pleasant enough (12/20).

A main course of "speared chicken" was essentially a chicken kebab wrapped around stems of lemongrass. A hint of the lemongrass flavour came through to the chicken, which was served with a light chilli sauce (12/20). Pad Thai noodles had texture that seemed as if they were a little overcooked, while the prawns with the noodles were definitely cooked a little too long (11/20).

I skipped dessert, and service was fine. The bill with beer for two courses came to INR 4,370 before service (£52). This was simply too much money for the level of cooking on display this evening, even if it had been in central London. In Mumbai the pricing seems even more out of kilter, and indeed just two other tables were taken in the dining room by the time that I left, so the locals are hardly being attracted in droves.

 

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