Infused with ambition

Big on taste, Infusion House puts the world on your plate

“What are you?”

It is a question I constantly come across everywhere I go, and in a country where everyone wants to know which caste you belong to, it is one I have only one good answer for.

“I’m Confused”.

A creature of a multi-cultural upbringing, it is the only answer I know, and it is at once decidedly tongue-in-cheek and tinged with a touch of honesty.

Confusion is also a state of mind we all find ourselves in at some point when we’re looking to pick a restaurant to visit. It’s why I will one day open an eatery called “Someplace Nice” and watch as the most indecisive and hungriest among us walk in the doors.

Small on size and big on taste.
Small on size and big on taste.

Until that time, Infusion House will have to do. Its menu is the Darts equivalent of blindfolding yourself, throwing darts at a world map, and making food based off of the countries your fateful dart just landed on.

How else would you explain the eclectic mix of Chilean, Peruvian, Austrian and much more that dots the pages of the menu. The only way to describe it is overly ambitious and crazy.

But what’s crazier still though is that the place is not an unholy pastiche. It actually, honestly works.

Someone once said that it’s not the size of the dog, but the size of the fight in the dog that matters.

That person might have been Michael Vick explaining how to win at dog-fighting, but no matter, because there’s no other way to put it. Infusion house is small. How small? Well, here are a few things that are larger than Infusion House’s interiors.

a) Sachin Tendulkar
b) Hobbits
c) A pair of my size 6 shoes from way back when
d) The moon when seen through your favorite telescope
e) The waiting list at the newly opened Fatty Bao

Of all those helpful (hah!) pointers, only one of them is true, and if you don’t know which one it is, I’ll give you a hint; it rhymes with Batty Now.

Banter aside, Infusion House is done up in a casual, friendly manner and it gives off the kind of vibe you’d get when you visit a close friend’s home after a while; vaguely familiar, warm and welcoming.

The Gambas Al Ajilo. Prawns in a garlic pepper sauce, this had some oriental leanings. S
The Gambas Al Ajilo. Prawns in a garlic pepper sauce, this had some oriental leanings. S

It’s very easy to get lost in the sea of unfamiliarity that is Infusion House’s menu, although the cheery owner (Suparna Ghosh, as I later found out) was always close at hand to offer recommendations or just chat about the place and her ideas behind it while you wait for your food. You’d be right to imagine it adds to the homely, friendly vibe of the place to have staff and an owner such as this.

After much deliberations, we went for the Gambas Al Ajillo, a popular Tapas dish from sunny Spain. This isn’t the classic dish I imagined it to be, since it had some oriental leanings, but it was still enjoyable nonetheless.

With fresh prawns thrown into a Garlic Pepper sauce, this was relished to the last forkful and then some. I understand (and even agree to an extent) as to why the dish had such a strong connection to Indian palates, but a part of me still wishes it were more continental in nature and mopped it with warm, buttery bread. Bliss.

Kotopoulo Me Feta, bole toh Chicken tossed in a Feta Cheese sauce topped with some chillies.
Kotopoulo Me Feta, bole toh Chicken tossed in a Feta Cheese sauce topped with some chillies.

The only minor fly in the ointment on the day was that we called for a similar sauce twice, and I put this down to oversight on my part as well as the staff, for both of us failed to spot this incongruity while we ordered it.

The Kotopoulo Me Feta was decidedly Mediterranean in flavor, with the cheese amped up with some Feta and interspersed with some chilies for good measure.

An enjoyably rousing start to the meal with the chunks of chicken laid to rest under a bed of cheese, I again felt a slice or two of bread wouldn’t have been amiss here. Nonetheless, it was all very satisfying, if a tad sinful. Good thing sin is in this season.

I inadvertently ended up calling for the Kotopoulo Gemista for my main course, and it was maybe my mind switching to auto-pilot and making a decision it knew my belly would love.

Kotopoulo Gemista, or Chicken Breast stuffed with assortments.
Kotopoulo Gemista, or Chicken Breast stuffed with assortments.

What was promised was a Chicken Breast stuffed with Mushroom, Spinach and Jalapeño, in a…you guessed, Feta cheese sauce, and what I got was just that.

The cupful of rice on the side was a touch too stiff for my liking, for it didn’t crumble or give way even in the face of some persistent prodding from me, but the breast of chicken was much the same as the starter. Creamy, indulgent and soul-satisfying, I’d have this all day long if it didn’t mean that my girth would expand concomitantly.

Miss Fishy, a.k.a. Ruhi Karan Karayi , decided to go for the Pescado alo Macho, which sported a pair of fish fillets swimming in a sea of seafood sauce and some parsley rice on the side.

On the day, this was the only miss for me for the simple reasons that the fish portions were too small for my liking and it seemed to be Basa. Nonetheless, the sauce complemented the mildly spiced rice nicely and it too was sent packing off to the high seas within minutes of landing up on our table.

Pescado alo Macho, featuring smallish fish fillets.
Pescado alo Macho, featuring smallish fish fillets.

I’m going to hold my opinion of the Cranberry Caipiroshka in abeyance as I stupidly opted for it and asked for the staff to cut back on the ice.

I realized about 10 minutes later that this was a huge mistake, but I was too far gone to turn back and so stuck it out with what was a Cranberry Mojito with very little ice. Muddled with enough crushed ice, I’m positive this will be a lot better and so won’t blight it.

Missy R’s Kiwi Margarita was a zesty drink, sweetish and with just the right amount of salt kissing your lips as you take in the first sip. Speckled with I think a few black seeds, this drink was a swift kick in the nuts for me as I realized just how badly my drink had been hamstrung by not being served in its original avatar. Tropical and on point, this Margarita is a great way to beat the heat.

The Kiwi Margherita, quite lovely. Hello, Missy!
The Kiwi Margherita, quite lovely. Hello, Missy!

Infusion House offers an endless cavalcade of culinary options, with cuisines from the world over hankering to capture your imagination and heart.

It’s a bit like a class full of kids in gym class looking at you with expectant eyes, hoping you pick them on your team.

Not that I’d know that feeling, mind you, but I do know that Infusion House offers an intriguing option among the dross on offer in Andheri.

Indeed, it’s the closest most of us will ever come to being globetrotting gourmets.

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