It was Wednesday evening when we drove to Julius, the newest restaurant in Lower Parel. We were already drained by the heavy traffic by the time we reached. However, as soon as we walked through the doors of this European-style all-day diner, our spirits were revived. We learn that the restaurant takes inspiration from the 355 AD emperor Julius Caesar and intends to conquer the world through their patrons’ taste buds just like what the Roman emperor did.
Located on the second floor of Phoenix Palladium, the chic and regal dining hall, playing popular English music was decorated with elegant lamps and hand-painted chandeliers. A huge bar counter was inspiring us to raise a roast to the good life with the best labels — North American, French, and Italian to suit every occasion.
We chose a corner place by the window and settled in. We marvelled at the stunning interiors of the restaurant while going through the menu curated by Chef Shashwat Shivam that features rustic, robust and full of flavour classic dishes from Europe. Our eyes were set on the sapphire chesterfield sofas, and gold-framed mirrored accents which added to the grandeur of the venue. The restaurant also boasts of a sophisticated private room, perhaps where the emperor would have entertained his high-profile guests.
Since the weather in Mumbai has also cooled down, we decided to start our meal with soup. On the staff’s recommendation, we ordered Orchid Aureus soup, which we learnt was served as comfort food to the Romans. The soup was also consumed by the soldiers during World War II as an immunity booster.
The chef came to our table to make this interesting soup live. He broke some Dendrobium flowers and added some stalks with lemon juice and we were ready to sip it. We knew we were off to a promising start. The soup tasted delicious and we loved the smell and the lasting taste of Dendrobium flower.
Orchid Aureus soup
Our next order was Caesar Salad which came with crispy lettuce topped with hand-torn gems, iceberg, croutons, and parmesan chips. The salad was the highlight of our meal. We loved the mustard and olive dressing which we also paired with their freshly-backed bread. The food here, we learn is a modern take on the royal feasts of 19 BC – 44 BC with traditional cooking methods, aromatic spices and ingredients. Here, you are onboard a delightful culinary journey through the crescent of Piedmont, Emilia-Romagna, Sicily, Greek, Regional France, South Germany, and Turkey.
Julius’ classic dishes offer an abundance of roasted vegetables, market salads, soups, pasta and assorted grills, meats, and fish. From the starters, we chose Exotic Vegetable Terrine – baked broccoli and peppers, folded in thin layers of zucchini filled with melted cheese. We loved the texture of zucchini mixed with cheese.
We had little space for the main course, so we went safe with Baba Ghanoush, a roasted eggplant, and tahini paired with Lavash bread. We liked the perfectly baked eggplant and the toppings were a bit spicy for us but the taste was perfect so we decided to finish it. We had no space for dessert so we decided to skip it, though we were really tempted to try the Pistachio Baklava from their illustrious menu.
For mains, non-vegetarians can try the Golden Egg, Quail Galantine, Jambon de Paris (traditional French ham), Orchid Consummé, Broccoli and Blue cheese foam. For vegetarians, there’s also Hummus served with Pita Bread, Labneh, Smoked White Aubergine with Lavash bread, and a Chef-recommended Cold Talatas Platter, a combination of all the above dishes. For dessert, there’s also Chocolate Fondant, Rhubarb Crumble, and Bread and Butter Pudding. The diner also serves a variety of teas and coffees as well. Each dish here is a work of art, crafted using the finest ingredients and served with its signature flair.