On a lazy, rainy Saturday morning, I reluctantly woke up before noon and made my way to Bandra Kurla Complex through the never-halting Mumbai traffic, to catch a rare weekend brunch at Motodo in Jio World Drive. And I’m so glad I did, because in doing so, I discovered the perfect spot to have an Italian siesta with friends, family or that special someone.
Motodo is celebrity chef and restaurateur Ritu Dalmia’s second offering in Mumbai, following The Tasting Room by Diva located in Lower Parel. Motodo’s large floor-to-ceiling glass walls invite you in, and the large wood-fired pizza oven assures you of all the good things in store. The design brief for the interior seems to be that of an elevated Italian trattoria complete with a tiled floor and featuring an earthy colour palette comprising a lot of wooden and green elements. But the best part? The open kitchen and bar located right in the middle of the restaurant with the tables set around it.
Recently, Motodo has launched a special “Rise n Dine” weekend brunch menu that is only available on Saturdays and Sundays between 10am and 4pm. And if you’re somebody who craves authentic Italian cuisine, this is a must-visit for you. As we sat down, we were immediately welcomed with a platter of fluffy and flatbreads, accompanied by a homemade marinara sauce for the table, to munch on, as we scanned through their special menus, divided between breakfast, brunch, cocktails and a kids special.
Unlike most brunches that are served as a buffet, Motodo allows you to pick what you’d like to eat from a preset selection of their best dishes. For starters, we ordered the mini pizza fritta, as recommended by the staff for being a favourite among their patrons. It’s unlike anything you’ve had before, and in the best way possible. A puffed bread dough is stuffed with wilted spinach and roasted bell peppers and topped off with a soft cheese called stracciatella and some microgreens. A bite of this little fritta and I knew we had kicked off with a strong start.
They have a lovely selection of egg-based dishes and we had a few that I cannot recommend enough. First up, the 60 minute sous vide eggs served on a bed of multigrain bread topped with sauteed mushrooms and parma ham. When you break open the eggs, the runny yolk serves as the perfect sauce to pair with the strong flavour of the ham. Next, the black garlic scrambled eggs were delicious. Served as an open face sandwich, the scrambled eggs are perfectly cooked to match the consistency of the creamy avocado beneath. The touch of truffle oil and burnt garlic create a symphony of decadent flavours.
Talking of sandwiches, the ham and cheese cornetto serves as the perfect takeaway meal to treat yourself to. Slices of ham, cheese and greens are packed between a crispy croissant and seasoned with some delicious mustard and served with a house salad. It’s one of those dishes that can be eaten hot or cold and would still taste amazing!
Now, coming to the Italian treasures. The lamb linguini is one to not be missed if you’re a fan of truffle oil. The perfectly cooked meat and the al dente linguine are testimony to the authenticity of their Italian recipes.
And if you’re looking for a one-dish meal, the Chicken Cacciatore is the way to go. Cooked in a spicy and tangy tomato sauce, the chicken is so tender and juicy that it melts right off the bone. It comes with creamy mash potatoes and roasted brussel sprouts, making it a go-to choice for those who like to be mindful of their diets.
For vegetarians, the spaghetti al pomodoro is a safe but great bet. The perfectly al dente pasta paired with a tangy, delicious tomato and basil sauce is worthy of a chef’s kiss.
Coming to the cocktails, Motodo serves only Aperol cocktails, along with a selection of wines and beers for brunch. I channelled my inner Emma D’Arcy and opted for a refreshing watermelon sbagliato as well as Aperol spritz, which is made with cinzano prosecco, aperol and soda water.
With barely any space left in my stomach, we decided it was time to skip to the good part and order desserts. We began with the crespelle, an Italian take on crepes, served with a sour berry compote and balanced with a creamy mascarpone cheese between its folds.
Dark chocolate lovers, the torta will send you in a trance, with the runny custard providing just the right kick of sweetness. The lemon cake was more like a cupcake, with a surprise sweet and sour filling inside, and was refreshing and light. We ended this great Italian fiesta with a generous serving of a chocolate gelato, casually topped with gold flakes.
While there are a plethora of options in the city when it comes to Italian pizzeria-type restaurants, Motodo stands out because it gives you a menu of dishes that are familiar to you, but unlike anything you’ve had before. The next time you’re in search of a brunch spot, Motodo is the place to go to when you want everyone to return with their stomachs full and hearts content.