Julius Mumbai: Dig into a grand European feast with the great Julius Caesar

Julius Mumbai is not your usual European eatery. Discover drama and elegance of the Ancient European cuisine with a modern sizzle at this new restaurant in Phoenix Palladium mall, Lower Parel.

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Entering Julius Mumbai first brings you to the splendid bar area. Image: Julius.

I like to call Julius, the newest restaurant in Mumbai, the ground of sophisticated drama – perfect for us experimental epicureans who like the thrill of the unknown. Located in a sequestered part of the Phoenix Palladium mall in Lower Parel, at Julius, you don’t know what to expect until the lid to the very first dish is lifted up. And this perhaps is my favourite part about it. 

You should know… 

I was in for a surprise when a highly recommended dish finally arrived on my table. Dubbed Orchid Consommé, it was a mini theatrical food show right in front of my eyes with a rather unexpected ingredient, dendrobium orchid, the delicate, purple-white flowers taking the stage. The chef first placed four to five orchids and stalks in a deep soup plate that drowned in white smoke before pouring the purple-tinted consommé (a type of clear soup) into it. Just like that, the recipe was successfully made and looked no less than a work of art.  

My curious palate took three sups of it before declaring it an uncomplicated, subtly saline and simply a therapeutic soup that possibly would pop up in a lot of my conversations for many days to come. 

Image: pratishtha rana.
The dramatic Orchid Consommé. Image: Pratishtha Rana.

Begin with a visual feast 

The bar area is one of the first elements of Julius Mumbai to greet the eyes. Draped singularly with a glossy, golden patina, the bar stands spectator to the tall, overwhelming cabinet of choicest spirits, an adjoining library of drinkware and a small corner that houses herbs, microgreens and cheeses in-house. 

There’s never a dull moment at Julius Mumbai. In between waiting for your next meal to arrive, it’s a visual feast that comes to play with a predominant theme of ancient and modern Europe coalescing into one to sheathe the interiors.

Dining at julius mumbai. Image: pratishtha rana.
Dining at Julius Mumbai. Image: Pratishtha Rana.

One side, the blue striped walls are decked up with ancient Rome’s photo artworks, while on another glance you see sapphire chesterfield sofas, hand painted chandeliers, antique, gilded mirror and other objets d’art that translate into an unmistakable impression of dining at new-age royal quarters. 

European antics at Julius Mumbai 

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Spectacular meals at Julius Mumbai. Image: Julius.

The menu at Julius Mumbai could pass off as a culinary map of the erstwhile Europe, tracing a world of flavours that touches the boundaries of Emilia-Romagna, Piedmont and Sicily in Italy, Greece, South Germany, regional France and Turkey. The dishes at the restaurant don’t solely focus on the spices, rather a clean, perceptive and a winning balance of it all – ingredients, flavours, proportions and presentation – takes the spotlight.  

As the team informs me, the idea at Julius Mumbai was to combine the traditional cooking methods, ingredients and spices from Julius Caesar’s ruling regions of Europe centuries ago. 

The pages first flip open to a selection of charcuterie and flat bread revealing crème de la crème options of Jambon De Paris or traditional French ham, quail galantine, pork with apple brandy, exotic vegetable terrine and a platter of brie, camembert, yellow cheddar, roquefort, haloumi and parmesan cheese assembled together. If you go by a gourmand’s advice, pair one (or more) of these with the house-made sangria at Julius Mumbai and their massive inventory of champagnes, rosé, red, white and dessert wines! 

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Fish cake, chef’s recommendation. Image: Pratishtha Rana.

After savouring a long stop on charcuterie, I moved to small plates and asked for the Fish Cake, which is also a chef’s recommended dish. An assortment of salmon, rawas, king fish and red snapper made the cake, served with mashed potatoes and an herb-y sauce on the side. While it was cooked to perfection – mushy on the inside and lightly crispy on the outside – it did not make my taste buds flutter in excitement like I would have expected it to. Another dish that caught my eye was Tuna and the Greek, essentially a blue fin tuna tartare with tzatziki sauce found prevalently in the cuisines of Southeast Europe and the Middle East. 

As I move to the big plates section, for a meal that would now nearly fill me up but not completely before the final stroke of desserts, a sudden realisation of time strikes me. I had already spent more than an hour and a half slowly and lovingly sipping on the cocktail and noshing on the small plates.

Leaving the decision of choosing the next feast on the staff, I was suggested to call for Ravioli Rovescio. A decent portion of the soft, chewy ravioli doused in bright yellow butternut squash that tasted delightfully sweet-savoury and nutty peppered with sesame oil dust did make the cut, suffice for a self-proclaimed ravioli-enthusiast like me to order it again on my next visit.   

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Crème brulee with water chestnut. Image: Julius.

Other dishes at Julius Mumbai that would intrigue your palate for heritage European cuisine with a touch of contemporary flair are Twinning Moussaka and Ratatouille, Cauliflower and Broccoli Mornay, Canneloni with housemade ricotta and spinach, Spicy Rack of Pork Ribs, Chicken Strognoff Avec Riz Pilaf, Sheperd’s Pie and Clams-salmon-prawns-squid Paella, a dish that’s usually known to have originated from Valencia. But of course, this is not all.

A smartly curated club of desserts included the classics from Levant and Europe such as Pistachio Baklava, Rhubarb Crumble, Crème Brulee with water chestnut, bread and butter pudding and more. 

Address: Julius, Second Floor, Block 1, East Zone, Phoenix Palladium Mall, Lower Parel, Mumbai

Overall rating: ⭐⭐⭐ (Max: 5 stars) 

Food: 8/10 | Drinks: 7.5/10 | Service: 8.5/10 | Decor: 8/10 | Vibe: 8/10 | One dish we loved: Orchid Consommé 

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