Monday, April 28, 2008

Oriental Blossom

Restaurant : Oriental Blossom
Location : Marine Plaza, Marine Drive
Meal : Dinner
Table for 8Dinner at the Oriental Blossom has rarely ever been less than satisfactory, the place is classy, comfortable however the menu leaves a little of the Orient out and about and focuses mostly on the Chinese.

The Kim Chi is sweetish, the cucumbers fresh. You can gorge on them (though they arent as good as say Golden Dragon)

The appetizers were the fried corn curd and the crispy veggies, both of which were excellent. Absolutely great start.

We then had soups, sweet corn, tom yum (excellent) wanton (average) manchow (good)

The main courses were fairly controversial, the green beans with tofu in chilly black bean, the stuffed mushrooms with regular hakka noodles. Now, i liked the entrees and the noodles and i considered it all to be an excellent choice.

However some of my dinner companions hated the green beans, the mushrooms are actually a fairly popular choice for us and never dissapoints.

Overall, the food was good on all counts, not great but good across the board. The place itself is perfect for a celebration, classy, popular, comfortable with a good ambiance.

The service can be slow and scatter brained at times but is always friendly.

Food 9/10
Service 7/10

Damage - Dinner for 7 with 3 beers 4500 ($100)

Oriental Blossom
Hotel Marine Plaza
29, Marine Drive, Mumbai

Monday, April 21, 2008

The Shanghai Club

The Shanghai Club is the Chinese restaurant at the ITC Grand Central. It is not very well known as it is located next to the very well known (justifiably so) Kebabs and Kurries. We got to the ITC hoping for something, anything and were told that KK was packed but they could seat us at Shanbhai Club and so it was.

The place is allright, its much much smaller than its Indian cousin and the ambiance is sort of out of the box Chinese. So not the most visually attractive place, the food however is good (not great)

We got the dumplings, steamed (excellent) served with two sauces, a soya based one and another a hot sauce.

We went right into the main course which was the stir fried veggies in a chilli bean paste and mushrooms (good) the golden garlic fried rice (good) the hakka noodles (allright)

no dessert or drinks. The food was good, the service was excellent, just a tad slow.

I would recommend a meal here anytime. Only thing i dont agree with is the pricing. A meal for 2 without drinks would run you 2500.

Saturday, April 19, 2008

Crystal - Working Lunch

Restaurant : Crystal
Meal : Lunch
Location : Opp Chowpatty Beach, next to Gant

An excellent, quick, working lunch at Crystal. Was lucky to get seating at 2pm, got in and there were only two tables available. Was starving and we immediately got down to business

Food : Paneer Bhurji, Two Rajmas & Rice, Six Rotis, butter milk x 2 and thums up.

Excellent meal again. Though a lot heavier than i would have liked, the paneer was light, fluffy and tasty, the rajma was ok, but it works best with the rice. The buttermilk was excellent, cold, perfect drink for hot days this one.

The service was fairly quick. The place continues to impress, after having never gone there in my 28 years, i have been there four times in the past 8 weeks.

Food : 9/10
Service : 8/10
Damage : 180($4.5)

Thursday, April 17, 2008


Lately the restaurants i have been to are -

Hornbys Pavilion (twice in the past week)

i will be putting up the updates as soon as possible. Been busy with work as well as working on a new blog layout using wordpress.

cheers & bon apetite.

Monday, April 14, 2008

Late night at Hornbys

Hornbys Pavilion is the coffee shop at the ITC Grand Central in Parel (yeah, i know the location sucks and is out of the way) and is probably the best after hours dining alternative in South & central Bombay. With the closure of Palms and Shamiana past its sell by date - Hornbys is the place to go for a 2 am chowdown.

The place itself is nothing too special, generic coffee shop with ample seating, the tables by the windows are the best. They run a breakfast buffet (best) lunch, dinner and midnight buffets. ITC has fantastic food, i cant recall a single meal at any ITC restaurant that was below par. Service too, is always top notch, quick, effective, only draw back is they are always too afraid to do what the customer asks and always need approval.

Food : As i mentioned already, the menu is quite expansive, i have had some excellent Biryani as well as sumptuous buffets before. However this time it was the English Breakfast for me (sans the meat) the Spanish Omlette for my friend and chocolate mousse cake for the wife. I asked for the meat to be left out and if they could just give me additional mushrooms and beans instead, they didn’t answer me nor did they comply. However the food was good, the beans didn’t seem canned, mushrooms were tasty, the hash browns were ok, the orange juice however was pretty crap. The Mousse cake was just insanely sinful and out of this world. My friend Pat said his omlette was also pretty much top notch

Drink: Cafe Mocha was absolutely excellent. top notch. The Margarita was actually served in a martini glass and tasted like one. They insisted it was a Martini and that was the only thing that was unacceptable.
Overall :
Food : 9/10
Service : 5/10
Damage : 2100

Noodle Bar - No No Bar

Noodle Bar is part of the Blue foods group which runs quite a few restaurants (Bombay Blue, Spagetti Kitchen amongst others) Their strategy is the same, provide a generic, fine dine, minimalist ambiance and marry it to Indianised versions of whatever cuisine you are serving.

Initially Noodle bar were an acceptable option for Oriental food, lately things have changed drastically. The place itself is showing signs of wear and tear and the look itself is now getting boring. Spaghetti Kitchen is really the only acceptable place they run.

Food : The food is mostly Oriental (though they do offer nachos for the weirdos) so you have a smattering of Chinese, Thai & Japanese. Since i was the only person eating, we went for the Schezwan sizzler which is basically noodles, mushrooms, spring rolls, paneer and greenbeans.

The food was ok, nothing great, the downside being, one its not authentic, two its not tasty enough. I don't mind Indian Chinese but it has to be done right just throwing in mushrooms and paneer and hot sauce does not equal taste.

M stomach did not feel very happy an hour after the meal and it shows their carelessness with materials and quality. I reckon the restaurant is more or less dead, it seems the people who used to patronize it knew their food and have since moved on to other restaurants. I think their best days are behind them.

Drink : They still do a killer ice tea, i would highly recommend the lemon version, everything else is too sweet.

Food 4/10, Service 7/10

Damage 520

Wednesday, April 09, 2008

Falafels Veg Hummus House

Falafels Veg Hummus house is quite a popular little destination for those who want a quick bite, its a much better alternative to places like McDonalds or a street food joint. There is one near my house and one right next to my office.

Past weekend on my way back from the bookstore, the wife and i decided to just pop in for a quick bite. Unfortunately for us, it was anything but quick. While i know Sundays are bad, this was just plain nuts.

The only thing they seemed to be doing right was taking the orders down, fast & furious. However after that the guys just had no clue. Ended up waiting there and making silly jokes with others who were waiting as well (turns out i was cracking lame ass jokes with Manish Acharya the director of the very funny Loins of Punjab)

Eventually It took about 20 minutes to get my order served, that too despite standing on their head and reminding (very nicely)

Add to that no pickles, too much hot sauce, i ended up with a pretty unsatisfying meal. Not too happy about it.

I know it was a Sunday and i know its not all readymade but come on guys. 20 mins to put hummus, tahina, some veggies together in a pita?

Food 3/10 Service 3/10
Damage 195

Wednesday, April 02, 2008

Kebabs N Kurries

Kebabs n Kurries is probably one of the best North Indian options in the city, add to that impeccable and friendly service and you have a meal worth experiencing. It is an amalgamation of the best kitchens of the ITC group and their most famous restaurant Bukhara (one of the 60 best in the world) contributes its recipe for Dal Bukhara here.

So on my way back from a meeting in the Eastern suburbs with no plans for lunch, by we decided to stop by for a quick working lunch.

Fortunately it was not too late and we got a nice little table and the menus were produced almost immediately. There isnt much to think about, on auto pilot we got the Dal Bukhara (490) which is probably gods favorite dal.

Instead of the usual Paneer this time we went in for the mixed veggies served with a relatively dry tomato gravy, corn and potato (690) this dish though not bad at all was a bit too spicy for lunch (have to work late, so its giving me trouble already) and it was not nearly as good as the paneer which is out of this world.

They have a separate menu for vegetarians and which is full of plenty of options.

The Garlic Naan & Roomali Roti were allright, their rice dish is very interesting, reddish yellow, very light, with dal and served with a side of yogurt.

Overall, the meal was fantastic, the service was great.

I do hope they change their menu soon as it needs a little work to keep it fresh, once you have been there as many times as i have, you do want a change.

On the other hand, i have mentioned places like Namak, Saffron, Dum Pukth, each has its specialties, so maybe they shouldn't change?.

So go there for the Paneer & Dal Bukhara, the great service and dont experiment too much.

Food 9/10 Service 9/10

Damage : 2800 for two without drinks.

Tuesday, April 01, 2008

Pan Asian - Sunday Brunch

Pan Asian is one of the ITC signature restaurants, the one in Delhi is highly rated and i feel the Bombay eatery does not get its due. I have never had a less than excellent meal there over the last few years. The only reason i dont go there often enough is the distance.

We went in for quite a grand Sunday Brunch and were surprised to see how full the place was. Its quite a large restaurant but every time we have been there its been mostly empty. Good thing we got reservations ( A must)

The spread is good but a tad too Japanese & Chinese heavy with some Thai. There is plenty to choose from, soup, 3 salads (som tam, some greens) 2 sushi options (carrot & cucumber) , 2 dim sums (carrot, corn), 3 entrees (garlic greens, mushrooms & baby corn, teriyaki potatos), thai curry, noodle & rice (i wish they had more than one)

The food is pretty good, dim sum being the only weak point, undercooked and not tasty enough. Sushi was just fantastic, refreshing and very tasty. The soup i avoided, the thai curry was excellent, as were the teriyaki potato's. The two veggie options were allright.

Some of the dishes are excellent, while some are just above average, this overall brings the meal down somewhat.

The dessert counter was expansive and above average.

Overall the meal was very satisfying, the food was more or less good, wish they had more variety but that is ok i guess.

The service which in my ITC going experience has always turned out to be friendlier and better than most other chains was as i expected, friendly, prompt and attentive.

Special mention of the cocktails. The best cocktails in this city, Bloody mary was excellent as was the Mojito. I could go there just for the cocktails.

It is slightly on the higher side price wise (3100 for 2 with drinks included)

Food 8/10 Service 9/10

Pan Asian
ITC Grand Maratha Sheraton & Towers
Sahar Road, Andheri (E), Mumbai 28303030

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