Tuesday, January 22, 2008
Meal : Dinner
Company : Ze Boys.
You know its not a good thing when you enter a restaurant and you are the only ones there. Also, when the big burly guy sitting in the corner with Executive Chef written on his shirt continues to play on his laptop (prolly surfiing food porn) you know that the restaurant is in its death throes.
The menu is of course Pan Asian, the starters continue to be the weak things about the menu, we got the Roti Canai (terrible) the skewered veggies in Teriyaki (mediocre) and the dumplings (average)
On to the mains it was Paneer with veggies, Thai Green Curry, along with Pad Thai noodles (terrible) East Hakka noodles which were great and steamed rice. The mains are not bad, there are also some interesting dishes on the menu, which might be worth a try. The Green Curry was again, the star of the show, slightly spicy but very very tasty. A choice worth going for. The Paneeri veggies were decent and the Hakka noodles were pretty good.
The place had potential but i think they will not last more than 6 months in the present avatar. Time to stock up on the curry i reckon.
The service is all right, though they only had like 3 people on the wait staff then.
Food 7/10 Service 7/10
Damage for 6 without drinks 2200
Monday, January 21, 2008
Meal : Dinner
Company - 6 people
Namak is part of the newly renovated Sahara Star beside the domestic airport. The hotel itself is still waiting on the finishing touches. However its like toy land, dont know what purpose it serves to have something this excessive (imagine, a lagoon, laser shows, fire breathing vents, smoke shows every 30 mins or so) Sounds like something someone would do in the Middle East all hopped up on oil money. Grand yes, classy nope, tasteless? you bet.
Anyway, enough about the hotel. The restaurant is laid out around the circular atrium of the hotel, all the restaurants are laid out within this circular section (they have a total of 7, restaurants and bars included)
There is very little ambiance to speak of within the section, generic tables and chairs nothing more. The plates and glass do have a very ethnic feel to it but the overall experience is fairly vanilla.
The food itself is top notch, just as good as Kebabs Kurries and Saffron. We had the paneer makhani (excellent) the dal makhani (excellent) the aloo achari (good) the breads (naans, roomali) were both all right.
I was fairly disappointed by the level of service, though quick, it was aloof and not very friendly. Table replenishments of onions and pappadums were not near as good as at ITC.
Damage : for 6 without drinks 3000
The pricing is slightly lower than Saffron and ITC (about 20%)
Food - 9/10 Service 6/10
Saturday, January 19, 2008
Meal : Late Dinner
Company : Ze Wife
We got into Corleone about 10.30 and were seated right away. The place was 1/3 full with loud tables behind and to our right. Overall, the place is still an interesting setting for a meal, the ambiance is great, the view even better.
However, the meals here have been great to the downright average. This time the food was just super weak. I think the chef does not seem to make an effort anymore.
We got the Minestrone which was very tomato heavy (they brought it too quickly as well) probably had been sitting around for sometime. No pasta, no beans. The stuffed mushrooms are a very well made dish and continues to satisfy. The Ortolana pizza, was tasteless. Absolutely useless, completely bland.
The Lemon De Nere is a soft drink i highly recommend even at 200 bucks a pop. Its Coke, demera sugar, angostura bitters and makes for a refreshing and tasty tipple.
Overall, i was hugely disappointed by the meal. A pop in to Kebab Korner showed that it was practically twice as full as Corleone.
The service continues to be top notch, friendly, prompt and eager to please.
Pity the food is so patchy and below par.
The damage was 1600 which in my opinion is a complete waste. Sticking to Trattoria next time.
Food 3/10 Service 8/10
Wednesday, January 16, 2008
Rest Shri Ramanayak
Location : Matunga Station
Meal : Lunch
Company: Ze wife, Pat, Sampy.
So we trekked to SRUB for a thali meal. i Was fairly excited since it would be my first and i was looking forward to eating on a banana plantain. The place was fairly crowded and we had a short wait before we could get our food (we got the unlimited thalis for 70bucks a pop, there are quite a few variations as well)
Got a seat for the four of us, the plantain was placed immediately and we asked for spoons (you can also asked to be served in a plate, traditionally you should eat with your hands, which i dont mind but not in front of so many people)
First to be served is the yogurt and the pungent, spiced, strong butter milk, this stuff could peel off paint. This was followed by salt, pickle and then a fairly average rasam(kokum i think), the sambar was also served along with and it was tasty and fiery. The veggies came together, 3 were served, cabbage (dry), potato cooked with tomato, chillis and other paste (wet) and some bean thing(this apparently changes daily) The beans were terrible, the other two were ok.
They serve puris which i dislike as well as rice. You get a papad but its not like your traditional papad but a different white colored variety. You have the choice of one sweet out of four we chose the shrikhand which was fairly sweet. The only other thing is the rice, which is kind of hard to fuck up.
Overall, the service is fairly slow but the meal is quick. What i mean is the scope of the meal is limited however the people who are supposed to serve you come by sporadically so you are always left wanting (quite the opposite at a Gujarati or Rajasthani Thali)
You also might be in a situation where you have to observe others waiting for you to finish so they can actually grab your spot. Quite distressing a feeling but if you live in Bombay long enough you get used to stuff like this (though i was born here, i dont like being watched while i eat)
The crappy service, the wait, the voyeurism would all be ok if the food was mind numbing. The truth be told, the food is far from it and i wasnt the only person who felt that way. None of the crew liked the meal. I was informed there are places around that serve the same cuisine, better in an A/C place.
Also, they use coconut oil to cook the food, which is the worst thing in the world for me. It just leaves such a terrible aftertaste, that its hard to not sort of gag.
Food 3/10 Service 4/10
Damage for 4 - 280.
image courtesy of marriedtoadesi from Flickr.
Wednesday, January 09, 2008
The first thing that turned me off was the money making exercise Still or Sparkling water. Due to regulations, Sparkling water is not bottled freely in India and therefore is a premium product. 5 Stars like Mariott try to fuck you with this little trick. If you escape this one, the next is ok, still water, perhaps Evian?
Choose a local brand, hell choose regular water. Bunch of wankers.
Good thing the food is goood.
We skipped the appetizers and went in for the kill. The Dal Makhani was heavenly, the taste was just mind numbing, could feel it in my toes. The Paneer Makhani was cooked with some pickled onions, another amazing dish this one. The third dish was fairly weak.
The Naans were ok, The roomali was below par.
The help was friendly but the table served with very little papad and onions, which is bad. They should have a look at how ITC treats its tables.
Overall, the food was just beyond what i expected.
Service well below.
Food 9/10 Service 3/10
Damage for 4 without drinks around 3000
JW Marriott Hotel, Juhu Tara Road, Juhu, Mumbai 66933225
Well it seems to have lived up to its potential now. The place looks great, the tent is gone and they have this individualized seating with a sort of covering, so its a lot more private yet out in the open. It looks amazing at night.
The food was also changed for the better. The Beijing chilly was a fairly weak soup to start with. However they did some great steamed wantons and mushrooms and water chestnuts were just fantastic.
The entree was pan friend noodles which were good, the rice was ok, The Kung Pao Paneer was out of this world.
The overall menu is fairly eclectic and they do a lot of dishes, Chinese, Italian & Middle Eastern, so there is a lot for everyone to try. They have a bakery as well. I always thought it was a solely Asian cuisined restaurant but they arent.
The pizza i had a taste of, was amazing, thin crispy and full of taste.
The service was great, slightly slow but overall friendly.
A must visit again.
Food 9/10 Service 8/10
Damage for 4 with drinks 4000
World Trade Centre Arcade
Ground Floor, Shop #1, Mumbai
Saturday, January 05, 2008
- Dialogues of Cimon
I get a lot of mails asking about what to eat once in Bombay if you have limited time. So for all those visiting Bombay for the first time or looking for tips on a jolly good time here are a few things you should do while you have the time. The point is to try and distill the food and beverage scene down into a few choice alternatives so you get some good food.
Drinks at the Dome - The Dome has the best view of any bar in this city. the place is beautiful and a truly Bombay experience. Jot down there around half past 6 and stay past 8ish and trek some place for dinner. A must do. Gin and Tonic would be around 600 ($15) Beer 350 ($8.50)
Intercontinental Marine Drive
135 Netaji Subhash Road
Marine Drive, Mumbai 39879999
The best cocktails in this city are available at the Pan Asian at the ITC Grand Maratha by the airport. Slightly out of the way if you dont live in the suburbs, its not a separate bar but they do the meanest mixes this part of the city, country, world.
ITC Grand Maratha Sheraton & Towers,
Sahar Road, Andheri (E), Mumbai
Pav Bhaji at Santosh Sagar
Pav Bhaji is a signature Bombay fast food dish. It can be had just about anywhere in the city. Mashed veggies studded with butter and spice served with a side of some more buttered bread. In my opinion the dish that defines Bombay. The best example of this is of course at Santosh Sagar. Wash it down with some Orange or Cocktail juice. Meal for two 200 ($5)
Shop No 6, Matru Ashish
Nepean Sea Road, Mumbai
Sushi at Wasabi - I am not a big Sushi person, the place itself serves more than just Sushi. However even if you arent i reckon you should hop on down and eat here because its a restaurant helmed by Iron Chef Morimoto (formerly of Nobu as well as head of Masa both in the apple) A meal here would be around 5000 for two ($120) However a comparable meal in NYC would cost about $600 for two (24,000)
So go here and revel in how much money you just saved and yes the food is pretty on the money...
Taj Mahal Palace & Tower
Apollo Bunder, Mumbai
North Indian at Kebabs n Kurries ITC is for me the best North Indian option in either part of the city. they serve good kebabs and their entrees are fabulous. You get an opportunity to dine at a place which serves the best dishes from signature ITC restaurants like Peshawari and Bukhara (consistently in one of the worlds best restaurants list) Meal for two would be around 3500.
WG's Kebabs n Kurrys
ITC Grand Central Sheraton and Towers
Dr. Ambedkar Road
Is a variation of traditional Chinese turned on its head by us Indians. Its becoming a cuisine in itself with numerous outlets offering the same in New York City.
Chinese at CG 83 - When you walk into China Garden go in expecting a very Indianised version of Chinese food. The food is spicy, tasty and crunchy. There are quite a few restaurants that serve better Chinese but CG- 83 is the only one that does it Indian style.
Meal for two would be 2000 ($50)
Kemp's Corner, Mumbai
A thali literally means plate. Its a big round steel plate, with about 7 little bowls. The style is buffet but it comes to your plate rather than yo getting up to go and pick what you want. The food is usually in the Gujarati, Rajasthani style and in some cases South Indian. However the food is usually very tasty, home style and not very expensive.
Quite a few options in this case, try Joshi Club, Samrat, Status, Golden Star. Meal for two should be around 400 ($10)
Pani Puri at Charni Road, there is a small not very glamorous tikki wala who makes some glorious North Indian fast food. Its near Hinduja College. Non descript place but worth the hunt. Take in the pani- puri, the dahi puri and the aloo tikki. Meal for two 120 ($3)
Near Hinduja College opposite Golden Star Thali.
Is a dessert you drink, fairly popular in India but of middle eastern origin. Its made using, milk, rose water, vermicelli and tapioca. Sometimes also served with Vanilla Ice Cream of Kulfi. It comes in plenty of variations but begin with the traditional version. Best tried at Badshah who specialize in this.
152/156, LT Marg
Opposite Crawford Market, Mumbai 23421943, 23449316, 23425950
Is an Indian dessert made with boiled milk, cooked to the point where it turns red. It is also served in different flavors (pistachio, saffron, almonds and plain being the best) It is served fairly cold but is apparently not an ice-cream in the western sense but a frozen dessert. It comes in different forms, served on a stick, in a clay cup. However the best way to eat this is to try from any one of the vendors that serve it on Chowaptty Beach in South Bombay.
Is a bombay staple, a patty of potato and peas and onions served with garlic and green chutney. Available almost everywhere you turn but Jumbo serves a hygenic version with brown bread and many other variations.
Dosa is another fairly popular snack, available almost everywhere in this city. however if you want the best dosa trek down to breach candy in south bombay and find the large parking lot right before (or after depending on where you come in from) the US Consulate. Get the mysore masala and have it with his red garlic chutney and forget about anything anyone else has said.
Gujarati snacks though fairly popular are not always as widely available as the South Indian and the North Indian snacks. To try some of these head down to Soam near Chowpatty of Swati near Bhatia Hospital & the various Rajdhani outlets. Make sure you try the pankis with different chutneys, the khichadis, the misals.
A lot of Europeans & North American visitors find the mention of this fairly odd as its not the most widely available beverage in the world. Being more popular in South East Asia, it can be found in plenty of places and is fairly cheap. If you see this some place, stop by and get a glass. Its sweet, refreshing and if you have never had one before, bound to blow your mind.
A gola literally means ball or bomb. Its made of ice (much thicker than a slush puppy) and this ice is then dunked in a syrup or juice made of any number of things (orange, pineapple etc etc) the juices are actually flavored syrups and not fresh made with fruit. Make sure you stop by and get one of these, pick the Kala Khatta (black sour) flavour with the pepper garnish. Again, blow your socks off.
Wednesday, January 02, 2008
My new year's eve Dinner, for the second year in a row was at Moshe's. They had a new menu and i wanted to go someplace quiet which wouldn't have jacked up prices for a one night crapavanza.
Anyway, like i said the menu has changed and we started of with the pumpkin and orange soup for me and the wife had her patent tomato with peas. Well honestly my soup was just slightly worse than hers, but both were quite crappy.
The fondues are still on the menu and we went for the usual Gorgonzola with garlic and sun dried tomato. Excellent as usual.
The entrees were Sicilian Risotto a tried and tested dish, which was again excellent as usual. The other entree was a new one, it had skewered peppers, paneer and veggies and was served with a side of rice in lentils. Excellent stuff again. Absolutely top notch.
I had a few glasses of some German Riesling. Sweetish, decent after taste refreshing.
Damage : 2500.
Food 7/10 (due to crap soups) Service 8/10
Do check them out and get some dishes of the new menu.
* The images aren't mine, too lazy to upload for now.
7 Minoo Manor
Cuffe Parade, Mumbai
Mulligatawny soup, not bad but not exactly the spicy, hot soup it is supposed to be. Gallop does it really well. The pasta salad without the chicken was also excellent. Cold and tasty. The Moroccan broth was top notch, served with a side of couscous. We also the conchiglie which was basically a arrabiata sauce without the spicyness. Very rich tomato taste, well done again.
Pity they dont serve any wine. Overall, it was a great meal.
Food 9/10 Service 8/10
Go there and try out some of the unusual suspects, fairly rewarding.
St. John Road, Opposite Gold's Gym
Bandra (W), Mumbai