Sunday, February 22, 2009


Rest : Mabruk
Loc : Sahara Star, Domestic Airport
Meal : Late Dinner

Mabruk is the Lebanese/middle eastern restaurant at the Sahara Star (previous visit here) one of the only ones offering the cuisine formally in the city.

Mabruk offers a fairly Mediterranean menu with a bent on towards the middle east, the menu has hot and cold mezzes, food of the grill and rice preparations.

The place as i have said before is a palace of excess along the lines of a Dubai hotel, lots of lights, flash, artifical environment. While i dont mind things like that, it is not the classiest looking place in the world, nouveau riche is what comes to mind.

Mabruk specifically has lovely seating by the lagoon. The seats are too comfortable.

The place has a distinctly middle eastern feel to it, Morocco (i know Morocco is not in the ME) via Iran.

The wife had a virgin pina colada which was not too bad, except it was a virgin!

The Horiatiki was a fresh salad made with feta cheese, olives, onions and greens drizzled with some lime & olive oil. The salad and the dressing were both great but the feta elevated the dish to something beyond.

The Falafal drizzled with tahina was pretty good, served with some pickles and tomatos were on the money.

We also had the Warkinab (not pictured) which was rice in vine leaves, a sweetish taste but again a fairly good dish. They also serve plenty of fresh pita with the food.

Overall, the place is different with regards to ambiance and cuisine and both are fairly impressive. The service is a little rough around the edges and lacks finesse but is both friendly and quick.

Food : 8/10
Service : 7/10
Damage : 1600 for 2 without drinks.

Friday, February 13, 2009

Thakar Club

Rest : Thakar Club
: Bowels of Kalbadevi

: Lunch

: Ze Wife & Patman.

Thakar club is an old name in Thali dining and is located in the old Kalbadevi area, take a cab and walk up from where Kalbadevi begins opposite Metro. Do not drive and do not try to drive their directly by any other route or you will spend hours in wonderful traffic.

the place is an old building and on the first floor in keeping with the tradition of most older joints such as this. the place has a bit more decor when compared to a place like Joshi club but is significantly less spiffy than a Samrat or Status. However the place is small but functional.

the meal starts of like other thali meals with some salad and chutneys.

we got a dal a kadi, dahi vada and three veggies. they also served rotis, puran polis and bajra rotis, papad, rice & khichadi.

the chaas was nice.

Overall, the food was allright, not the best i have had, solid and slightly above average. However my fellow lunchers thought it was very good. I dont think so. The desserts were extra and not part of the thali which i think is a bit of a rip off (not that they were good anyway)

The service was ok.

Food : 7/10
Service : 7/10
Damage : 390

Wednesday, February 11, 2009


Rest: Pure
Loc : Taj Lands End, Bandra Bandstand
Meal : Dinner

Pure is a place i have been wanting to try for a long time and we finally made it there after months of planning and canceling. The restaurant is fairly different in terms of target audience, surprisingly in Bandra where this may or may not work.

The place is brilliantly designed, all white but with a section which is all black and candle lit. I personally prefer the black section. The menu is a mix of Italian & Continental but is fairly limited. One can choose from the a la carte or the two tasting menus (3050+ taxes p/p for or smaller menu with matched with wine or scotch at 4000 pp)

I usually prefer going for the menu and that is exactly what i did.

The first thing we recieved was the amuse brioche which was watermelon, goat cheese and a dash of balsamic vinegar. A palate cleanser, which is on the house. brilliant! It looked like Salmon to me.

The bread service was some grilled bread with a dip, i cant recall it but it was not too bad! nothing spectacular though.

The avocado carpaccio came highly not recommended, when our server asked us to try it we said why we werent. He brought out a portion anyway so we could make up our own mind. Well, it was bland, even with the drizzle of balsmic vinegar and cherry tomato a taste could not be found.

Appetizer was baked goat cheese with croutons in a tomato sauce. The goat cheese was incredible, a taste that would envelop your entire mouth. The croutons it came with were interesting. However i think the tomato sauce it came with, which was meant to be spicy was more on the sour side, which did not add anything to the dish.

The grilled white & green asparagus was served on a bed of olive paste. While slightly on the ordinary side the taste was pretty on the money, the olives were incredible and added a great dimension to the asparagus.

Baked Lasagna, i know its a cop out to really order lasagna at a place like Pure but the other was a spinach and feta cheese filo, while i love the idea of spinach and feta i don't like filos. The lasagna was a complex dish,flavors hidden under the spinach, goat cheese and the pasta and the veggies.
pasta by itself was bland, the sauce was sour but the whole thing worked as a dish.

The porcini mushroom & black truffle risotto, a dish that is done at Vetro (with wild mushrooms i think) and it did not work at all. Completely bland, banal. No taste to it, nothing hidden anywhere either.

A side order of mashed potato with pepper & parmesan. Wow. This should be a bloody entree, it was effing brilliant.

The wife had a pomegranate juice, which was well pomengranate juice, glass of a Tarapa Sauvignon Blanc was not bad. I was looking forward to a glass of port but was too full to go for it.

Overall: I personally think the restaurant is badly marketed as a organic food experience, the experience is about the taste & ambiance and not about ingredients. The ambiance and service at Pure is very much on the higher end, therefore marketing it as 'organic' seems unimaginative. They have all the ingredients, they just need to fine tune and buff up somewhat so they can deliver what they seem to promise.

The food really needs work, it is either too bland or lacks flavor, i understand we Indians like heavy tastes but i am sure we can appreciate subtlety however i draw the line at blandness.

It took too long to get the dishes out which is usually fine by me. However they should work on having some more palate cleansers, maybe sorbets or throw in some more bread to keep people from passing out due to hunger. The menu desperately needs more volume, throw in another course to add depth.

The pricing is extremely high, Indigo is def a lot more value for money and the food is better there as well.

Service : I think Pure offered the best service i have had in a long long time. Not only were they well trained, offering insight and suggestions they wanted to do a good job. Bringing out the avocado just so i could try it for myself and forming my own opinion was a brilliant touch. When they found out we didn't like the risotto they removed it from the check and hearing it was our anniversary they brought us a WHOLE cake (which we shared with them)

the food might not be great but service like this is hard to find. I think restaurateurs should pop into Pure to learn how clients need to be serviced.

I would love to go there once again and give them another shot, maybe discuss things with the chef before picking my dishes. Most of all, go there for the service.

Food : 6/10
Service : 10/10 (A first on this blog in 4 years)
Damage : Catastrophic 4942 ($100)

Taj Lands End Hotel

Bandstand, Bandra (W), Mumbai 66681234

Thursday, February 05, 2009

Santosh Sagar

Rest : Santosh Sagar
Loc : Matru Ashish Bldg, opp Russian Consulate Napean Sea Road

I grew up eating at Santosh Sagar, having lived right above the place i can still remember evenings were painted with the smells of the chaps making Pav Bhaji right below. Yum!

They do brilliant, crisp dosas but i went for the masala pav, which isjust bread, onions and spicy masala. great !!!

the words best pav bhaji can be had right here. i do frequently, its one of the best things to eat in not only the city but the world. a culinary masterpiece from the streets. Brilliant!!! all pav bhaji must compete with this.

just on a lark we also got the pizza, it was okay, no great shakes. should have gone for the dosa.

No matter what it is you order here you have to wash it down with a Thums Up for the right kind of kick in the head.

The place is great to grab a bite at night, chaps are friendly and you can eat in your car if you want to. Service is fairly quick.

Food : 9/10
Service : 8/10
Damage : 200
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