Thursday, July 23, 2009


Rest : Starboard
Loc : The Taj Mahal Palace and Towers
Meal : 10'o clock munch

It was nice to see the buzzing Taj Lobby after all the crap that happened, it was even nicer to finally be able to reach Starboard for a Mexican. Considering i am a huge lover of the cuisine (my recent trip to London was dominated by Mexican cuisine) and we have nothing resembling an authentic Mexican or Tex Mex meal in the city (Sanchos in Delhi and Sammy Sosa in far away Andheri)

Most people consider Mexican to be the bastardized cusisine served by New Yorker & Cream Centre (my visit here) which consists of heavy tomato gravies and lots of beans and cheese, i will be the first to admit that these dishes have a unique and enjoyable taste of their own but are not a patch on the real thing.

The Mexican menu is the only one in the country which can be considered authentic although it is not very expansive. Even then, there is plenty of for everyone to choose from.

The salsa's again were more on the Mexican market eatery than the tangy masala type we are served most places.

The taco was pretty awesome, served with veggies and green beans and salsa, since its not exactly a native mexican dish, there was def an effort in bringing some authentic flavor to it, on the bottom was a little bit of mashed potato (awesome)

The enchilada was again, pretty amazing, the outsides were very different with the tomato and beans seeping out to that section, however once you dig in towards the centre it gets better and better. The black bean rice was great, the beans were not refried and were gravier but def tasted amazing. I would have avoided the less than stellar salad (though amazingly served with Ranch dressing)

The potatos were interesting, very indian in their taste and texture but yet different, they came with a side of salsa different to the one served as table salsa. Interesting.

Overall : Well, overall i was pretty happy getting any of this stuff in this country and have resolved to become a regular. Chef Bansi, who i spoke with has spent years in Mexico and picked up his skills the right way.

He mentioned they were going to introduce some Tex-Mex variations by August, he also reiterated my point that people in India know Mexican as beans and heavy cheese and tomato sauce, the Taj is trying to change that with this endeavour (Wasabi is another commendable venture on the Sushi front)

The service is Taj, which means it was impeccable.

My only complaints being that they should offer larger sides of rice and beans, its how the sides are served in the US anyway. Also come on, give us some tortilla and salsa as munchies from the get go and not have us order it (350 for tortilla, 150 for salsa) no self respecting Mexican restaurant would charge for chips n salsa....

Also, introduce some other Mexican beers other than Coronia (Dox Equis or XX)

Cant wait to go back..

Food : 9/10
Service : 9/10
Damage : 2500

Taj Mahal Hotel
Apollo Bunder
Colaba, Mumbai

Saturday, July 18, 2009


Rest : Busaba
Meal : Lunch
Loc : Colaba, Next to Indigo & Cotton World

Lulu covered this in her blog first.

Busaba has been around forever but i have never really taken up the place other than for the odd drink. It was never big enough or lounge enough to become a regular bar and because of that i (regrettably) never dined there.

Busaba offers a quirky mix of near and far Eastern delicacies without being partial to anyone particular region as city restaurants are want to do (usually Chinese as its probably the most popular cuisine in its Indian or more authentic version) id like to see them tackle Malaysian too.

The A La Carte menu is on the expensive side, a meal for two without drinks would probably run about 1700-2000. However they offer a very value for money Crunch Lunch which is 350 and offers 2 salads, 3 appetizers, 3 entrees, noodles and rice, 2 desserts. All of it on the authentic rather than Indianized side (which is why the prices might be relatively higher)

The place is a smallish 40 seater on the first floor while the ground floor is a bar/lounge which could be better used for dining. The decor is showing its age but works.

Started off with a decent iced tea.

There was a glass noodle salad with peppers which was pretty good, the sushi was excellent, the sesame potato on toast was mind bogglingly melt in your mouth good. The gado gado is some stir fried veggies with tofu in a little bowl and it too was excellent. The cold Vietnamese spring roll was average.

The Masaman pak was fantastic, mushrooms and stir fried veggies cooked in wine were okay. there was another entree which i cant recall by name but i do recall that it was way too spicy. The rice was okay and the noodles were fairly average (they should really come up with better noodles)

Fairly average chocolate thingy.

Blueberry mousse, would have worked if it was colder.. it just tasted wrong at room temperature.

Overall : They served some fantastic appetizers, the mains again were inconsistent but they have some serious potential. However they need to work on their PR and table service. We were 2 of 6 people there at 2pm which is sad as they really do deserve a shot.

The service was quite lame, it took them forever to pick up used dishes and silver ware, the major domo kept shouting on the phone to replenish the buffet which could be done quietly out of earshot of patrons. A big no no that at ANY restaurant let alone one which charges such prices.. or maybe they figured it was the cheap lunchers, they deserved the drab effort.

A good idea would be to make it a sit down 3-5 course meal, cut out the buffet and maybe raise prices by say 100-150 bucks which would turn the thing around (but would suck for me coz i like it this way)

Either way, the lunch is tremendous value for money as well as almost brilliant... Must Have! i know i will again.

Food : 8/10
Service : 6/10
Damage : 800

4 Mandlik Road
Colaba, Mumbai
22043769, 22043779, 22043772

Thursday, July 02, 2009

Kebab Korner

Rest: Kebab Korner
Loc : The Intercontinental, Marine Drive
Meal : Dinner

Kebab corner is a place i have been planning on visiting but just never got around to. Part of it has to do with the deplorable Corleone next door which turned me off the Intercontinental for quite some time.
The food is mostly North Indian and kebabs which is apparent from the name. A whole bunch of restaurants under the 5 star chains do similar and comparable food.

KK is a relatively smaller in size when compared to Namak at Sahara Star or the monster that is Kebabs n Kurries at the ITC. However they make up for it with a brilliant, modern decor and a pretty classy ambiance.

we avoided starters and went in straight for the main course which was the Paneer Lababdar, Paneer in a tomato gravy, sweetish, sourish. Very good.

The Dal Makhani was exactly how it should be, the naan i was not impressed with.

The Biryani was average, dissapointing as it is their signature dish.

the dessert was Kulfi which was also okay.

Overall, the ambiance is brilliant and the food is decent but needs to climb another notch to be good enough to compare with the likes of Namak, Saffron, Kebabs n Kurries.

The service is friendly and attentive however i didnt like being railroaded into a bottle of water. I was never given an option to choose tap water, didnt argue as i get bottled water when i eat out in the monsoon.

Food : 7/10
Service : 8/10
Damage 2200 for two without drinks

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