Wednesday, September 15, 2010

California Pizza Kitchen

Rest : California Pizza Kitchen
Meal : Between lunch & dinner
Loc : Bandra Kurla.

We were entering Bandra Kurla for a meeting when we saw the CPK sign and decided while driving to check it out if they were going to be serving at the awkward dining hour of 5.30 pm. They were and we walked into a pretty cool looking space, well laid out, well it, spacious, stand alone restaurants in Bombay have really been coming into their own with loads of character and style.

CPK is an American chain that specialises in California style pizzas. To quickly define it California style has developed over the last 15 years or so and the focus is on using fresh and disparate ingredients brought together to create off the league combinations. I remember having guacomole on my pizza when i was in LA nearly a decade ago (not as bad as it sounds)

Although with a Pizza in the name, they serve some mexican inspired dishes as well as some pasta alternatives. the largest selection is however their pizza.

the lemonade was not half bad.

the platter we got was supposed to have tortilla, pita, salsa, a pesto sauce and guacamole. However the guacamole was not available (wtf) Now to be honest, this was a little ridiculous. the salsa was average, the pesto was just bland. we brought it to their notice but were told thats how it is (how is that possible? the chef is so dumb he made it bland?)

keeping the spirit of California in mind we got the greek which really sucked. if it were real fresh it may have worked on some level however it was just plain old boring, no real taste to it, despite the feta it did not work. the wife insisted on it, i would have prefered the goat cheese with peppers. however friends of mine who were there 2 hours after me and did try other things found it to be just as bad.

since they are doing a relatively modern take on a very popular dish which has indigenous versions, i think they will have to try real hard to get the idea across. This will mean fresh ingredients and consistent dishes.

this was reasonably good. but not out of this world.

The service was okay, a little scared and it was a little frustrating to see a table with 6-7 chefs sitting on it and no one to talk to us about it. I hope things improve because people will travel to its weird location once, its just way out in the boonies to be tried again after a bad meal.

Food : 4/10
Service : 4/10
Damage : 1500

As an aside, have been to two modernesque restaurants and have been clearly dissapointed. Not a traditionalist by any means but i have found the execution to be seriously wanting. Am hoping to get to Zia sometime in the next few weeks, should be the ultimate test.

Saturday, September 11, 2010

Koh by Ian Kittachai

Rest: Koh by Ian Kittachai
Meal : Dinner
Loc : Intercontinental @ Marine Drive

Koh the signature restaurant of well known Thai purveyor Ian Kittichai opened its doors recently. I was there with reservations under restaurant week, which has been a great initiative to bring gourmet cuisine to the masses and i hope they have loads of success in the near future.

The space is set up to look unlike most Asian places which have an accent on ethnicity, Koh is very modern in its outlook yet it has a theme of the traditional running through its middle. A lot like the cuisine. The layout is a design success.

Unfortuantely, Koh was quite a dissapointment. To call it a challenger to Thai Pavilion would be extremely erroneous since it does not do what we consider traditional Thai cuisine. There is no tom yum and the focus on pad thai is also diminished. The menu is mostly the Chef''s interpretation of Thai cuisine.. i.e modern. I am all for modern cuisine but Koh falls flat. Bold

The organic Chang Mai was just bland, it did have a pleasant, cleansing effect on the palate but had no real flavour.

The corn cakes served with a side of peanut sauce, again, nothing to write home about. the taste was fairly simple with no real head or tail, the peanut sauce too didnt help.

the jasmine tea infused bean curd, freshly smoked it didnt evoke any strong flavours either. the jasmine tea flavour was very light but there was nothing else, beyond it.

while i enjoyed the bento boxesque presentation of the main course it was again, quite a dissapointment. The asparagus with chilly was interesting but everyone on the table ended up biting into the chilly which burnt our tongues.

The green curry had way too much eggplant in it and the jasmine rice was undercooked all around.

The broccoli and shitake though were above average. Since they learned that the rice was undercooked they brought out some pad thai which wasnt too great either.

The dessert platter was not too bad, the ladies seemed to love the flourless brownie while i enjoyed the choc ice cream and the orange cheesecake.

Overall, id say the restaurant needs to work out its tastes and its quality on some aspects. Undercooked rice is not acceptable. Not a single dish was memorable and i dont think modern equals bland or uninspired.

To me personally, Thai food is about heavy flavours and heat, this meal was all gas and no taste, i think ill stick to Thai Pavilion for now.

F00d : 4/10
Service : 6/10
Damage 4500 for 4 without drinks

Friday, September 03, 2010

Restaurant Week Mumbai !

Restaurant week, the glorious celebration of food that has been happening in major cities the worldover has finally made it to our shores.

From 6th September-12th September the denizens of Bombay will have access to a three course gourmet meal at 1000 per head at some of the finest restaurants in the city (Indigo, Tote, Stella, San Qi,Ko, Botticino, India Jones)

While, i love food and i love to eat out, it also gives me great joy that two people i have gotten to know over some time now Azeem Zainulbhai & Mangal Dalal are both behind this celebration of fine cuisine.

So head on to to register and make reservations. Although the website has only been open for less than 2 days, they already have a 1000 bookings.

Enjoy !

All images from Restaurwantweek India

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