Rest : Veda
Meal : Dinner
Loc : Level 2, Palladium Phoenix Mills, Lower Parel.
Whats up folks? Been absent for a while, was busy with the highly complicated post production for my film (www.ashokathehero.in.com) it is set to release n 7th Jan under the Springboard Films banner (PVR Pictures) More on that later.
Have a few reviews lined up in the meantime, the first one being Veda, Rohit Bal's new restaurant in Bombay. My experience with Rohit Bal has been a jacket i bought many years ago and to be honest, it was a good jacket although the price was way too high, i always chalked it down to a moment of weakness.
When i heard he was setting up a restaurant in Bombay, i was pretty skeptical. The fact that it is in a mall, was a major reason why i delayed going there. Although i promised myself that when i do walk in it would be with an open mind though i had fairly low expectations.
I reckoned, what would L'Enfant terrible Rohit Bal know about food. In my opinion it was just a commercialization of his brand.
Prepare to be amazed right from when you walk in. The place has decor like no other, its Indian but not out of the box Indian as you would expect from a Delhi restaurant nor is it out of the box fine dine like the Noodle Bar and its ilk. This one is quite something. Red Chandeliers, blue ceilings, leather high chairs, velvety couches. The bar is something to behold, a bas relief of leaves painted in gold.
Its definitely a very different take on designing with Indian motifs. More a plush lounge feel than a simple restaurant. In fact, if the Mughals were to design their harem today, they would probably hire Rohit Bal to design it. The seating is comfortable and spaced far enough apart for privacy.
As i mentioned before, the bar is just stunning to look at, the staff behind the counter seem fairly capable too. They got the wife a strawberry cocktail, cant remember what it was it strong. Great for a date :)
The orange caiprioshka mocktail i had (was driving) was not bad at all, load of ice though.
The starters, we got the salad of aloo which was essentially the aloo chat, this one was the highlight, possibly the best aloo chat i have ever had, at home, at a restaurant, in Bombay or Delhi.. just brilliant. The wife, a Delhi belle, agreed too. There were two kinds of paneer in the paneer duo, both not bad at all.
A surprise was their sauces, 7 of them made with some really interesting ingredients. I wont tell you which but some of them will blow you away. See if you can guess which is which whilst you are there.
they serve potato chips served with some fried lotus stems as well, makes a good companion with drinks but wouldn't call it an appetizer.
Another paneer was done Chinese style, a toss up between manchurian and schezwan, probably kung pao as it was sweetish. Not bad but did not fit with the Indian motif. There was also a kebab which was dry (they are always dry) and a tandoori cauliflower which was excellent. Having a pineapple in there was interesting and worked somewhat.
Another one of the sauces, the have created but don't serve in the line up is the tomato with garlic. Very enjoyable with papad and the appetizers.
Another must have is their spinach chaat, instead of a papdi this comes on spinach. They brought 2 portions by mistake and i sent one back before tasting it. Stupidest thing i did all day probably and immediately regretted it.
The main courses after this much food were a Aloo kofta thing, which was filled with mashed potato and cheese. Not bad but a trifle heavy. The paneer was like a kadai paneer but without the gravy, spicy. I don't usually have entrees made with spinach and therefore avoided it. Which brings us to the dal. Boy, it was really out there, superb is the word, rightly listed as a must have.
The Biryani was not bad, the raita was served around it, which was very different from the usual.
The phirnee, the wife loved it, having never had it before (somehow) she ate the whole thing. I got in a spoonful and it was good.
The Kulfi was by far the best dessert hands down. Not too sweet but with a dash of rose syrup, excellent. I need to get more Kulfi for dessert but Indian food does not lend itself to reaching a point where dessert can be ordered.
Overall, the place is excessive but still attractive in its decor and ambiance, very upscale but the pricing is just right, not too expensive but not cheap either.
My main gripe would be that if it were better located, it could easily be a spot to have a drink after work or a cozy dinner. Secondly, the menu though good is actually limited, i.e. they could easily come up with another page or two overall. They have done well so far, no harm in trying out a thing or two in addition.
The main staff is friendly and competent, the underlings need a little more training.
The food is imaginative with modern touches yet maintains plenty of old favourites and does them well.
Damage (around 5000 but a meal for two without drinks should be about 2200)