Sunday, May 22, 2011

The Table

Rest : The Table
Loc : Colaba
Meal : Dinner
Company : Ze Wife & Mr.Patel

Having been in Europe for the best part of a month i was really looking forward to getting back to the dining scene in Bombay. One of the restaurants i was hoping to visit was The Table and the opportunity arose quite quickly.

My friend Mr.Patel, got a crazy ass salary bump and decided to treat us to dinner (or we sort of forced him into it, i cant quite remember) and we settled on Table. Table is located next to Indigo deli and across the street from the atrocious Le Pain du Quotodien.

The restaurant has a terrific ambiance which is testament to the radical changes taking place in the Indian restaurant scene. The ambiance seems formal but relaxed, its a good choice for an intimate dinner and less suitable for a loud night out with the boys.

The menu is European, with some original dishes constructed from an eclectic mix of ingredients. Additionally, the menu is severely limited and would be bolstered by daily specials.

We picked a snack from their snack section, a black olive and Parmesan breadsticks. Not bad, they need to be served with a dip or some sort of sauce.

Our appetizers began with baby eggplant and baba ganoush which had a center of feta and some lavash. A little sweeter than i would have liked, the feta worked to dial the sweetness down but overall it was pretty average.

Baby tomatoes in a sweetish sauce which i cant recall, not bad. But again just to sweet.

White asparagus in a lemon vinaigrette, the dish comes with an egg which i skipped. Not bad.

a peachy mango monstrosity which the wife ordered. there was a black currant mojito too which i didn't mind. They don't serve alcohol only wine and mocktails.

Rigatonic in a Porcini Bolognese - the dish is not bad but you need to augment it with lots of grated Parmesan and black pepper. Not too bad but not great either.

chick pea cube in for the life of me a sauce i cant recall. completely average.

Spinach and four cheese cannelloni in a marinara sauce, bland by itself but worked okay with the marinara sauce. not too bad.

souffled cheesecake. wasted.

molten chocolate with some ice cream which looked like a goat testicle (as mr.Patel observed)

Overall, the ambiance is great, the location nice and they serve wines by the half glass for those interested. The selection is fairly mixed with very little interesting picks.

The food overall, has one strength the ingredients seem fresh and that really elevates the dishes but even then, most of the food is average at best.

One of the things that turned me off was that the food arrived almost immediately which means it was kept prepared and plated before serving. I reckon if they take a little time and sort out their prep times, it will only help.

The dishes are either original or old fav's and its always good to see someone try things out. However, they have a long way to go in the taste department. Too much going and it ultimately takes you nowhere.

Service is not too bad, i find it weird that someone comes by with a giant basked of bread and asks you to pick a kind. I would prefer a basket that sits on my table.

A note : the restaurant is insanely expensive, for a stand alone restaurant which serves only average food, we ended up with a check for 7000 for 3 of us and we had no wine.

While originality is nice , a Rigatoni @ 750 is just way too high a price for what's at best an average dish with little imagination.

One can get a much much better meal for half the price by driving less than 5 mins in almost any direction. I think ill avoid a second visit.

Food : 6/10
Service : 7/10
Damage:7000 for 3 without alcohol..

Tuesday, May 17, 2011

Czech it out - Prague

Hiya guys. Thanks for all the emails folks, i am back in town and will start updating the blog as soon as i can. The reason i have been MIA is because over the last month we have had a bit of a nomadic existence spending a few weeks traveling across England and then parts of Europe.

Ill start of in no particular order with a stunning town which hasnt really made it into our popular imagination yet. Prague is the capital of Czech republic and a town which made it through WW II nearly unscathed.

The old parts of Prague are seeped in time, with cobbled roads, spires at every corner, old buildings and a soundtrack of classical music which plays throughout.
I found Prague to be a very walkable city, though we got lost a few times we ended up discovering parts of the town which were off the beaten track. We literally stumbled across the
Prague astronomical clock by getting lost in the streets and ending up in the old town square.

The smartest thing we did was choose a hotel between the Prague Castle & The Charles bridge. This way we go to spend a great deal of time on each landmark and we didnt have to waste time seeking them out.

The Charles Bridge is fantastic, its beautiful, the views are stunning too, perhaps overcrowded but that is to be expected. you meet some interesting people just walking along its length.

Prague castle is a massive complex perched atop a hill. Its been built and added to over the last century and it has only become larger and larger. However it holds little in terms of beauty except for its views and for the old cathedral in the middle of the complex.

This stunning building is like most cathedrals a work of art, walking through its dimly lit interiors automatically makes you whisper in awe.

A trumpet plays a tune to mark the passing of the hour along the towers on the Charles bridge. A fun little ceremony you can stand and watch.

The Prague food scene is grim, local cuisine is mostly bland. Lots of potato and meat but really little taste. they do serve an interesting hot, spiced red wine which is fun to try in the cold. Other than that, you can find just about any and every cuisine in the city, Italian, German, Czech, Indian vegetarian, fast food chains etc. So if you are fussy about food or a staunch vegetarian, dont worry too much.

Prague also has a small metro system which gets you from end to end with ease, its easy to navigate and use, the tickets cost between 18-23 crown (.80 cents - 1Eur) per journey. You buy the tickets from shops around.

There is also a well laid out tram system of old and new trams which cuts across the city and gets you most places very quickly. How to get tickets for the tram is yet a mystery to me.

Quick Tips For Prague -
  • 2 nights & days ought to be enough.
  • base yourself between the Charles Bridge & Prague Castle
  • Nerudova street above is a great spot to stay. All locations are walking distance from there.
  • If you use the metro buy your ticket and validate it immediately by shoving it small yellow boxes located across the entrance.
  • If you dont, you will be fined for ticket less travel.
  • There also scam inspectors walking around so insist on an ID.
  • Eat & drink away from your hotel and you will find Prague to be fairly cheap
  • The wife says do not buy shoes & bags from any retail chains, all way more expensive than Berlin or London.
  • Prague has its own currency, the Euro is acceptable but not everywhere and not for train & tram tickets.
  • Find a o% commission agent with no minimum amount. ASK FIRST.
  • Try and convert prices and you will find at times its cheaper sometimes 10% or more to pay by Euro (as it was for our hotel & tickets)
  • Do not take cabs, you WILL be ripped off. If you do, make sure they go by meter but good luck making that happen.
  • Prague is a city of music. A concert or opera is a must.
  • There is a concert in every church and prices are upto 15 Euro. Best avoid these churches.
  • Head to the Opera House. A fantastic building which has opera and concerts from 20-40 Euro done by professionals. The day we went they were showing Carmen which we had seen last year. Sigh...
  • Keep your eyes open nearly every building has a history and a famous resident. Read the plaques.
  • Follow the signs, they are in czech but you can get the hang of it quickly.

Monday, May 16, 2011

Back from vacation

Hi Guys, was on a bit of a extended vacation across England & Europe. Will update with trip stuff and some more food stuff soon. Hope all you guys are doing well.
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