Tuesday, August 30, 2011

Moshe - Phoenix Mills

Rest : Moshe
Meal : Lunch
Loc : Ground Floor, Palladium, Phoenix Mills

Once upon a time Moshe used to be a stellar name, the food was good and getting tables was difficult. Then came popularity and then all of a sudden there were little Cafe Moshe's springing up everywhere, some good and some absolutely dreadful. Even the signature restaurant at Cuffe Parade has gone down several notches.

Anyway, i was in Phoenix Mills to pick up my car and walked across the Palladium floor and spotted the familiar Moshe sign. Intrigued we took up a table and sat down. Its actually not a restaurant but a small space where the food is prepped and the seating is spread around the large shopping floor.

Despite being in a shopping mall, its actually quite cozy and the tables are very well spaced out, so full marks for ambiance. Although i am pretty sure it would be horrible if Palladium was popular.

The menu is a familiar blend of salads, soups, sandwiches and they also have pizzas in there now, which i have not seen em do before.

They have a new addition, the hummus bowl, this is a lot like Hummus Brothers in the UK and elsewhere, you choose a bowl of hummus add a topping and get a side of pita with it. Whats interesting with Moshe's is the selection of toppings. You have scrambled eggs or falafal, or stir fried greens which i chose. This is actually a dish i have had sans the hummus at Cafe Basilico, where its served with Hummus. Weirdly it actually work all right with hummus though a bit on the spicy side.

The chocolate chip pancakes with cinnamon and powdered sugar. For some reason they did not taste very fresh, maybe the batter was old or they were pre-plated. Not sure, they weren't bad but you always hope your pancakes (or anything else for that matter) are fresh. Also, the honey and the maple syrup tasted and looked the same which was pretty disconcerting.

This was the disgusting fruit butter served alongside the pancakes. Avoid at all costs.

Overall, the ambiance is surprisingly not bad, despite being on the floor of a mall, the tables well spaced out and comfortable. The menu too has some new additions, so there is plenty to try. They do need to fix some things though, hopefully they will get around to it.

Service is relatively slow and clunky.

Food : 6/10
Service : 6/10
Damage : 650 for 2.

Thursday, August 18, 2011


Rest : Sanchos
Meal : Dinner
Loc : Bandra, Linking Road, Near Citywalk.

I have long lamented(read) the absence of Mexican, or more accurately Tex-Mex cuisine in Bombay. I was very happy when Starboard introduced a Mexican menu, although on the more authentic side, it was still a welcome addition. Sammy Sosa was a decent effort but just way too far, Taco Fresco went down hill very fast.

So imagine my joy when i heard Sancho's was finally opening its doors in Bandra, i had been to their Delhi outlet and had totally loved it (read) Although they have been open for a while, its been difficult to get out to Bandra for a meal.

The ambiance of the place is part cantina, part restaurant by committee, a little more character would have made the space more interesting, however they have thankfully avoided the kitsch unlike Sammy Sosa.

The menu is more or less standard of what you would expect at a Mexican eatery, more paneer than i would like but then this is India, paneer is everywhere. The chips and salsa, i think should be free because that way one does not have to feel bad when the chips are tasteless and the salsa all fire and no flavour.

The Burrito was brilliant, just about perfect, an ideal tex mex version perfect for the Indian palate.

The hard shell tacos were not bad, not great either but just didnt hit the mark.

the bean and cheese enchiladas were a disaster, a hodge podge of veggies, beans cheese and a tomato sauce, really wasnt going anywhere this one. i also think this one has been localised too much, there really is no reason to have it drowning in sauce.

the sides we had were mexican rice which was way too dry, perhaps microwaved after being cooked, the refried beans too were way below par. Maybe its because we dont use lard in India.

Overall, i think the ambiance is decent but the food really has some way to go before its really there. The Burrito was great but all the other dishes fell flat,really needs to be a slight rejig with the way the dishes were prepped. Perhaps a tip or two from their Delhi branch.Also with the sides, they need to experiment some more, throw in some mex style mashed potato as well, add variety.

Service was friendly and pretty quick, which means lots of food is pre-prepared and heated which shows.

Food : 6/10
Service : 8/10
Damage : 2300 for 3 without drinks

Wednesday, August 03, 2011

Kobe Sizzlers

Rest:Kobe Sizzlers
Meal : Dinner
Loc : Near Chowpatty

The Indian interpretation of Teppanyaki has been popularized by restaurants such as Yokos, Fountain Sizzler and almost a lot of other restaurants have a sizzler or two on their menu. Kobe Sizzlers or Kobe's as we call it, has been around forever, i remember going there as a kid eons ago. Although the name conjures up images of Kobe steaks, its really not that ambitious a place. Not much has changed in and around the restaurant, getting a parking around there is still as difficult as it used to be.

Rocky Aoki (father of Sin City star Devon Aoki) is largely credited with bringing Teppanyaki cooking to the masses in the US through his Benihana change. At Benihana the chef cooks the meal at a large iron 'teppanyaki' table, the chefs would put on a little show, playing with knives, talking fast, the accent was on entertainment and showmanship rather than just the food.

In India, the show is brought to your table, the food is cooked and set up on a wooden platter which is in turn placed on a piping hot iron skillet. Noise and steam permeate as the food is brought out. Almost always all eyes are on the dish and they follow it to the respective table.

Kobe has long been known as the original although plenty of options have arrived, Kobe's has also been aggressive in franchising and now have locations nationwide. The present location, the first one as far as i can remember has not changed much in two decades. tightly packed tables sit across a split level setting. The decor seems like it hasnt changed much since 1987 and its a fairly casual place.

While they are known for their sizzlers, they also offer a wide selection of sides and breakfast like dishes. Their beans on toast were possibly the best i have ever had anywhere. A pity the server said the chilli cheese toast (one of my fav things to nosh on) would take atleast 20 mins.

The sizzler itself is a completely vanilla dish and can be customized to fit into any particular cuisine if required. Add noodles and a Chinese sauce and its Chinese, throw in some spaghetti and meatballs and voila its Italian. Each restaurant does their own quirky combo, Kobe's has a bunch, the basics are grilled veggis, fries or mashed potato, you chose a protein or mushrooms or paneer (cottage cheese) then you a pick a sauce. All of this is slapped together and presented.

Honestly, i dont think i have ever had a really good sizzler, its always a bit of a cluster **** with way too much thrown in to give it heft, sauces are never tasty and there is a rush in the whole thing because it needs to be cooked quick and then eaten quick. There is nothing worse than a cold sizzler.

Overall, service was quick but the ambiance was stale. The food was way below average although i would go back in a heartbeat for the beans on toast.

A sizzler roughly costs between 300-400 and is def not value for money.

Food : 5/10
Service : 6/10
Damage : 1500
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