Meal : Dinner
Loc : Near Lilavati Hospital, Bandra West.
Sunday evening a bunch of friends decided to meet, since some of them were coming in from the suburbs, Bandra was the neutral venue. Originally we intended to nosh at Cafe Basilico but as i am friends with a bunch of alchies, the party wanted a change of venue.
I was a little unsure if we would be able to get a table but 9ish on a Sunday evening we walked in and were seated almost immediately at the Salt Water Cafe. Bombay does not seem to be going out in the rain.
Salt Water Cafe is a pleasant, well lit cafe on an outrageously busy street. This was my second or third visit there, the menu is very much like Moshe/Cafe Basilico/Indigo Deli they serve breakfast, sandwiches, pasta some mains and dessert.
We started off with a pitcher of Sangria (2000) a tad sweet but it went down quick. One can also get a pitcher of Margarita, certainly do regret not getting one instead of the Sangria.
The potatoes were surprisingly bland in taste. The crust was cooked nicely but there was just no flavour inside.
The bocconcini with tomato was not bad, as a salad caprese is pretty simple but its no good if the ingredients aren't fresh. Same thing here, while the cheese was certainly not stale, it wasn't super fresh either. The balsamic onion dressing was yum.
The stars of the show were the two appetizers we ordered, both served in super cool airtight glass jars. Served with impossibly thin and crunchy bread the marinated mushrooms were delicious, they had a hint of sweetness. Brilliant.
The other was the marinated feta... EVIL EVIL stuff, just couldn't stop myself from reaching into the jar again and again. Olive oil and feta, the simplest things are the most amazing.
The Lasagna came with a nice chunk of eggplant, not bad, possibly the best dish of the lot, quite hearty. This one was okay, if you want kickass Lasagna head to Tratorria at the President.
Penne in a Jalapeno cream with sun dried tomatoes. I plain and simple mis-ordered on this one. I was originally going for the mushroom cous-cous with onion stew but somehow i ended up with the Penne. It was weak and just too sour overall, couldn't get beyond that.
Ravioli was with grilled veggies was another downer. Although i didn't have more than two bites, it was just creaminess, no discernible flavour.
The brun pav with ham, was left half uneaten. Good to see a brun make an appearance in a restaurant though.
The risotto was with sun dried tomato, olives, peppers and jalapeno cream. A strong taste, much like the Sicilian risotto at Moshe but not as good. The taste of basil was overpowering but overall it was not bad but certainly not great.
The dessert were the creme brulee which was average and the flour less chocolate fudge with caramel crunch ice cream. The fudge was okay, the little berry compote drizzle was nice, the caramel crunch ice cream was butter scotch without the nuts.
Overall, the place is large and well lit the ambiance is what you would expect of popular, modern eatery.
Food wise however they have a lot of niggles to work out especially with dishes and their overall impact. The menu is imaginative, each dish sounds excellent on paper, the marinated feta/mushrooms are not only great in taste but the presentation is nice as well.
However the creativity is not being translated into strong flavours. Perhaps a slightly leaner menu might allow them to focus a little bit more.
The service was quick, friendly and prompt.
Food : 7/10
Service : 8/10
Damage : 6500 for 7 with drinks.