Tuesday, May 11, 2010

The Jail

3rd Floor, Sindhudurga Bhawan, Above Grande Imperial Banquets, RTO Road, 4 Bungalows, Andheri (W), Mumbai. Phone: 26316100, 26316101.
Landmark: Near Kokilaben Dhirubhai Ambani Hospital.

This theme-based restaurant takes its name seriously and the detailing in the interiors is just perfect. From waiters dressed as inmates and the maitre de and other staff dressed as inspectors, to a police van, with a blinking emergency light on, parked on the side and typical jail-type chairs and tables making up the furniture. They also have ‘cell’s’ which accommodate small and large groups. Even the cover of menu card resembled a cell door :) Muted lighting adds to the effect.

After reading the reviews about the shoddy service I went expecting the worst, but was I was in for a pleasant surprise! The wait staff was polite, patient and prompt. The service was super quick, faster than any restaurant I have been to so far, and very efficient.

What we ate and drank:
Caribbean BBQ Chicken (Rs 425)
Grilled Chicken with Mushroom Sauce (Rs 425)
Spaghetti Nepolitana (Rs 330)
Grilled Fish with Mint Sauce (Rs 475)
Fresh Lime Soda (2) (Rs 80)
Fresh Lime Water (Rs 40)
Kinley Water (Rs 25)

Service Charge: 7.5%

They also have a buffet, Rs 450 per head, on the weekends.

Except for the delicious Spaghetti Nepolitana, the rest of the food tasted strictly average. The chicken in both the dishes was dry and tough and the portion size of the vegetables, and chips served with the fish, was meager. Presentation was good. The quantity was just right, for me, but if compared to the pricing, which is a bit much, it did seem like they could either increase the quantity or decrease the price a little.

The Jail is an ideal place to go with a group of friends, just to savor the unique experience of this remarkable restaurant.

Saturday, March 20, 2010


Jharna Apartments, next to Barbeque Nation, Dr Ambedkar Road, Bandra (W) Ph: 2646-5133.
They accept all cards except AmEx. Service Charge 5 %.

Cuisine: Pan-Asian
Valet Parking: Yes
Serve Alcohol: Yes

When the cuisine has the words Asian, pan-Asian cuisine to be specific to Mosate, it is but expected that you will encounter lots wood and accessories from Southeast Asia. Mosate doesn’t disappoint either, as this L-shaped restaurant works in wooden slats as partitions and statuettes from Southeast Asia studding the walls and ensconced in niches. The largely beige and brown hued restaurant is softly and beautifully lit though. I also noticed that it wasn’t noisy, in spite of being full.
The seating compromises of wooden benches and low chairs facing them, both extremely uncomfortable. A large ‘family’ table takes up one wall.

Staff and service:
Well groomed, cheerful, accommodating and really, really slow. Though we were seated immediately, and handed the menu pronto, the pace turned languorous after that. The food took a while to arrive.
Moreover I have a major quibble; the person taking our order had a heavy accent, so when he said Bangkok Chicken we heard Mango chicken and Almond Torte sounded like Onion Roll. Very confusing!

The Food:
We sorely regretted following the servers recommendations after we’d ordered;
Chicken Bangkok Style (Rs 190) Bite sized pieces of chicken and a smattering of bell peppers in a ketchupy red sauce. Passable.
Chicken Burnt Garlic Fried Rice (Rs 150) The tiniest of rice grains tossed together with bits of chicken. No evidence of Garlic, burnt or otherwise.
Chicken Khowsuey with Rice Noodle (Rs 270) tasted sweet, too milky, and too creamy. Chicken Farang Stir Fried (Rs 250) Just when I sent up a prayer of thanks, to have finally bitten into a tasty dish, at the end of my meal I bit into a piece of raw chicken. Ewww!
Fresh Lime Soda (Rs 50)

Their serving sizes are generous.

Mosate has a great location, the restaurant is roomy and tastefully done up, and their pricing is good too. However they really need to pull their socks up where the most important aspect of a restaurant, the food, is concerned and speed up their service.

Sunday, February 21, 2010

Da Vinci’s

Shop No 2A, Fatima Villa, 29th Road, Pali Naka, Bandra (W), Mumbai – 400050.Tel: 32486032/32486033

Service Charge: 10%
Serve Alcohol:Yes
Valet Parking:Yes

Tucked away in a busy bylane of Bandra, the restaurant could take a few hits and misses to get to if you aren’t familiar with the area, as the lane Da Vinci’s is situated in is a one-way/no-entry from the main road and a bit of driving around from the next lane leads you to it.

The staff, and they have quite a few of them, flit around like busy bees in spite of which the service is incredibly slow. It takes ages for you to catch a servers eyes after he’s placed the menu in front of you and is back to flitting around the place.

Looking around while you wait, you’d notice that grey and brown are the dominant shades used in the interiors of this almost rectangular shaped restaurant. A small bar and dessert counter next to the cashier greet you at the entrance. The seating is basic, and the tables and chairs very economically sized. Large disk-shaped fixtures of muted light individually placed above each table light up the restaurant.

Fortunately the servers, when they finally appear at your table, are well informed about the items on the menu and make some excellent suggestions from the same. Just as you begin to wonder if your first impression could be false, your food takes simply ages to make an appearance! When it does arrive, at last, you’re pleased to realize it is worth the wait.

The thin crust pizza, (Rs 225 + extra for toppings of choice. We chose, grilled chicken-Rs 45, onion slices-Rs 10, bell pepper- Rs 20) made from scratch, was simply divine. A bite into a steaming slice and it just melted in the mouth.

Pasta in Pesto sauce with chicken (Rs 225 + Rs 50 extra for the chicken) had the right balance of a creamy texture without being too heavy.

Pollo Steak (Rs 275) Chicken breasts in a rich brown sauce. Delicious!

Pollo E Spinachi (Rs 265) As the name should very obviously suggest, it is chicken in a delicious and creamy spinach based sauce with pasta added to it. Different and really nice!

Pollo Diavola (Rs 250) Chicken breasts in a tomato based sauce with mashed potatoes on the side. Yum!

Though each dish tasted great and was presented well, they could have been a bit more generous with the portion sizes.

Virgin Kiwi Margarita (Rs 150) Refreshing, with just the right hint of tartness from the fresh kiwis.

Virgin Cranberry Margarita (Rs 150) It was nice, but a tad too sweet for my taste.

Fresh Lime Soda (Rs 50)

Chocolate Mousse (Rs 140) A generous bowl of a really sinful mousse coated with a thick layer of chocolate on top. The perfect way to end the meal!
The dessert we ordered before the mousse tasted a bit off and the staff was gracious enough to acknowledge it before they swapped it with the mousse.

The food and drinks were really nice. Now, if they’d just spruce up their service, Da Vinci’s would be perfect!

Tuesday, February 9, 2010


29/30 Link Square Mall, Near KFC Restaurant, Bandra(W) Mumbai – 400050.
Tel: 26469010/26469040

Ever since Theobroma debuted in Colaba a few years ago, I have been hearing nothing but copious words of praise about everything edible they have on their shelves. Too lazy to make the trip to their Colaba branch I always joked that as all good things come to those who wait, I would wait for Theobroma to come to me. I guess a lot of suburbanites were wishing for the same too as Theo’s has finally opened shop in our midst in the happening area of Linking Road.

The heavenly goodies on offer are the incentives that make you come back for more.
So far, I’ve tried the;
Truffle Cake ( Eggless) ½ kg (Rs 300) When they say ‘truffle’ they mean truffle! This rich, gooey and divine cake had equal amounts of chocolate and cake, as compared to the dry cakes passed of as Truffle cake by other patisseries.
Coffee Caramel Mousse (Rs 75) This wedge of delicious perfection is a must have for coffee-lovers!
Millionaire Brownie (Rs 65) Their signature Brownie, I believe. Take a bite of the sinful layers that make up this brownie to find out why it’s so famous!

I also tried their Raspberry Cheesecake which tasted so good, it has replaced my all time favorite Blueberry Cheesecake as a favorite!

Everything I’ve tried here so far tastes a cut above from what other patisseries offer. I suspect they use top class ingredients which is why they seem to be priced a tad higher too.

The Service and staff are a real letdown though. The first time I went there the staff was too busy, placing a bucket under a dripping air-conditioned at the entrance, mopping the floor and yelling out instructions to each other, to attend to the customers. On my 2nd visit, though there was no dripping aircon, the staff, seemed totally clueless about the desserts on display. They take their own time to seat you, clear the table and get your order. I specified I would be having the pastry there, twice, and was handed a takeaway after being kept waiting for 15-20 minutes!

Though they are very polite, the staff does need to step up with their service and knowledge of the food on display. Since the Linking Road outlet just opened on the 31 of December 2009, maybe the issues are just teething troubles which will be sorted out soon, hopefully.

Monday, November 30, 2009


Hotel Jaltarang Pvt Ltd, Amrapali Shopping Centre, JVPD Scheme, V.L.M Marg, Juhu, Vile Parle (W) Mumbai – 49. Ph: 26107040.
Landmark: Next to Patio

Valet Parking: Yes

Climb up to the first floor to get there and the first thought that comes to mind is how spacious this L-shaped restaurant is. Well spaced tables give you enough privacy as well as a view of the entire restaurant from wherever you are sitting. Floor to ceiling plate glass windows allow you to look over the busy Juhu Road traffic even as they shut out the sound of it. A well-stocked bar runs along one wall and a dessert counter displays the desserts of the day. Soft lighting and comfortable seating adds to the ambience. Just wish they would invest in an air purifier to get rid of the strong odor of seafood which hangs heavily in the air.

The servers are courteous and knowledgeable and the service is extremely quick. Do follow their recommendations/suggestions from the menu, you won’t regret it. Live seafood is brought to your table for you to choose the size.

The Menu:
The menu is pretty vast, but since their specialty is seafood, it’s a good idea to stick to that.
What we ate and drank:
Pomfret Butter Pepper (Rs 600) delicate, melt-in-the-mouth! Scrumptious!
Butter Chicken (Rs 300) good
Garlic Butter Naan (Rs 50) soft and crisp at the same time. Wonderful!
Ghavne (Rs 20) I’m a fan of their rice flour dosa/pancake! Love the light and fluffy texture!
Cranberry Punch (Rs 100) tangy and tasty.
Fresh Lime Soda (Rs 40)

The quality and presentation of the food is tops and their serving sizes are pretty good as well. I’ve eaten here twice and both my meals have been simply wonderful! Will surely be going back for more!

Monday, November 23, 2009

Melting Pot

148 B, Juhu Tara Road, Juhu, Mumbai – 400-049.
Ph: 26134949 / 67834949
Landmark: Opp Hotel J. W. Marriott

Valet Parking: Yes
Reservation recommended: Yes.
The restaurant seems to be very well-liked and is always full, more so during the daytime as it is very popular with the ‘kitty-party’ crowd, so making a reservation will ensure that you don’t have to wait for a table.

The Ambience:
The décor, though eclectic, leans towards being predominantly Asian, with, gorgeous, portraits of the Buddha dotting the walls at regular intervals and a statue welcoming you opposite the main door. A mosaic border runs along the tiled floor and a bronze-hued air conditioning duct snakes along the ceiling. A seemingly well stocked bar runs along a wall. Warm lighting and comfortable furniture provide an overall elegant mood.

The Service:
Extremely polite, knowledgeable and unobtrusive. The servers, thankfully, didn’t hover around the table but were there the moment they sensed you needed them. We were glad we followed the dish suggestions the maitre d’ made. The food took a while to make its appearance at the table, but it was well worth the wait.

What we Ate and Drank:
Whole Rawas with Lemon Parsley dressing (Rs 445) recommended by the maitre d, this was the most succulent and delectable fish I’ve had in a while. An instant favorite!
Whole Rawas in Singapore dressing (Rs 445) tender fish in a great tasting dressing.
Chettinand Chicken (Rs 295) good, and spiced just right.
Appam (Rs 110) pretty good, but could be better.
Fresh Lime Soda Sweet (Rs 90)
Tiramisu (Rs 195) frankly, it didn’t taste remotely like Tiramisu should. Tasted like a regular fresh cream pastry instead.

Service Charge – 10%

Thursday, November 19, 2009

Yellow Tree Cafe

at Clove, 33rd & Ambedkar Road Junction. Bandra (W), Mumbai – 50.Ph: 26487800 / 65287800
Landmarks: Opposite Brownie Point/Sweet Bengal/ Si Branche Boutique.

The Ambience:
White-washed walls, a slanted, sunny yellow ceiling, aqua tables and white chairs make up the peaceful interiors of this restaurant. Cookbooks, novels, and little knick knacks are stacked on a shelf, and high windows let in the sunlight and shut out the sounds of the street outside. Hugging the corner of a busy Bandra street, the restaurant has ample parking available on the roads surrounding it.

The Service:
After hearing and reading stories of bungled up reservations, snooty staff and whatnot I played safe by calling up the previous day to reserve a table. We were seated immediately on arrival and, since the restaurant was empty when we got there, we even changed tables after a bit.
The staff is courteous and accommodating and if they just sped up their service a wee bit they would qualify for excellent.
I requested a dish which wasn’t on the menu, Grilled Chicken Breast with Steamed Veggies on the side, and they not only accommodated my request instantly, with a smile might I add, but rustled it up with a delicious dressing as well.

What we ate and drank:
Lemon Iced Tea (Rs 90) served in tall glass.
Basil Ravioli (Rs 255) creamy and delicious.
Grilled Chicken Breast with Steamed Vegetables (Rs 295)
Banger’s and Mash (Rs 315)
Flourless Chocolate Fudge (Rs 125) very nice and different.
Crème Brulee (Rs 125) The Crème Brulee that arrived was actually a chocolate mousse with a layer of burnt sugar on top. Though it was delicious, we were in the mood for some authentic Crème Brulee and asked to replace it with the traditional version. The Chef’s aide informed us that this was their ‘hazelnut flavored version of Crème Brulee’ before he replaced it with another dessert of choice.

Full marks to the presentation, taste, quality and quantity of all the dishes and drinks we tried.

The Menu of Yellow Tree is refreshingly different and very interesting, tempting me to go back for more, very soon.