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Insatiably Italian

Friday, September 21, 2012

The city may boast of more Italian restaurants than you can keep count of, but Rhea Dhanbhoora tells you why Le Mangii in Juhu is one of the few that stands out

We were almost reluctant to head down to another Italian restaurant in a city that’s already spattered with so many. But, when we heard that it was an offering from the people who gave us Mangii Ferra and Café Mangii, we couldn’t help salivating over the thought of food that is anything but run-off-the-mill. There aren’t any surprises on their menu, but the décor, in shades of wood and mango similar to its predecessors, is worth a mention. From the candle-lined wall to the oversized, intricately framed mirror and the cushion-lined bar, you slip into comfort the instant you slide into their roomy chairs.

We were seated across the two sided bar, where we could see a younger crowd getting ready to start their night with cocktails and picks from their too-good-to-be-true appetisers. Our meal started with the Guava Blossom Iced Tea (`200) and a Bubbly Sangria (`650). The iced tea was better than expected, with the real guava adding a delicious twist to the not-too-sweet tea. We weren’t fans of the sangria, so we suggest giving it a skip.

We then stuck our forks in a delicately flavoured Crab, Shrimp & Avocado Salad (`385), drizzled with a fresh lemon mustard dressing that I couldn’t get enough of. Next up was a sinful Zinfandel Rose Wine Fondue (`575), which came with delicious pesto croutons, olives, cheese and basil. The Cajun Chicken (`385) was served with very good guacamole and the Crostinis on homemade French rolls with halloumi, chopped jalapenos & olives (`325) was delicious. But, what took the cake was the Cured Norwegian Salmon (`475) on crispy crostini, smeared with cream cheese and accompanied by a spattering of capers. While my dining companion didn’t like the strong flavour, it was the best dish of the night for me.

Our main course included a delicious Rustic Lasagne (`465), which was a baked vegetable dish with creamy cheese holding the thin sheets of lasagna together.

The Stuffed Chicken Breast (`565) looked like it would be a bit of a challenge, but the chicken was so tender and the garlic mash so delicious, I couldn’t help but dig in, even though I was stuffed after the appetisers. It’s worthy to mention that the chicken at Le Mangii is unlike any other. Whatever preparation you choose, the pieces are so tender that they melt in your mouth and you won’t find a stray, stringy piece in any of the dishes.

We helped ourselves to their Lemon Cheese Pie (`245) for dessert, which was slightly heavy on gelatin, but the buttery base completely made up for it. Service at Le Mangii is as warm as their décor and helpful, but they lack a bit of co-ordination that would make it excellent. The restaurant is a great place to kickstart your weekend sitting by the bar and an even better place for a scrumptious after-work meal. Prices will set you back by a little, but they’re not exorbitant and definitely worth it for the ambiance, food and service. Do try their chicken delicacies when you visit.

Navratan Apartments, AB Nair Road, Near Juhu Post Office, Juhu
Meal for two `2,000 (without alcohol)
Alcohol served Yes
Contact 66756100

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