Last year saw the introduction of several spanking new restaurants. We tell you which ones are worth visiting in 2013
W e whole heartedly agree with George Bernard Shaw’s opinion about food. He said, “There is no sincerer love than the love of food,” and this, for a lot of gastronomy lovers like us, holds true. The past year saw many eateries, cafés and fine dining restaurants popping up in various parts of the city. We sniffed them out and visited with our choosy tongues in tow, to give you their pros and cons in a nutshell. While some of them were beyond reproach, some failed to leave a lasting impression. We bring you a gastronomical roundup of the restaurants that left us bewitched... and how!
Fine dining restaurant Cesky by Christian Cilia was easily one of the best restaurants we’ve ever been to and it shone through the pack of fine dining spots in 2012. Located in Powai, it may not be the easiest place to get to, but it’s definitely worth the travel. At Rs 7,000 a meal, it may seem steep, but the focus on food, exclusive ambiance and flawless service were all a big hit when we visited. We recommended it to other people and the seven course, set meal didn’t fail to disappoint the couple on a date or ladies looking for a quiet dinner. The Maltese cuisine is indulgent to say the least and we’re not going overboard when we rave about the delectable Goat Cheese Mousse or the Torchon of Foie Gras that we were served. Whether your set meal includes scallops, veal, risotto or sorbet, be prepared to eat like a king when you’re here. Alcohol isn’t included in the price, which was disappointing, but the cookies, chocolate and coffee you will be offered to conclude the delicious fare and the great service made it a restaurant that left a lasting impression. With Valentine’s Day coming up, you should start saving if you are looking to take your sweetheart out for a romantic dinner. Although, beware of the food making you forget your date!
Meal for two Rs 7,000
Where Meluha the Fern, Hirandandani Gardens, Powai
Contact 26002223/ 26
36 OAK & BARLEY
A restaurant is only as good as its follow-up visit and that’s where 36 Oak & Barley took the cake. When we visited it in early 2012 for our review, we were shocked at how prompt the service was, how easy on the eyes the décor was and how even though the menu was a bit undefined and chaotic, every dish was delectable. So, we visited again, to make sure the review hadn’t been a one-off. And through the year, the food has been consistently good, they still made a heady, delicious white spirit mix called Long Shot (Rs 550) and service is still very cheery. Most restaurants tend to get a little disheveled after a while, but the paint is not peeling and the bathroom is polished and clean, even almost a year later. Try the steak and salads and don’t skip the fondue with crusty brun paav (Rs 450). We loved the Arugula & Goat Cheese Salad (Rs 275), Tenderloin Steak (Rs 500) and the popular Vanilla & Berry Panna Cotta (Rs 300). Desserts won’t disappoint dessert lovers and they regularly have themed menus, specials and discounts that make visiting the restaurant more fun.
Meal for two Rs 2,000
Where Kemps Corner, Near August Kranti Maidan
First of all, there is a dearth of good pan vegetarian restaurants. Secondly, every other restaurant that pops up in the city has international cuisine on offer. That’s the prime reason Rajadhani Rasovara made it to our list. But, why did we fall in love with the restaurant? It’s because the combination of finger-licking traditional Indian cuisine, royal ambience, impeccable service and remarkable Indian ethos, is rare to see in the bustling city of Mumbai. The fine-dine thali restaurant gives you the option to choose from the various thali spreads on offer or individual items from their menu. We fell in love with their Rabdi Malpua, Dal Baati Churma, Chaat, Khichdi and garlic chutney. The unlimited thali has a whopping 36 food items on offer and they conclude your meals by offering you a paan shot!
Meal for two On weekdays, the lunch thali and dinner thali are priced at Rs 449 and Rs 549 respectively and on weekends it is for Rs 549
Where 3rd Floor, Palladium, Phoenix Mills, Lower Parel
Ellipsis finds a spot on our list because it’s unique. And when we say unique, we mean it in every sense of the term. From offbeat interiors to dishes that you wouldn’t have tasted before, Ellipsis will offer you an experience that you won't forget... we haven’t! The cuisine at the restaurant is modern-American and they follow a produce based menu. What that means is that the daily menu is decided on the quality of the fresh produce available to them. However, there are mostly minor changes, maybe an ingredient or two, so you can expect most of the dishes to be present on the menu. For vegetarians, their Gnocchi (Rs 750) is a must-try. For non-vegetarians, the Fried Chicken with Waffles (Rs 900) and Snapper in Cajun spices (Rs 900) are simply to die for. It is not just the food that is different, even the presentation is out of the ordinary. The cocktails at Ellipsis are again something that will add to your overall experience. They are fresh and mixed well enough to justify their prices. We also like the fact that they have introduced special hours every day wherein they offer discounts on cocktails. We said it at the time we reviewed the eatery and we’ll say it again — visit Ellipsis at least once. It’s an experience that should not be missed out on.
Meal for two Rs 4,000 (with alcohol)
Where B-1 Amarchand Mansion, 16 Madame Cama Road, Churchgate
This fine dining restaurant and lounge has one of the most enviable locations for a city like ours, that is, a rooftop. Just that is enough to make you head to this restaurant. But, Apicius does not take its location for granted and a taste of their Continental and Italian dishes proves that to you. The dishes are not very different, in the sense that it’s not like you won’t find them anywhere else. However, the quality of their food is something that isn’t as easily found. Whether you are sitting in the quieter fine dining section or the party-like lounge area, the service and even a part of the menu adapts to suit the mood. The Mezze Platter (Rs 460), Samak Hara (pan fried salmon, Rs 600), Fussili Crema Di Pesto (a delicious, subtly flavoured spiral pasta with cheese dish, Rs 400) are some of the must-try dishes. Also, don’t skip the Caplucino Mushroom, which is a gastronomical experience that you won’t easily forget. Apicius ensures that you get your money’s worth. The friendly service, lip-smacking food and not to forget, their delicious cocktails work together to create a memorable evening.
Meal for two Rs 2,000
Where Bluewave building, Off Link Road, Opposite Bora Bora, Andheri (W)
It was love at first sight for us at The Beachcomber. If you love to experiment with new drinks, The Beachcomber is paradise. From interesting twists to your regular cocktails to inventing new cocktails with their in-house mixes, masalas and syrups, you’re sure to be in high spirits here. Our favourites were the Millionaire Martini (Rs 700), the Mango & Rosemary Mojito (Rs 500) and the Double Espresso Martini (Rs 500) which stands out. Their delicious, one-of-a-kind cocktails will leave you pining for more. Their starter offerings are great as well. You can accompany your drink with their Chicken Kebab Platter (Rs 1,050). We’d recommend sitting at their bar and watching the bartender work his magic as he concocts yummy drinks for you. The entire process is quite fascinating. The best part — though the bar is enclosed, you can sit by the pool and sip on your drinks while staring into the mesmerising Arabian Sea.
Meal for two Rs 2000
Where 39, Sun-n-Sand Hotel, Juhu
The reason this restaurant is on our list is because of their great food, which is not heavy on the pocket. A meal here is superlative and the price you pay just makes the experience all the more better. Since it is located in the heart of Bandra, it even works as a quick lunch option. They serve wine and sangrias with food, which can perfectly set the mood right for the evening. Most of the food here is great, especially the dumplings and the meal options. Try the cold black coffee as well, which is excellent. The must-try recipes are Spinach and cottage cheese dumpling, Shitake mushroom and water chestnut dumpling and the stir fry options.
Meal for two Rs 1,000
Where 4, Carlton Court, Turner Pali Road Junction, Bandra (W)
SMOKE HOUSE DELI
It’s a perfect combination of heavenly food, soothing environment and great service. Located in the bustling courtyard of Phoenix Mills, Smoke House Deli is a wide contrast to its surroundings. The all-white interiors, with vintage props that adorn the nooks and corners of the restaurant, provide an edge and individuality to the place. Gramophone, typewriters and antique vases, all painted in white, give this restaurant a spacious and sophisticated look. Their menu is a lavish spread of Continental and Mediterranean cuisine and an array of wines and beers from across the globe. While their salads are crunchy and fresh, the Lemon & Dill Cambodian Basa (Rs 550) is what won us over. Also, don’t miss their Philly & Plum Cheesecake (Rs 190). Even the servers and attendants are quite friendly and helpful. And we liked the fact that the quantities are large enough to make your wallet not feel bad for itself.
Meal for two Rs 2,000 (without alcohol)
Where Phoenix Mills Compound, Senapati Bapat Marg, Lower Parel