When the famed South Mumbai rooftop restaurant, best known for its harbour view comes to suburbs, one wonders if its possible to re-create the magical ambience. Located in an unassuming, dark lane on Link Road with construction all around, one is almost convinced about the opposite; only till one takes the elevator to the third floor and is transported to a Moroccan world replete with white sand, white walls, cosy canopies and a gushing fountain. You opt for a cane seating right opposite the fountain. With just the right lighting, some Sheesha in the air, East European fusion music playing in the background and white sands to sink your feet in, it does help you forget the two-hour long evening commute from Matunga to Andheri.
However, for those who have been to the Colaba outlet, theres no comparing the view. For if you do look beyond the beautiful setting and canopy drapes, giant under constructions jutting out into the vastness of the suburban sky instantly remind you what a sorry world it is outside this East European heaven. But for those with easier access to the suburbs, this ones definitely a winner with its theme. The only hitch being the lack of breeze, especially in the month of May, even though each table has been quipped with a wall fan. You're more than happy to avoid the afternoon sun, as the place is open only for dinner.
Moving on to the service, the waiters are not exactly familiar with the menu, but are courteous, prompt and believe in checking with their manager. So when you ask them for a request thats off the menu (Pudina Paratha), they are quick to inform its not available. Whats more, the manager makes up for the lack of his waiters knowledge by well explaining the difference between Reshmi Parathas and Laccha Parathas to your friend whos no expert on Indian breads.
After going through the quite extensive menu, especially the non-vegetarian section, you settle down for Chicken Papad Rolls as starters and a Nawabi Tarkari (vegetables in cashew gravy) for the main course. You save the hookah (reasonably priced at Rs.300 considering theres no time limit and you can smoke and gaze at the stars until 1.30 AM) for another day when your hunger pangs are under better control.
With the restaurant being little occupied and most guests settling for hookah, you would expect your food to arrive in a jiffy. But just like the music, the orders flow here at a relaxed pace. So if you are really hungry make sure you order right upon arrival and press for quick service. Over weekends, go at your own risk.
Nevertheless, the food doesnt make you regret the wait. Crunchy, spicy and just the right balance of chopped veggies to go with the chicken pieces, the Chicken Papad Rolls @ Rs.220 are heavenly. With six decent sized rolls, the quantity suffices for two and perhaps even three. While both the Reshmi and Methi Parathas are soft and not bearing the slightest traces of oil or ghee, the portions are nothing to rave about. On the bright side, the prices (Rs.30 for the Methi Paratha and Rs.55 for the Reshmi Paratha), justify the sizes. The Nawabi Tarkari again is smooth and though done in cashew gravy, is not sweet but just creamy enough to compliment the taste of finely chopped vegetables.
The only bit of disappointment comes in the form of the dessert which fails to leave a lingering aftertaste. After much contemplation over Rabdi and Dark Chocolate Mud Pie priced at Rs. 120. What arrives is a portion thats appealing with loads of Dark Chocolate Sauce but just not enough cake for two. With no dearth of dessert shops in the neighbourhood, you decide to wrap up the beautiful evening right then to avoid further damage to your wallet.
PS: We did not encounter any mosquitoes in spite of no coils until 10:00 PM!
(burrp! reviews anonymously and pays for all its meals)