From the Western Express Highway, as you make your way to the Westin Hotel, the 32-storey tower in the midst of lush greenery is an impressive sight. The new hotel that marks the entry of the Westin brand in Mumbai has 269 rooms and the usual clutch of eateries, which includes the Italian restaurant Prego.
The city has recently been dotted with hoardings of people in funny glasses and plastic noses, inviting Mumbaikars to experience the loopiness of Prego, which is positioning itself as a “fun dining” place.
The good stuff
The large trattoria-style restaurant has an outdoors section as well. Bright and cheerful in yellow, red and orange, Prego has two live food stations serving paninis, wood-fired pizzas, pasta and meat courses.
There’s an extensive wine list, but if you choose to wash down your pasta with beer, no one here will scream sacrilege.
If the antipasti set the tone for our meal, the oven-baked sea scallops wrapped in pancetta and served with asparagus, pinenuts, tomato, diced eggplant and fresh basil set the bar really high. The fresh, meaty scallops along with smoky ham made for a succulent mouthful. The rich mushroom soup was redolent with truffle oil and we couldn’t get enough of the tortellini either.
The oven-baked tortellini stuffed with smooth mortadella, spinach and mozzarella made for a dazzling dish, without being too rich or heavy.
By this time, two cocktails (rosemary green apple Martini and bitter chocolate and orange mojito) had passed through the table but there was no sign of the promised loopiness. Just as the perfectly done grilled tenderloin arrived at our table, a waiter accidentally dropped a fork and the staff started clapping.
The service staff is cheerful, friendly and wears T-shirts. The music is perky and the open kitchen adds to the casual air. There’s a “wall of fame” with photos of guests in funky masks. On our way out, after the meal had climaxed with the tiramisu and hazelnut chocolate, we posed in large plastic glasses for snaps and left the restaurant grinning.
After hearing so much about it, we were expecting some more gimmicks and felt short-changed. The other disappointment was the wood-fired pizza. The limp pizza we were served was flavourless. The smoked salmon pizza with cream cheese and mozzarella turned out to be a good idea only on paper. The mushroom risotto, though made well, was too rich and buttery. The grilled Norwegian salmon served with lentils also disappointed.
The antipasti start at Rs450, the pastas at Rs650, the meat and seafood course is priced at Rs750-1,100.
For reservations, call 022-67361050.
— Rachana Nakra
Kidology, New Delhi
This month-old store at the DLF Promenade mall stocks clothes designed by Gaurav Gupta, Gauri and Nainika, Ritu Kumar and Malini Ramani for children up to the age of 7, besides offering mommies-to-be a chance to feel chic in maternity gear.
The good stuff
Gupta steals the show. He has experimented with plaid prints and anti-fit silhouettes for children. His is the only infant collection (age group up to 1) and includes bodysuits with appliqué cats (for girls), Rs2,990, and appliqué owls (for boys), Rs2,490, in bright reds, pinks and lime greens. These characters add a quirky touch to the outfits. His collection of plaid jackets with trousers is trendy, not outfits you are likely to find for toddlers and children elsewhere.
Traditional Ritu Kumar gear for girls includes kurtas with kalis, Rs2,990, and lehnga cholis with smart jackets. Kumar sticks to her forte and does it well.
Gauri and Nainika’s collection is not totally in line with the chic and ultra-feminine dresses they dish out for women but their “princess” collection will have many takers, especially the bright yellow daisy dress in georgette, Rs5,490.
Kidology has an in-house designer who stocks at lower price points (blouses and infant bodysuits start at Rs1,200). The store also stocks accessories such as the lap tray (a tray on a soft bean bag-like cushion, Rs2,990), which doubles up as a breakfast table or a laptop table for pregnant women.
The store has a limited furniture collection on display and the store representatives say the surface coating they use for children’s furniture has no lead and is non-toxic.
The maternity outfits are buried at the back and not displayed in a way women can access easily. The number of designs per designer is limited to five or six options per season. Unless you are supremely label-conscious and adamant about dressing your child in a Ritu Kumar, for example, you will find the store’s collection limited. Perhaps it is not easy to get A-list designers to produce more than six-eight designs per season (with two colour variations per design).
Apparel for children is priced at Rs1,200-7,500, while maternity outfits by Gupta, Ramani and Gauri and Nainika cost Rs4,500-11,000.
— Seema Chowdhry