New wine, old bottle2 min read . Updated: 09 Oct 2008, 12:40 AM IST
New wine, old bottle
New wine, old bottle
Now before you throw up your hands and say “Oh no, Not Indigo again!" hold on for a bit. It is not that we’ve actually run out of restaurants to review and have decided to re-review a few old favourites. The economy has yet to downturn enough to deter unsuspecting entrepreneurs from opening new eateries with ill-advised dreams of packed nights, high profit margins and an early retirement.
Quite the contrary. Rahul Akerkar’s venerable but always trendy eatery — Mumbai’s own Busybee once reviewed it years ago and said: “...if you have not dined there yet you are not living to eat. Sorry." — has a new dinner and dessert menu and this called for a weekend reservation at the earliest. Say what you want about the restaurant’s popularity among the swish set, but the place knows how to run a good bar and wait a good table and the menu always satisfies — albeit with varying consistency.
So will the new menu uphold the highest Akerkar standards?
The good stuff
Years of being the reviewer’s darling still hasn’t lulled Indigo into a false sense of smugness. The restaurant still boasts of excellent customer service; right from the lady on the phone when you call in for your table to the manager (cum bouncer?) who herds you to the bar while your table frees up.
Our party of four had arrived well before the second dinner seating and we whiled away time at the bar, sipping on well-made cocktails — frozen kiwi margeritas and long beach iced teas — and vaporizing away our mucus membranes on bowls of Tong Garden wasabi peas.
The carrot and lentil coconut soup with bacon sauerkraut was thick and flavourful and integrated the sweet caramel and salty bacon into the coconut very well. It set a high bar for the rest of the meal that was seldom missed.
Our buttery gnocchi starter was melt-in-the-mouth soft. And when we impatiently rushed into the main course, more delight awaited. The spicy plum-cured tandoori chicken with ajwain potato mash and ginger marmalade was superb. The chicken was cooked perfectly, the flesh cutting so cleanly — the way you see it in those glossy food books. And generous portions to match.
Besides a portion of pedestrian potato mash that accompanied the tandoori chicken, everything up to dessert was exquisite. But our dessert — chocolate plum fudge with Bailey’s chocolate mousse and Bailey’s cream, was a let-down. Perhaps it was the rich flavours that preceded it, but none of the fudge, mousse or cream registered on the palate.
And why don’t even the best restaurants warm the butter that comes with the bread basket? I softened mine over candle flame. Blame the Mojito.
A meal for four with drinks, soups, starters, main course and dessert will set you back by around Rs7,500. And dessert apart, the bill is money well spent. Call early to avoid a wait. But if you do end up waiting, gorge shamelessly on the peas.