The second restaurant week in Mumbai Kicked off on Feb 6th this year. Having booked ourselves at a few restaurants on the restaurant week website; we landed at The Table in Colaba. Frankly we had chosen The table just because we didn’t see many other options available that day and going all the way to town seemed more eventish.
To start with, greedy as we are, the four of us (Atul, Kanu, namrata and I) decided that we would order different things and share so that each one of us could eat everything and we would end up eating as many things as possible…
Hoping that this would not lead to us being thrown out of the place (considering that all other patrons were eating politely from their individual plates), we embarked on our very delicious mission.
For starters, we ordered Roasted red beats, goat cheese, orange, mint and pine nuts, Boneless Chicken Wings, Grilled Calamari with a Vinaigrette and fresh herb salad and a mysterious Grain Salad. You have to know that the four of use frequent Indigo at Andheri, and because of the consistent quality of great food we get there, it is now the yardstick by which we were measuring. Once the appetizers at The Table came in though, we couldn’t help but remark the dishes here better! The evening suddenly took on a new tone. We had hit gold! We couldn’t believe that we hadn’t heard of this little gem before.
The roasted red beats, goat cheese, orange, mint and pine nuts – An unusual and innovative combination that worked magic. Am not a fan of red beats but this dish I could polish off anytime. Grilled Calamari with a Vinaigrette and fresh herb salad was vibrant and bursting with flavour. The salad was as tasty as the fresh calamari. Grain Salad – Yummy, wholesome goodness. (But to be honest; by this time I was too overwhelmed to do the dish justice. In comparison to the other three this faded out a bit but was lifted up by the delicious sauce served on the side.) The Boneless Chicken Wings, by far my favourite dish on the menu. We all found this to be brilliant : a deep and yet bright combination of sweet and savoury. The crunchy texture and the shape added to what each piece did to your palette. This one was so good, it was a killer to share it!
Expectations from the maincourse had skyrocketed given how amazing the food was. First to arrive was the very pink (!!) red beet rissotto with dill sour cream. (Brought back memories of my mom feeding me steamed rice mixed up with a beetroot-yoghurt mallu curry and dubbing it pink rice to try an get me to eat as a kid. Even I cant believe there was a time when I needed coaxing to EAT!! How people change. Sigh!) Back to the rissotto – this was where the experience started to dip. The risotto was not flavourful; overly cheesy and pretty boring given the expectations we had by now.
The Porcini Bolognese which came next was a slide further downhill. The mushrooms tastes like rubbery nothings
Crispy Roast Chicken with baby corn and mashed potatoes. Of all the maincourse dishes; this was probably the best. The chicken jus was flavoursome and the mashed potatoes nicely creamy. But as roast chicken dishes go; given how brilliant the initial dishes were; this was nothing unusual.
Fish and Seafood stew with garlic bread was simple and hearty. Not too much my type of dish though.We ordered the Espresso Granita and the Frangipane tart for dessert (only one each). By now we were very stuffed and the granita was plain old black coffee frozen and crushed with icecream. In the chefs defense maybe thats exactly what he intended. Just that the texture and the flavour were both lacklustre. The tart on the other hand was lovely. How lovely it was is proved by the fact that the very overstuffed four of us actually asked for another one of these! Unfortunately I was too gorged out by now to click any more pics.
On the whole, we were very glad that we had done this. While the main course was great, after the fabulous feast that the appetizers were on the eye and palate, the main dishes didn’t quite match up in taste or texture. We later heard that the Table actually aims at a Tapas style menu and perhaps that explains why the appetizers seem to be much better thought out, designed and created at every level flavour, texture, presentation. I noticed that Burrp has a very poor rating for this restaurant and the reviews seem to share some very bad experience. While I admit that we found the food to be inconsistent, for us, the stunning small plates more than made up for the lacklustre large plates and dessert.
Must try: Roasted red beats, goat cheese, orange, mint and pine nuts, Boneless Chicken Wings, Grilled Calamari with a Vinaigrette and fresh herb salad; the Tart
Avoidable: Porcini Bolognese and Beetroot rissotto
Pricing: There is a lot of talk about the menu being overpriced. On the other hand, if a group of four were to order 2 small plates and 2 large plates followed by a dessert; this the bill may have come to about 700 per head. (Call me stingy if you will but thats really a legitimate way to avoid overeating and wastage.)
Final call: Recommend you come here and try the small plates, tapas style.
On the restaurant week: The USP of the concept is that allows you to sample a variety of food at restaurants that you may not be able to otherwise afford (the 3 course meal on the restaurant week menu cost us 1000 bucks a head). I feel though, if you order prudently for a group of people you may not end up shelling out as much as you do here because of the per person pricing. The bottomline though is that this is a brilliant initiative in a city starved of affordable food events. Call me silly but there is something lovely about knowing that this a week dedicated to food… inviting you to visit restaurants unvisited, showcasing great new entrees in the food industry. The best part for me, is knowing that there are so many other people experiencing and indulging in their passion for good food at the same time all over Bombay.