Sunday 25 March 2018

“We are positioning our restaurant as Italian….Pizza…Continental “- Chef Arvind

Pi Bar and Kitchen, Andheri West     2.5/5

Address:   B-12, Off New Link Road, Ghanshyam Nagar, Veera Desai Industrial Estate, Andheri West, Mumbai, Maharashtra 400102
Specialty:  Confused Italian
Type of Restaurant: All day bar and restaurant. At the time we visited, the restaurant didn’t have a liquor license.
The details above are from the restaurant/their website and are subject to change at their discretion
Price Range: 2600/- for two with one non-alcoholic beverage each. They levy a 10% service charge. Exclusive of applicable taxes and charges.

They have a smaller older outlet in Khar with seating for 20. This place seats around 70.
The interior is elegant, with wood panels in muted blues and browns. The criss-cross niches for wine bottles translate across the walls right from the entrance to the bar. They have an open kitchen and small bar area.
Life’s Good, but it’s not perfect
Starters: We started with the Dough Balls which as the name implies, were little dough balls, oven baked and served with a garlic butter. 10 pieces in a serve, it was a fairly good start to the meal, with freshly baked bread. The downside was the generous bits of raw garlic mixed through the butter. Avoid this one if you’re on a date. You get the drift.
Mains: The pizzas are available in 10” and 14”. We had the Stagioni which was a thin crust pizza with pepperoni, ham, olives in a tomato sauce base. This was the best part of the meal. Fairly generous with the toppings, the base was just right. They don’t specify if the olives you get would be green or kalamata.
Gamberi a la Limoncello comes with penne, which we got replaced by fettucine. The pasta was al dente. The sauce was creamy. That’s where the fun ended. We had precisely 4 Gamberi or prawns and no Limoncello in the sauce. Despite checking with the server, prior to placing the order, we were served a sauce minus Limoncello. The chef later clarified that this was since they have no bar license. There was an obvious lack of communication between the kitchen and the servers. It was news to our server that Limoncello is a liqueur. We had an unfortunate cherry on the cake or pasta in this case, in the form of a single strand of pickled onion. The chef said this was for garnish, to add colour to the dish. Pickled onion on a cream sauce! Taste was clearly sacrificed for what they thought was aesthetic. 
Dessert: We had a Crème brûlée, clearly a French intruder into Italian territory. We ordered this since the other desserts were either unavailable or would take an undue amount of time. This arrived rather swiftly, probably since it made its way directly from the refrigerator to our table, making no stops. Granulated sugar was used, so the crackle on the top was uneven. Excessively sweet and grainy on the palate, we couldn’t get past more than a spoon each. The chef was at a loss as to the texture and what could have gone wrong.
Drinks: They don’t have a liquor license.
Service wise, the servers are attentive but could do with a lot more food knowledge. The chef was confused. More than 90% of the menu is Italian, though they are missing classics like lasagna, ravioli and gnocchi. With the exception of the cannelloni and the tortellini, all the pasta is store bought. The menu is riddled with typos. We couldn’t help but point this out, and hope they have made corrections. Sticking out like sore thumbs were the chicken sliders with barbeque sauce, Moroccan harissa and Chimichurri. Italian cuisine has such a rich variety, what is the need to look elsewhere? The chef said that was “to be different”.   If they intend the Life of this Pi to be a long one, they desperately need a more competent staff or at the very least a consultant to educate and inform them.
Insider tips
The restaurant is inside a building, it could get a bit difficult to locate.
What to wear Anything Casual.

Friday 2 March 2018

“To eat or to drink, that is the question” - Sumo

Lord of the Drinks, Andheri     4/5

Address: B26/1, Aver Road, Veera Desai Industrial Road, Opposite VIP Plaza, Near Infintiy Mall, Off New Link Road, Andheri West, Mumbai, Maharashtra 400053

Specialty:  This is the place you go to party. Food from around the world, designed to complement drinks.
Type of Restaurant: All day bar and restaurant
The details above are from the restaurant/their website and are subject to change at their discretion
Price Range: 2500/- for two with one non-alcoholic beverage each. Exclusive of applicable taxes and charges. They levy a 10% service charge
Lord of the Drinks is spread across 10,000 sq ft , 2 floors with a bar on each floor. They also have an al fresco seating on the ground level.
Spacious is a term seldom used to describe restaurants in Mumbai. Low lighting and music that gets louder as the evening progresses, makes this the perfect place for a date or an evening out with friends.
Life’s Good, but it’s not perfect
We had a LOT to eat here, which only goes to show how good everything was
Corn & Mushroom Tart shell was as the name suggests, Corn and mushroom, in a black pepper béchamel, topped with Goat cheese and caramelized onion. Perfectly crisp short crust shells with a tasty filling.
Yellow corn & Roasted garlic Dimsum was a unique combination as far as dimsums go. This intrigued us on the menu, which is why we ordered it. Perfectly cooked dimsums, with two sauces which added flavour and zing to the dish.
Stir Fried Mixed veg was a combination of Asian veg, mildly spiced in an oriental sauce. An interesting bar snack for a vegetarian.
We found the vegetarian snacks on offer tasty despite our predisposition to non-veg. We moved onto home ground with…
Dilli Chili which is none other than the all time favorite chilli chicken done in the Delhi Chindo style. The chicken was perfectly cooked and came with a side of fried noodles for crunch.
We then had the Non-veg Tandoori Platter with a trio of Chicken Tikka, Gilafi seekh and Fish Tikka with a Kasundi Glaze. Served on skewers, the meat was cooked to perfection. Great portion size.
Three cheese baked mushroom was Mushroom in a Mornay sauce (a Béchamel sauce with grated cheese) with Cheddar and Parmesan, baked in a mashed potato ring. If you are drinking, this carb-heavy dish is something you would enjoy. Not a classic Mornay, this was enjoyable, nonetheless.

The Makhani Paneer Casserole was served with pickled onions and Laccha Paratha. A simple but rich dish, we were delighted to find a makhani sauce that was not as sweet as it tends to be.
Mutton Biryani was a recommendation we couldn’t refuse. And we were glad we didn’t. A fragrant biryani with a generous serving of mutton, falling apart and perfectly spiced.

Dessert: Paan Icecream Martini was Paan spiked Icecream with rose dust, khopra (dry dessicated coconut) , betel nut slivers, betel leaf and a thandai shot. As someone who cringes at the very thought of paan, this is the dish we’d go back for. A perfect end to the meal.
Drinks: It IS the Lord of the drinks, after all. Great selection of alcoholic and non-alcoholic beverages. Good variety of both domestic and imported. They have a quarter and bottle service on a fair number of brands.
Service wise, the servers are courteous and friendly.
Insider tips
For a watering hole, the food is phenomenal. Eat well.
What to wear: Club wear, especially if it’s a weekend or for dinner.

"We customize everything to suit the Indian palate"-Siddarth K,Sous Chef

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