Friday, September 07, 2007
'spices and flavours'
about a fortnight back, s and i decided to go out for a lunch to give gb a much-needed break. i had read a glowing review about a vegetarian restaurant at worli serving "lipsmacking appetisers and mocktails" and was eagerly looking forward to visit the place at the earliest opportunity.
when we landed there around 1pm on a sunday there was hardly anyone around excepting a bunch of four rowdy boys sitting in a corner,smoking the hookah(supari and some essence) and playing music through the cellphone speaker loudly unmindful of the others in the restaurant. the waiters were chatting with the boys and didn't even ask them to stop playing the music when we arrived. i had to put an end to the deafening noise. though tranquility prevailed for some time, i was completely put off by the lazy demeanour of the staff and their sloppy attitude. the place had been disinfected with phenoyl.the smell made me feel that we had come to a hospital and not a restaurant. we took a seat in the corner,far away from the bar and i noticed that the sofa next to ours had a torn upholstery. we looked at each other and wondered whether we had made a wrong choice. i assured s that the food will be good(rajasthani style in shuddha ghee); so let us turn a nelson's eye to the brats around and the rather poor standard of service and housekeeping.
the steward came in casually,took our orders in an inattentive and nonchalant manner and then disappeared for quite a while.we had ordered some starters and it took ages for these to arrive.and then the main course.while s settled for some biryani, i decided to be somewhat adventurous and ordered some mexican food.the food was not bad but the service and housekeeping left a bad taste in our mouths.
what a pity! excellent location.quite a large space.midpoint between suburb and downtown,could have been a nice trendy restaurant. and the cash counters would have been ringing. instead you have a dead place. in hospitality services,once you earn a bad name,you are sunk. i am sure many would have had similar experiences with this place.a mixture or shall i say a khichdi of moroccan and indian interiors.the only plus point was the food.but the minuses were so many that i would give it an overall minus rating. we had invited our daughter and son-in-law to join us. i was relieved when they called to say that they had another engagement to which they were already committed.
there is a family room or reserved section which has lowstyle seating.the centre of the table was a heavy grinding stone from rajasthan presuambly.the various artifacts and lamps did not jell at all.polished wooden sleepers from the railways have been used as base for the furniture to give it some sort of an antique look.
while leaving,i left behind my comments in the guest-book. i hope the owners take cognizance of what i have said.there is no greater dampener in a restaurant than lazy servers who make you feel unwelcome. there are many potential pluses going for the place.they could be converted to make 'spices and flavours' true to its name and a winner.
those who write reviews need to be more careful.you just can't get carried away by a few good things.the review must be balanced and objective; giving due consideration to all factors that make dining out a pleasurable experience.decor,ambience,courtesy,service,food and price point must be properly evaluated before the final marks are given. i enquired whether i could meet the chef.my question met with a blank expression from the face of the steward. we then left. a big disappointmnet to the high expectations raised by the review.