5 Spice: straight to the guts

Some of the Bombay 'expats' who read this site - Kashi, Scarlett - are big fans of this restaurant. As are my brother and Mom in Calcutta and my in laws here. The biggest USP of 5 Spice according to me are the portions. It is a complete straw bucket experience.

This augured well this Saturday night when Kainaz and I were really hungry after four hours in the Shopper's Stop sale (surprisingly good deals). We reached home at 11 PM and ordered from 5 Spice.

A slightly dimwitted person took the order who even at one point asked me how to make crab sweet corn soup and then as I explained, the coin dropped, 'ah, sweet corn crab soup'. The order did take a while to come and we were really hungry. In fact when I called him at 11.45 PM he said that the food had left '5 minutes back'. Not the best thing to say to someone who is hungry especially when our house is literally across the road (I am talking of the Bandra 5 Spice). The food reached after a few angry calls from Kainaz and me.

But the food was worth the wait and we had built up our appetite for what followed. The sweet corn crab soup was, nice, thick, full of crabs and bereft of corn. It left a pleasant feeling in my tummy and our intense hunger began to dull. We had also ordered a 'burnt chilly chicken noodles'. 'Burnt chilly rice/ noodle is a 5 Spice speciality. It has burnt red chillies, chilly sauce, is oily and goopy and was polished off by the two of us in no time. The portion is huge and normally we would have struggled to finish it but not that night. We had also ordered a dry chilly chicken. The chicken was quite succulent. It was deep fried to the core and the taste was quite primal and lip smacking.

The three dishes cost us about Rs 350 or 9 USD.

I think what works for 5 Spice is the food here is reminiscent of the Chinese a lot of us have grown up with in the roadside carts or 'raaste ke Chinese' as they are known. The food is deep fried, greasy, oily, colourful, substantial, spicy and the flavours are simple and uncomplicated. You won't find the delicate flavours of the Mainlands, Legacies, Gardens, Aromas, Mings and such here. And the formula works as is evident from the long queues outside, the content faces inside and the happy place the two us were after dinner.

In fact I needed a bit of cooling down after the dinner and tried my luck with Baskin Robbins though it was 12 at night and they take the last order at 11.45 PM. Well luck favoured me and I was soon tucking into a tub of my favourite Pralines and cream.

Ironically we were watching a DVD of Atonement with dinner. Which is what I should I have done after this dinner of trans fat bliss.

PS The clueless chap who took our order called me the next day during lunch time to ask whether we got our food finally!



5