A biased & personal take on The Table, Colaba, Mumbai

I know that everyone and their aunts absolutely looooove The Table at Colaba.

But in my world a hundred dollar or 5,000 Rs lunch for two needs to wow me from start to finish.

It worries me when people said I didn’t order the ‘right’ dish. Or it worries me if I have to look for flashes of goodness to deal with what they call ‘post purchase dissonance’.

Now Chef Alex Sanchez of The Table doesn’t think much of Indian food reviewers and their creds to diss his food. Mangal Dalal wrote about this a while back here.

Of course the focus of the Sanchez rant, as Mangal Dalal pointed out in a comment there, was on the media who are ‘objective’ according to M D and, I would add with a jar of sarcasm, as ‘credible’ as Caesar's wife.

Not like us wild food bloggers.

“@Pawan – Just to point out – this piece is referring to reviews in all media, not just bloggers. In fact, all media except bloggers – the nature of blogging is that it is entirely a personal opinion. Any organisation should be more objective in its opinions than that.” MD

So as a not very ‘objective’ blogger here’s my ‘personal’  and biased take on The Table. I went there last Saturday.

We had a couple of cocktails – whiskey sour and caprioshka between us. That would have jacked up the bill I guess. I don’t always order alcohol at restaurants given the mark ups.

whiskey sour caprioshka

The bread basket, on the house was nice, specially the buttery brioche.

brioche foccacia 

The menu at The Table is divided into small plates and large plates.

Starters and mains to you and me.

We first went for a grilled squids with coriander and peanuts in a vinaigrette.

I was quite impressed by my first bite. The squids were grilled to perfection. Juicy and not chewy or over cooked. There was a lovely flavour, the vinaigrette I assume, that shrouded the squids in a fresh romantic mist.

Then I took a bite of the coriander and peanuts.

My face soured. This tasted so similar to the coriander, peanut and sweet tamarind chutney mix of a Mumbai bhel puri. Just the raw mango was missing. At the risk of being called not objective, and I am no expert, the overtly sweet peanut coriander mix just killed the subtly flavoured squids for me.

grilled squids

Our other small plate was tiger prawns with crushed bacon and bread crumbs. Like the squids, the prawns were cooked to perfection. Not stiff at all. Nor were they squishy.

Just juicy and joyful.

Pity that one didn’t get any flavour from the most flavourful of cold cuts … the bacon. The bacon bits and the prawns were like a married couple that slept at two extreme ends of a bed.

A regular Raymond and Debra. A great opportunity missed.

The waiter made it a point to inform us that the prawns were served on a bed of rock salt. The latter was not meant to be eaten. A mark of good service.

What ticked me off about the service though was their hurry to get the food to table despite the restaurant being empty. A nice place to sit. But not a place to go to catch up with a close friend.

grilled tiger prawns

For the mains we had pork chops with a guava glaze. Don’t know if the guava glaze was meant to give the pork a sweet touch. The very few shards of meat one could cut from the size zero chops were devoid of any taste.

But then what do you say about a pork dish where you keep reaching out for the coleslaw?

pork chops

Our other ‘large plate’ was the high point of the afternoon. Cheese and chicken parathas. The quesadillas. The chicken succulent, the cheese flavourful, the quesadilla thin and textured just right. The dish was so good that one didn’t really need the fresh salsa, guacamole or sour cream which were on the side.

Yes, yes go ahead.

That’s all our Desi palates would appreciate you say? These Indians!

quesadilla 

I wanted a dessert wine and I appreciate the fact that the waiter suggested a nice Sula chenin blanc (I think) and not one of the more expensive ones.

dessert wine

For dessert we thought we would share a cheesecake souffle.

The dish was rather stiff compared to the visions a ‘souffle’ conjured. The flavours more Irani cafe sweet caramel custard than cheesecake.

cheesecake souffle

All I can say is that is that I would not trust a dessert that one Bengali and another half Bengali left untouched despite our genetic sweet teeth.

So you liked The Table?

Well good for you.

It’s nothing personal.

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