Are you so much in love with food that it feels like you are in an intimate relationship with it? Do you get these food cravings at anytime in the day? Does the idea of eating at your favorite restaurant feel orgasmic? Are you ready to explore uncharted paths to discover that special dish that will make you go “Yum!”?
If the answer to all the above is a Yes.Welcome you've reached the right place.
It’s a beautiful pleasant Sunday afternoon, and ma famille and moi head to this typical family restaurant to celebrate my favourite uncles Birthday!
Jewel India, located in Mumbai’s posh locality Worli, which is home to the serene Haji Ali, beautiful and breezy sea face and big wigs like Nehru Science Centre, Atria Mall and our very ex Aviations Minister’s Ceejay House and now the Famous Sea Link.
The restaurant, Jewel of India is located within the confines on Nehru Centre and is humongous. At the entrance we are greeted by ethnic paintings of women of Rajasthan. The entire restaurant infact gives you a very traditional Indian feel with its high ceilings of intricate wood carvings and chandeliers, white walls combined with wooden furniture and paintings that tell tales of folklore.
The restaurant is packed when we enter with quite a few people mostly families waiting outside. Thankfully we have done are bookings.
After greeting my relatives, I hover to the buffet to check the spread. The spread is very limited. Now that isn’t necessarily a bad thing - the usual ones that are never ending get you all confused and then you tend to over eat to make most of it. However at the first glance, I am quite disappointed with the arrangement of the dishes. While chaat and dessert countersare separate the main buffet table starts with Scrambled Eggs (yeah I don’t know what is that doing in an Indian Buffet) followed by Mashed Potato (now am convinced that this isn’t purely Indian), Sausages, Fish Chilly after which the buffet directly moves on to Paya (goat trotters), Chicken gravy and again coming to a Chicken Kebab. There didn’t seem to be any order to the food arrangement. Even after the Chicken Kebab there were assorted breads and Corn Flakes! Wonder what they were thinking!
Anyhow, I picked up my plate and scurried around to get some food in it to quench the rodents in my stomach! I started with the Pasta Salad – farfalle pasta tossed in some vineggerette, garlic, olive oil and bell peppers. I liked the flavor but the pasta seemed hard not cooked a la dente! On the vegetarian side there was Kothambir Vade – quite a horror story! I am sure if some devout Maharashtrian was present they would want to puke at the 90% besan mixture!
The Veg. White sauce Pasta (wait is this Jewel of INDIA again) – penne with corn and white sauce was a relief however a very amateur Indianised version of the dish. But still a relief! Moving on to the Non veg starters the the Sausages were edible however lacked any distinguishing flavours. The Fish Chilly – crumbed fried fish tossed in chilly garlic was the next life saving dish. Crispy chunks that melt in your mouth. The Murg Shikari Kebab – succulent pieces of chicken marinated in the usual yet delicious kebab marinade was beginning to restore my faith in this luncheon. Before this I was beginning to pity my uncle, whose birthday we were celebrating. I was beginning to feel guilty of letting him celebrate his last few years before he turns senior citizen in a place like this. He too liked the Chicken Kebab. A sigh of relief!
Murg Hara Dhaniya
In the main course there was a good variety amongst the Vegetarian Dishes with Chole Bature and Paneer Makhni but I stuck to Non Veg. The Murg Hara Dhaniya looked like it was made from melting The Hulk and tasted just as insipid. The Rasily Paya was not juicy at all, as the name suggested rather it was bland. Guess I know what chalk tastes like now. The Kachi Yakhni Biryani was good however could be had has dessert if it was any more cold.
Kachi Yakhni Biryani
In the desserts the Fig & Chocolate Crumble – I know what it is to eat chalk now with this I have learnt what it is like to eat brick and cement. The Tiramasu on the other hand was yum and so was the Chocolate Cake and Jalebis. Chalo all that didn’t start well atleast ended well.
On the whole except for a few things here and there the buffet failed to live up to its name atleast in the food department!
The per head cost for the buffet was Rs 800 which included unlimited draft beer or wine
Food: I rather not reminisce
Ambience: Good but could get noisy on weekends
Service: Courteous & Prompt
Quicktip: There is a dearth of good Indian Food in Mumbai especially buffets, however keep this as your last option. If you have no option stick to eating selected stuff.
Jewel of India, Nehru Centre, Dr Annie Besant Road, Worli , Mumbai