I do this all the time. I thank the good Lord for making my life a series of meaningful coincidences punctuated by great meals. This time, the meaningful coincidence and the great meal have overlapped. I refer to the one with the stunning 60’s top-model-turned-interior designer-turned fashion guru Zarine Khan. What sets her apart, is that she combines style with substance, elegance with genuine warmth and to top it all her much sought after gourmet Khan cuisine banquets at home are legendary.Zarine combines her inheritance of Parsi recipes with her iconic star-husband Sanjay Khan’s Pathan Persian ones.
Over the years, through sheer chance Ive been bumping into her, be it at the George V in Paris, recently on the flight from Athens to Istanbul and then this Saturday in Le Mangii, Juhu. She enjoys popping into this two month old restaurant since it is facing her haute, hot, happening Fizaa fashion store with something for everyone, with it’s range of high end, top designers to affordable young ones.
“Since Le Mangii is actually just across the street from my store, we walk across here very often for a quick bite” points out this gorgeous granma of nine. Yes! She enjoys the Italian, Mediteranean fare and the casual, relaxed energy of the restaurant.
Earthen tones and warm-wooden interiors give it a neighborhood ”been around a long time” kind of feel. A double-sided bar serves the al-fresco as well as indoor sections. A red brick wall with a huge ornate mirror completes the pleasant décor.
Top of our list? The thin crust, wood-fired pizzas (Margarita, Quattro Formaggio, Mediterranean ). Our Truffelate (with the intense flavor of mushrooms) is superb. The flavorsome and light Chillean seabass delights as do the King Prawns in butter garlic sauce and the grilled lamb chops in red wine jus.
A veritable pasta party here with Spaghetti, Linguine, Penne and Fusilli all on the menu. Risotto (cooked in Champagne and with Asparagus and Porcini Mushoom) and Chicken Mangii, stuffed chicken breast are popular too. Above average Philadelphia cheesecake and an impressive selection of wines, cocktails and mocktails.
Mixed up and slow service. Instead of four desserts, we get served two. Our pasta is overcooked and the Cajun chicken pizza resonates with sweet notes, under-dressed and inauthentic Ceaser’s salad. Mocha fudge cake disappoints with its sludginess.
Le Mangii’s strengths lie in the fact that it is casual, open through the day and serves up above average (though some dishes and service is patchy) fare. It aims to comfort not dazzle. However, my guest Zarine comforts and dazzles.
Navratan Apartments, AB Nair Road, near Juhu Post Office, opposite Penne, Juhu, 66756100, Av meal for two Rs 2000
9.30am to 1.30am
Food-3.50 | Service-3.50 | Décor-3.50 | Meal for 2-`2000
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