Its the first friday of 2013 and I begin by quoting an old saying ” When Mohammed does not go to the mountain, the mountain comes to Mohammed” And that’s my wish for you for 2013…may your ”mountain” of desires come easily and swiftly to you. As if by sheer serendipity my guests today seem to specialise in doing this . The charming global gourmet couple Bela and Micky Dalal (long time fans of the sublime Swiss Spruengli chocolates ) are now
making sure that these exquisite handmade chocolate creations are available to us in India for exclusive caterings and customised gift boxes too. Their dapper son, Rohan Dalal (co founder of the unique Doorbell pharmacy) provides customers with a unique, convenient and efficient way of tracking and ordering their monthly medicine and fitness supplement requirements.
The family Dalal (including their son Jay, economics major, DJ by passion currently rocking NYC) has dined at Vineet Bhatias restaurants (in Switzerland and Mumbai), and couple of months ago, I had an amazing meal in London’s Rasoi (Vineet Bhatia’s Michelin starred restaurant). And after Azok, Ziya in Mumbai Bhatias food is served in F Bar too.
Mumbai’s very own F Bar sashays in (of all places), into to the city’s latest high-rise in a business district. It has it all… Fashion TV, 10,000sq ft sprawling restaurant, dance floor, terrace and Vineet Bhatia’s food too. That it chooses to locate itself in the somewhat inaccessible location on the third floor of the One IndiaBulls Centre (Lower Parel) doesn’t seem to be a deterrent for Mumbai’s clubbers. But does it make for a destination for the diner?
Be prepared for a long walk through the gleaming lobby and corridors of IndiaBulls Centre and into a dark, twin-levelled space with mesmerizing images of the FTV channel on four large walls. Both, the bar and restaurant, share a theatrical black ceiling and upper wooden ceiling that rolls like a wave. God help women with heels who go up the steep stairwell (to the restaurant). No matter which table you sit at in the square-shaped restaurant area, the Fashion TV images are visible.
Vineet Bhatia’s starters, flavoursome and generously portioned Tandoori Wasabi Curry Leaf Prawns, Tawa
Rosemary Seekh Kebab and the unusual Peanut Butter Chicken delight. Vineet Bhatia’s Fashion Bites, Saucy Bowls, Naaninis and Pizzans, strut the menu. It’s the Tawa Ravas, stylishly served in a spoon and made delightful with the
tequila glaze, that we all recommend. As we do the robustly spiced, succulent Patiala Chicken with Whisky Flambé. Worth trying too are the strange-sounding Naaninis (naans like paninis, served with curly fries, are stuffed with
Chettinad Potatoes and crisp Urad Dal). Interestingly, the other strange-sounding dish of Pizaans (naans topped and prepared like pizzas) layered with Paneer Makhni and the other with Rogan Josh-smoked Cashew Nut Pizzan (with soft bases) good too.
The regular pizza (not Vineet’s) is too hard and is smothered in a sweet sauce. While Wasabi Curry Leaf Prawns are good, they are overcooked, ditto for the Papillote Fish with Olives Capers. Maa Dal is too tomatoey and Baby Corn Asparagus, too tough.The desserts look better than they taste, be it the Rasmalai Mango Lasagne, Blue Curacao Rabadi or the Sugar-free Apple Cinnamon Kheer, Granola, or the Guava Kulfi. Avoidable Coconut Panna Cotta, Bubblegum Jelly and Paan Laddoo.And the price points are high (Rs 5000 meal for two)
To check out its nightclub avatar I had popped in here on an earlier saturday night (with my young rocking buddies Jivesh Bhojwani and Anandita De ) to find long lines of clubbers waiting to get in and the place throbbing to DJ commercial music. But for dining, the space is too dark and at night, the music can get obtrusive. However for those in the area and those looking for an interesting twist to Indian fare (served through the day), F Bar is
■ One India Bulls, 3rd Floor, Senapati Bapat Marg,
Next to Gold’s Gym, Lower Parel, Mumbai,
Food-3.50 Service-3.00 Décor-4.00
Noon to 1.30am Meal for 2- Rs. 5000
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