I hate buffets. But I still recommend this brand new, staggeringly large, theatrical buffet restaurant, which sprawls over 9,000 sq ft. In my two day stopover in Mumbai (in between TV shoots in Srinagar and Kolkatta) I ate three buffet meals …breakfast, lunch and dinner, here. I refer to the recently opened, much awaited, glittering five star international Shangri-La hotel’s multi-cuisine “Seven”
AMBIANCE – THEATRE OF FOOD
Lavishly laden, the marbled counters wind and curve through the restaurant which sprawls around the live kitchens. Navigate though these patiently, one station (the Indian non-vegetarian station,) is tucked away behind pillars. Under the eagle eye of the hospitality whiz, area general manager and chief of the hotel, Farhat Jamal, Seven is
all about drama and interactive performances by specialty chefs.
It’s the perfect lunch place for the first family of English theatre (also dyed in the drool foodies). Am delighted to learn that Sultan Padamsee (Alyque’s brother) started their theatre company in 1941. The flamboyant Alyque who dotes on Indian food, his kids and Arthur Miller, wears 3 hats in his current pulitzer prize winning play Death of a Salesman- director, protagonist and technical director.Produced by daughter the multi-faceted Raell who not only has a dozen productions running simultaneously but is also bringing world renowned Mentalist Lior Suchard to Mumbai. While Raell is a Chinese food buff, giving us her take on the Italian fare is the vivacious Jessica Rescigno from Milano, a traveling gourmet on her way to Bali and Sydney. Completing the high-profile global guestlist is Lord Wedgwood ( direct descendant of Josiah Wedgwood, the 18th century father of English pottery) a well-traveled, discerning epicure.
Clever and thoughtful design, lighting, a judicious use of screens and seating (away from kitchen noises) ensure that we are have a relaxed, chatty afternoon. Yes! We will all return.
Temptation strikes when you enter… a chocolate fountain spills over, a candy floss machine swirls sweet gossamer and endless food stations beckon. I determinedly and systematically ate three buffet meals (Italian, Thai, American, Chinese, Japanese, Indian…you name it), but still cant say that I tried every dish or dessert. Heres a quick guide…breakfast (French butter, superb croissant, freshly squeezed juice, idli sambhar, molagapudi come out tops, the usuals, eggs, parathas, pancakes, fresh fruits etc) Over lunch and dinner and the spread is huge. Japanese food lovers delight in the sashimi, sushi (superb spicy tuna rolls) and you get your bang for the buck just by tucking into this.
As a rule, it’s the freshly made interactive dishes which you should try. Our Italian guest Jessica endorsed the thin crust pizzas, the freshly tossed pasta and right amount of garlic in the Bolognaise.
Raells penchant for Chinese food was satiated and she particularly liked the mixed meat grill especially the prawns.
The hot from the tandoor, rotis, paneer and some of the kababs passed muster as did the shewarama. Ditto for the grills, done to any style you want. Vegetarians are looked after and there is a special station only for Indian vegetarian food.
Sweet lovers, go for the freshly baked Chocolate soufflé, buttercream cupcakes. Chocolate fountain and baked yoghurt with maple syrup. I also loved the caramel dessert with whisper of salt in it.
As in all buffets, the dishes which lie around suffer loss of taste and texture, be it the lack luster biryani, risotto and even some of the Indian and Western dishes. Not the best waffles or pork sausages, the stirfrys can be a bit greasy and some of the raw meats at the grill could be of a better quality. A few of the deserts are gelatinous or oversweetThere is no chamomile tea or South Indian coffee either.
Located cheek-by-jowl with the Ruia’s throbbing Palladium and Phoenix High street, their new property, Hotel Shangri-La is an oasis of calm and style and this is the very first of it’s many restaurants. Full marks to “Seven” for sheer size, quantity, variety and pricing ( Rs 1150 breakfast, Rs 1550 lunch, Rs 1750 dinner) they just need to take care of the quality of some of the raw ingredients and dishes. Bypass the dishes that are lying around and zoom into the interactive counters (sushi, stirfrys, pasta, shewarama etc) There’s a large Indian shudh vegetarian station too.
I also checked out the alacarte ( a well made grilled chicken) but would still suggest you stick to the buffet (available only at meal times). Unlimited, non stop eating in a round the clock, glitzy five star restaurant. Did I hear Shakespeare (or was it Alyque? Or me? ) say “all the worlds a multi-cuisine restaurant”.
Shangri-La hotel, 462 Senapati Bapat Marg, Lower Parel.
Ph 6162 8000
Timings: 24 hours
Breakfast 6:30 – 10:30 am
Lunch 12:30 – 3:00 pm
Dinner 7:00 pm – 11:30 pm
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For photo cakes and cup cakes call Pallavi. Ph 9820120098
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Amal wants who can supply modelling chocolate and white hot chocolate powder.
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Ph: 26126909-10, 9820445515