The world maybe my oyster, but I love my Colaba with a passion. Here the past Bombay coexists seamlessly with the present Mumbai, here poverty and glamour do a mujra and that eternal temptress, the sea is always an air-kissing distance away. So when I hear that a brand new restaurant has opened on the tip of my dagger shaped Mumbai, what do I do? First, get feedback from restaurant-knowledgeable Mumbaikers. Says our city’s most discerning vegetarian gourmet Harsh Goenka “ Pricing ok. Food very so so. Ambiance makeshift” On the other end of the spectrum is the non-vegetarian epicure Kaikhushru Dinshaw “Excellent food and service, reasonable pricing (including wine) nice ambiance, will definitely go back”. I dine here twice. With two international jetsetters, both combine beauty with brains and a discerning palate too. Dr Jamuna Pai, the most sought after aesthetic and cosmetic physician and Rita K Mehta founder, editor and owner of Cine Blitz for over 30 years have plenty to exchange notes about. Their animated conversation ranges from anti-aging guru Jamuna’s three highend Mumbai clinics, Pune too and Delhi all set to open to Rita’s current media syndication house and Marketing and Consultancy and ofcourse, Pier’s food. They approve.
Opened. March 1st, there are several things “Pier” is not. Its not a café, its not a fine dine. Its also not a seaside thematic restaurant. Okay, so it IS located across the street from the sea (near Radio club). And yes! It is a smart casual restaurant. Don’t get put off by the dimly lit, ho –hum décor of this large, roomy restaurant with a long backlit bar.
The European/Global menu does a good balancing act between casual ( truffled eggs, beef burger) and sophisticated (duck confit, Pork belly). Ex Indigo chef Ratish Dhabri’s menu has almost an equal number of vegetarian and non-vegetarian dishes. For me it’s the meltingly flavorsome Duck confit (with snowpeas with baconbites and garlic mash) that comes out tops.Creamy goat cheese on caramelized apple with walnut brittle is a masterpiece of textures. The white quinoa tabouli salad with its three pepper drizzle passes muster and the French onion soup as well as the unusual Edamame ravioli are must trys. Well made Creme brulee, and vanilla Panacotta delight.
Lacklustre décor and some dishes to match it…be it the overcooked country hen, ditto for the prawn and avocado starer. Soggy truffled eggs, Eggplant with zuchini parmagiana disappoint, as does the tasteless pumpkin soup. The beef burger ‘s patty is chewy. Capuccino souffle is a flop.
Colaba’s newest arrival is a place where you can treat a business associate or a family member to a dinner that feels sufficiently special and not bust the bank. Average meal per head Rs 1500. ( innovative Cocktails 325-500, well priced booze ) It’s a place you can take someone who might be a date (but, then again, might not) and leave your designs ambiguous, your options open. However, some of the dishes do not rise to sublime heights, some are entirely forgettable, vegetarian options need to be improved. I’m happy to note that the 32 year old owner Samir Chhabria openly acknowledges his gratitude to Rahul Akerkar (Samir worked for over a year in Indigo’s kitchen), so though the now-comatose location (which used to be buzzing with Tetsuma and Prive here) needs to get a shot in the arm and the décor revamped, Pier is a restaurant to keep an eye on and to go back to.
The Pier, 41/44, Minoo Desai Marg, Behind Radio Club, Colaba, Ph 60660037, Avrage meal per head Rs 1500 .Open for dinner. Opening for lunch soon.
RATING FOOD 3.5 SERVICE 3.5 DÉCOR 3
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