Saturday, October 08, 2011

Restaurant reviews: A new way - your way!

I’ve done a whole lot of reviews, and so have you – in your head, to your friends – each time you’ve eaten at a new place, or eaten well again at a favourite. I love to know what’s sure-fire good at a particular place – I never want my first time to be an experiment where I order the wrong thing and have to write the place off my list forever.
And I want to hear from people like me, who want the same things I do – an emphasis on yummy food, good value – and don’t care about the ambience or decor as long as jaundice or typhoid are not on the menu.
So here’s a new way to do reviews – of restaurants, places, stores, services.
5 reasons... Succinct? Sure, but enough to give you the most important stuff... And not just in Bombay, or even India. I’d love to hear from Bangalore, Dubai, Toronto, Zurich, Goa, Delhi, Sydney, Tamworth, Hyderabad, Pune, Mangalore, Hyderabad, Calcutta – you guys know who you are! The world is a small place, and I learn new things every day from reading other people’s stuff (as you do, as you do) and from reading Zach’s history and geography textbooks (which you don’t have to - lucky you!).

I’ll start...

5 reasons to eat at Royal China, Mumbai
  • Smoked Shredded Chicken: This tastes like bacon! Need I say more? (Rs 395)
  • Fried Soft Corn Curd: These guys do this really well, with the usual dipping sauce - a coriander in sweet vinegar sauce-like thing. (Rs 295)
  • BBQ Spare Ribs: Eat these last among your appetisers; they're so good they put the Smoked Shredded Chicken and the Corn Curd – very good in their own right – in the shade. (Rs 350)
  • Seafood Fried Rice: This is a delicately flavoured rice riven through with succulent  prawns and squid, which the man told us just before he brought the dish to the table, not when we were ordering! Not that that fazed us, we looooooove prawns and squid. (Rs 415)
  • The wait staff’s kung-fu moves: Getting into the kitchen and bringing food out of the kitchen at Royal China at Sterling involves a set of kicking motions at the doors that is wholly in keeping with the Oriental setting of the restaurant.
Taster’s notes: Royal China is not cheap, so though I half-heartedly try to convince Kevin we should go every Saturday after mass and choir, my Mangalorean stinginess good sense does kick in in enough time for me to keep it in reserve as my treat spot. It’s also a place that deserves a little bit of dressing up – it helps to comb your hair (yeah, I do that once in a while), straighten out the clothes... though the wait staff is so good they wouldn’t care if you came in your pyjamas.
(022-22072492/ 66355310; behind Sterling Cinema, Hazarimal Somani Marg, Fort, Mumbai)

So there you go. Easy, right? Let’s have you sharing your favourite treat restaurants, and then we’ll move on to the kopchas, the holes-in-the-wall that are local secrets. You could take photos on your mobile. Or you could not bother. And yes, we do want to know about vegetarian food... Deliver, people!

And an address to send your reviews to:

Photographs: Andrey Baturin | (main);


  1. Oh yes, the corn curd at Royal China is the yummiest.
    Talking about yummy, my brother, a friend and I were driving back from Sula, Nasik, sometime last year and stopped at a roadside dhabba. We were famished, so ordered what would arrive the quickest--a plate of French fries.
    They arrived--jaundice-yellow with haldi, a garnish of coriander and jeera--typically Maharashtrian fare. With raised eyebrows we gingerly ate some.
    Needless to say, those were the best damn fries we've eaten in our lives! Crisp on the outside, soft, fresh, potatoey on the inside, with the jeera and coriander giving it a distinctly Indian taste.
    Wish I could remember the name of the dhabba, but if you're ever driving back from Sula, about an hour into your journey, do stop here and DO NOT miss the "Phrench phriez"!

  2. I love Royal China - the first time I went there it was almost by mistake! Had gone for a matinee show at Sterling with my mum and aunt and we'd decided to eat at the foodcourt but funnily we landed up on the wrong side of Sterling after the movie! Anyway, since we ended up near Royal China, we decided to try it out. Loved the food and the place - it's the best Chinese food I've ever eaten! Sorry, Mainland China!

  3. Peppa Zing in Bangalore... For the yummy burgers (chicken, beef too) and very yummy chicken wings cooked in barbecue sauce... Good portions, good value for money...viv

  4. Anita, pick your favourite place and tell us what we should eat there -- 5 Reasons....

  5. Viv, you need to do this in the 5 Reasons format... ASAP


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