Wednesday, 26 August 2009

Restaurant review ~ Village

This week went to mall called ‘Rughuleela’ which is quite far from the city, on the outskirts of suburbs, at Kandhivali, just behind Poiser bus depot. The best way to reach this mall is to go by local train to Malad and then take auto or bus.

I took a three-wheeler from Bandra to Poiser, and it took me exactly seventy five minutes to reach the mall. Travelling by road in Mumbai is not a good idea; too much time is wasted in the traffic and there is too much pollution on this route via S.V.Road.

We headed for this restuarant called ‘Village’ which has interior with the theme of ‘An Indian Village’. As soon as I entered into this restaurant I was transported to a surreal world of make-believe and the rural wave descented upon me.

We were requested to make a payment of Rs250 per head, which covered the cost of all the meals that we could manage to eat from 12noon to 3pm. For three hours, we could masticate and masticate till our jaws turn sour.


The entrance had mural paintings creating the village effects, with puppets and small stalls selling ethnic wear and jewelry.

I walked through a small door into a dimly lit restaurant and was immediately transferred into a mystical land with detailed imaginative interior that specs the aromas of a village. There were singers and drummers playing the loud ethnic music and the youngster dancing and gyrating into village dance like garba, bhangara or dhandhiya, swinging around the musicians that occupied the centre of the chowk.

I watched them dance, and looked around to see the great variety of cuisine at different food stalls. Each stall had assorted menu of snacks and lunch.

I don’t have good appetite; therefore buffet lunch is not a good idea for me. Anyways I started with the grilled soya chucks, which were awesome, tender and juicy; coupled with samosas in sweet chutney, which I didn’t like it much. They served big bottles of lassi and jaljeera on our table. They want to fill our tummy with liquids, me thinks.

I rested for a while on soft divan, then went to inspect the things around. There was tarot card reader, and one palmist too, they were seated at the centre of the room which looked like Nukkad. The lavish verandah was reminiscent of a thakur’s haveli with a munimji, adorned with antique and appointments. The raw elements are effectively brought alive with the two trucks and auto rickshaws very imaginatively converted into dining tables. there was a couple seated in one of theose auto cum dining room and the big truck have a group of merry kitty party members.

Surrounding on all sides were different stalls serving different cuisine. Scrumptious choices ranged from refreshing sugarcane juices to lassis, chaats to Amritsari kulchas, dosas to appams, chole bathure to hyderabadi biryanis, kulfis to the magic of Bengal. The selection of food was vast and it was becoming very difficult to choose. At every counter there were papads, dry and wet chutneys, achars and sauces.

After one hour of sights and sounds, I fetched for me just khichidi from a Marwari stall, which was spicy and very tasty; I also brought for me a plateful of kerela bhaji, chana masalas and rotis. A waiter came to my table on a bicycle bringing for me tea in a clay cup. While I ate, I watched the puppet show, sitting next to dozen kids whose curious expressions made this puppet show worthwhile.

At 2:30pm, I saw the waiters make their rounds at tables with a message to pack up by 3pm, informing us to hurry and make the most of our last half an hour. I found this very rude, to be reminded for thirty minutes to leave the premises? Come on, give us a break, we read the timings at the entrance, why must we be reminded so grossly?

Overall the experience was quite good but it is suitable only for one visit unless restaurant gets more innovative and offers something more entertaining than the same variety of food.

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The name "Bombay" was derived from 'Bom Bahia' (The Good Bay),

.... a name given by Portuguese sailor Francis Almeida, in 1508 ....“Bounce back Mumbai” it is called by the locals, it is a city that has been through a lot in the recent past – floods, bomb blasts, riots – and come out stronger each time.

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