Time for applause. I give this younger generation (of owner and chef) top honours for combining chic with casual, sophistication with comfort, their globally inspired food and the ambiance they serve it in. Let's applaud this six-month-old restaurant, simply and unpretentiously named 'The Table', which has opened on South Mumbai's brand new restaurant street. And here's to Shobhaa De, my guest today. For, even as you are reading this she is in Chicago attending the bi-annual BMM Convention and addressing the huge and very successful Maharashtrian community in North America. It's on to Mexico with husband Dilip after that! Ole! Her recent Star Majha Award is a very special honour, since she shared the platform with Anna Hazare. She's midway through writing her new novel and this inspite of her painful 'writer's wrist'. Dr Farhad Taraporevala has advised the prolific writer to rest it. "But to ask me to stop writing," she says, "is like asking me to stop breathing!" Shobhaa has eaten here at least half a dozen times and even her foreign friends rate it "world class."
It's called Zucchini Spaghetti and it's not spaghetti at all. It's strands of zucchini, slivers of almonds and parmesan. Yet it packs flavour and texture and a sense of revelation without being overcute and fussy. Chicken Wings are intense chicken flavours compressed in cubes with a ginger glaze. Whoa! The delicately wobbly Panacotta does an amazing jugalbandi with the sweet-bitterness of orange rind and the bite of pink pepper corns. By and large, the 26-year-old Californian chef Alex Sanchez's food in 'small plates' and 'large plates' is not about fanciful conceit or adornment but the focus is on the centerpiece ingredient. As Shobhaa says, "He knows his job, doesn't fib about what's fresh, what's not — I appreciate that." He keeps the proportions fine-tuned and flavours sharpened, and uses the perfect techniques to do so. Like the Cheese Goujeres. Perfect proportions of cheese, flour and egg, baked to round, crisp, fluffy puffs of delight for starters. Outstandingly light Garoupa swimming in a broth brimming with Japanese flavours. Polenta Bars in a pool of an intense Porcini Sauce. Sweet Pumpkin buttery, velvety Ravioli. Luscious Chicken Liver Mousse with Vanilla Apple Jelly. All these work their magic. As so do the meaty and moist mini burgers served with homemade tomato ginger jam. And that with the interesting wine-list serving up 'half glasses' is a welcome addition.
Before writing this review, I ate here seven times (booked the table in a fake name and paid my bill each time). Let me also place on record that it is not wondrous 100 per cent of the time, and it can be patchy: at moments too intent on culinary adventure or too unnecessarily heavy on butter and cream. Salads are served with cream or chevre (roasted red beet, arugula). A lackluster corn salad, a thick-shelled chocolate tart and overladen with fat, spaghetti bolognaise porcini. The service needs to be fine-tuned. Shobhaa's grouses? Noisy mezzanine level, uncomfy community table and the exorbitantly priced wines. And my concern (as always) is will the consistency be retained even after the ex-pat chef has left?
We love the chic decor... from the black and white striped floor to the comfy mezzanine level. And the profusion of Nazneen Jehangir's Libellule rare flowers add that perfect flourish. The young owner couple Gauri and Jay Yusuf have made me drop any reserve, cast aside any doubts and accept the fact that I loved their Table — and that this preening newcomer deserved it.
Buzz: 3.5/5 | Décor: 3.5/5
rn-By Rashmi Uday Singh
This two-year-old maybe simply and unpretentiously named "The Table" but it gets top honours (and has been winning many awards) for combining chic with casual sophistication with comfort in its globally inspired food and ambience. Go for a quick tipple, sit at the community table, enjoy the buzz and the chic decor... from the black-and-white-striped floor to the comfy mezzanine level. A global wine list, even wines by "half glass" (a welcome addition) here. They have recently started stocking up on spirits of premium brands like Blue Label, Glenfiddich, Johnny Walker series, Jack Daniel's, Grey Goose, Belvedere and more. Must nibble on perfectly made crisp, fluffy Cheese Goujères. Superb Chicken Liver Pate and plenty of small plates tango beautifully with a drink. The 26-year-old Californian chef Alex Sanchez serves food in "small plates" and "large plates" and focuses not on fanciful adornment but simple sophisticated flavours. Though it has a well-stocked bar, it still remains a place for a serious meal.
Review posted more than 6 month ago
Int. decoration is very good. Food quality is also excellent. Service need to be improved. Mezzanine level is noisy. Chef knows their skill well. However to cut a long story short, I came here with my family only once and would love to come here again. Met Shobhaa De and Anna Hazare here.
Favorite Dishes / Drinks: Spaghetti
Review posted more than a year ago
Anything that looks good taste excellent and here all the dishes looks ravishing. The chef actually knows his skills well and also the ingredients and how to use them. Velety Ravioli, Zucchini Spaghetti all are lip smacking and I just cant get over the taste of their food.
Review posted more than a year ago
I live in San Fancisco where the food scene is amazing. I was so impressed with The Table. It is as good if not better than anything I can find at home. The decor is very sophisticated and classy and the communal table lends itself to a great spot to meet locals. The food was so tasty and creative. I also loved the desserts, especially the home made ice cream.
Favorite Dishes / Drinks: Beet risotto, roasted chicken
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