Friday, June 1, 2012

Food Review - Bistro Grill at the Bawa International, Juhu, Mumbai.

I was invited for a food tasting by Bistro Grill in Juhu on 30th May, 2012. I secretly wish now that they hadn't asked me to review their place. 2 days and an upset stomach later I write this review.

We arrived 20 minutes later than our timing, but the place was still pretty empty. The people who received us had no idea who I was, for my name was not on the list even after a confirmation. But it was not a problem coz they had us seated anyway.

Before I begin with the food, let me get to the decor. The place is dimly lit, the music is scarily low in volume and waiters and servers keep hovering around you to the point that it is almost a nuisance. I wonder if they were trying too hard or was the place too empty.

Notice the guy seated uncomfortably?

The one basic thing this restaurant seems to have gotten wrong is the ergonomics. We chose to sit on the Sofa seats as the normal chairs seemed too big, but the Sofa was so huge that if you rest your back you cannot get to the table and vice versa. An uncomfortable seating area totally ruins even the best meal. One cannot enjoy and savour the flavors with ease and at peace.

There was a Set Menu for the food tasting. 5 courses. Since we were two people it was easier for us to order varieties and see how the meal went along.

The invite stated that they wanted us to taste their new menu items, but on insisting I did manage to have a look at their à la carte menu and all the dishes were off that. The menu selection was absurd and all over the place and included everything from Thai to Indian to Oriental.

Soup: We ordered both options on the Menu, the Lemongrass and Coriander Broth and the Prawn Bisque.

This is the Prawn Bisque, which had only 2 mini pieces of Prawns and tasted a little off. Prawns were overcooked and rubbery and the Bisque left a spicy aftertaste which was not at all pleasant. Not recommended at all.

The Lemongrass and Coriander Broth on the other hand was really nice and one of the best things we had that evening. Refreshing and light, it set the mood for the remainder of the meal. We did not finish any of the Soups, none were good enough to be completely polished off.

Salads: There was a choice between Caesars Salad with Herbed Croutons and a Charcoal Coriander Chicken Salad. The Caesar Salad was alright. Maybe a little overdressed but it was not an issue.

The Coriander Chicken Salad was not too bad either, albeit the Chicken pieces could be shredded a bit, for they were too big for my mouth and hard to chew on. The leafy greens really did not convince me with the Salad part of it, but the Dill dressing was good.

Here I'd like to add, we were not given a drinks menu, and when asked for it were only given the set menu, when asked again about drinks, the server said that there was only "Sangrilla" (Sangria) available, and we had to ask for it. Really sad that they did not even offer us the drink even when it was available for food tasting.

The Sangria was not as boozy as it should be but I did enjoy the bits of fruit in it to console myself.

Moving on to Munchies : For Vegetarians they had the option to choose one between Grilled Charmula Cottage Cheese, a Mushroom Parlouft with Dahi and Pudina Chutney and Paneer Tikka Lahori. Non Vegetarians had an option between Hazarwi Murg Tikka, Stir Fry Chicken in Teriyaki Sauce and Cajun Grilled Basa with Fresh Herbed Mayonnaise.

The Grilled Charmula Cottage Cheese preparation was high on flavor, but what a pity that it looked overdone and the slices were too thin and roasted so much that there was absolutely no texture to the Cottage Cheese. it was hard. The sauce was too heavy for my liking.

The Cajun Grilled Basa on the other hand was a superb dish, and one of the two best dishes of the night. The dip was just okay though, and the Basa could have been a little crusty.

For the Main Course, we had to choose between Khada Palak Paneer, Penne in Creamy Tomato Sauce, Daal Bukhara, Mirchi ka Salan, Dum Biryani and Thai Green Curry - for Vegetarian, and from Non Veg we had Fusili with Chicken in Creamy Pesto Sauce, Lagaan Da Murg, Chili Chicken with light gravy, Basa in Oyster Sauce, Murg Kaali Mirch and Dum Biryani.

The Fusili with Creamy Pesto was too grainy, and was absolutely bland. I had to order a side of Salt to see if it got better, and it did. I would not order this if I had the choice.

Lagaan Da Murg was a Walnut Based Chicken Gravy, and it was good. Served with Rotis or Naan or Rice. This was one of the better dishes. I would order this again if I went back to Bistro Grill, which does not seem likely.

Desserts were the savior of the day. We had to choose one from Kahlua Mousse Torte, White Chocolate Mousse with Cointreau and Apricot and Chocolate Fudge.

The Kahlua Mousse Torte was good, a little denser than I would like but I loved the Kahlua infusion and the cream on top.

The White Chocolate Mousse with Cointreau was the best dish of the entire course. Smooth and luscious and the perfect base too. But the Marmalade spread on the side was totally dragging the Mousse down, it was awesome by itself. Marmalade made it too sweet and it was an unnecessary addition in my opinion.

After our meal was done, there was absolutely NO ONE to take a review or even say good bye. We had to get up and get out on our own. A big thumbs down to their service. 

Bistro Grill definitely does have their work cut out for them. Instead of being just okay at too many dishes, they should consider mastering only few dishes and keeping their standards high. A long way to go!! 

Special thanks to Nachiket for inviting us for the tasting!


  1. UnknownJune 1, 2012 4:53 AM

    I'm sorry to say this but your photos make the food look uglier than it probably is...

  2. Caramel WingsJune 1, 2012 4:55 AM

    Can only do so much with a Cell phone camera! But the food looked pretty much the same even without a snap. Talk about taking ugly pictures of pretty food and I would have maybe agreed. Thanks!

  3. SushilJune 3, 2012 8:51 PM

    I agree with reviewer here... food is here is not that great...
    Its not so much about the decor or look of the meal but abt the style of cooking ..

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