Pali Village Cafe
022 6696 9000
Pali Village Cafe Bandra Reviews
Awesome food though not so much the service May 19, 2011
Set right on the main road with traffic honking all around the first question that hits you is, 'Here? Really? Is this place still under construction cause damn, it needs a coat of paint and maybe even something to shore up the walls?’
After the doorman lets you into the cool and quiet climes of the cafe the next question that begs answering is 'Wow, how the heck did they manage this much space in Bombay and at Pali Village at that?’
Well by all Bombay standards, Pali Village Cafe is big. It looks like it’s been deserted because it's basically a huge old dilapidated bungalow that’s now renovated and converted into one of the better restaurants in Bombay with tasteful and functional decor while keeping the look and feel that a bomb went off in there and it hasn't been completed in years. There isn’t even a coat of paint on the walls!
They've got different seating areas, quirky decor and a quaint outdoor (yet indoors) balcony seating overlooking the seating below. Classy yet not too formal. A huge glass translucent wall doubles up as a giant screen on which they screen old b&w films to add to the ambiance. The dress code also is totally relaxed and you can walk in with flip flops and a vest without anyone batting an eyelid.
Expect the who's who of the city from film stars to biz moguls to drop in at anytime....but that honestly isn’t the appeal...at least not to me.
This is my second time eating here and I do love the food which in a nutshell is bloody fricking delicious and creative. They have a great selection that will particularly appeal to an international palette or those who are fed up of the Indian Curries. European, Mediterranean and Italian seem to be the way the menu runs.
So let’s do this: A pitcher of Red Wine Sangria in celebration of my aunt's anniversary :). Always a good start. They have great sangrias that are brilliant coolers. Only wines are served here and no other type of alcohol.
That said they do have an extensive collection of exquisite wines with the selection menu being almost as thick as a bloody telephone directory and surely at least 5 times thicker than the food menu! (Okay I exaggerate but you get the picture, right?)
On to the food: Creative, FRESH, imaginative combinations and undeniably tasty. The fact that the presentation is also nice doesn't hurt them at all :)
So here's what we ate
1.Smoked Salmon and Capers with a Passion Fruit reduction sauce – divine if you add just a drop of lemon to the mix
2.Roast Garlic Marinated Chicken with Pine Butter – very good especially the butter is a great combination
3.Beef Carpaccio with Olives and Capers – with the discs of beef thinner that a sheet of tissue paper the flavors were amazing. There also seemed to be a bit of horse radish in there somewhere but I could be wrong. The down side to this is the portion…..it’s really so thin that if you scoop up the entire serving you might just get 3 spoons full which, tasty as it is doesn’t work for me :)
4.The Greek Salad which is loaded with feta cheese and olives and yes really fresh and crispy greens
1.Pan Seared Cambodian Sea Bass on a bed of mash – done to perfection. The fish was flaky and moist without falling apart and pretty much melts in your mouth with just that hint of seasoning that doesn’t take away from the flavor of the fish
2.Grilled Tenderloin – asked for it medium-well done. The preparation was all right but the medallions were a tad dried out, nothing to write home about
3.Asparagus Chicken Risotto – simple yet flavorful with a really generous helping of tenderized bite sized chicken pieces. One of the only dishes that could count as a meal for 1
4.Spinach Cream Cheese stuffed Chicken – juicy stuffed chicken breast that has the delicious lightly spiced spinach fighting for attention with the cream cheese
1.Tiramisu – Well it did taste have nice coffee bite to it yet I felt it was a bit to soft for my liking
2.Baked Philadelphia Cheese cake with sour cream – To die for. Get me a dozen of these
Oh and just a note even though it was not at this meal but I have had the pleasure of having the Ratatouille the last time around and it was excellent!
But yes there is a downside to all this praise and it's got to start with the service. No they're not rude, far from it. The staff is always polite and well informed but they certainly are slower than molasses. Damn! It takes 15 minutes just to get a Sprite and half an hour for the sangria. Our dinner lasted 2.5 hours and not because we were eating slowly. The last time I had a meal here was almost a year ago and the service was just as slow. Plus it wasn't even crowded; just about 50% of the tables were taken.
Next gripe is the portions which are really small. A single main dish per person is certainly not enough to satisfy a small eater even after a round of appetizers. Anyone with a voracious appetite is going away either (a) hungry or (b) with a huge bill.
Then there is the non-availability of certain items like the Bolognese and the Duck which was not available the last time around as well. The lack of any other type of alcohol besides wine may not be a good thing either since it left my dad and uncle both sipping at Sprite and not pleased about it.
Lastly is the price, which doesn’t look so bad on the menu but then you’re hit with a bill that adds 12.5% VAT AND an additional 8% service charge! Service charge? What service?
And yeah watch out for the same with the alcohol which due to recent increase in costs ends up being a rather expensive affair. 2 sangria pitchers costing more than all of the food and desserts we ordered. Now that was a shocker.
Alcohol is also billed separately as in most restaurants and attracts VAT @ 20% PLUS 8% as service charge. (Note to self....drink at home!)
All in all yes I would eat there again as the food is brilliant and I guess worth it plus the ambiance is nice. The service is the one thing that really sucks and leaves you wondering …….
8 / 8 TravBuddies found this review helpful/trustworthy
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