If you’ve been to Pali Village Café, you can tell that the owners have gone out of their way to make the eatery look good. Their second venture follows suit. Located where Bandra’s once-loved pub Boat Club was, Pali Bhavan doesn’t take time to impress.
What: Pali Bhavan
Where: 10 Adarsh Nagar, Pali Naka, near Costa Coffee, Bandra (West)
Call: 2651 9200
What’s on the menu: Indian Mughlai and seafood
We spent the first few minutes just observing the vintage interiors. The corner bar, the bottles on which were the only non-vintage element in the restaurant, is on the ground floor. A staircase leads to the dining area. The segregation, we felt, was a great idea for those who feel as weird about hogging an entire dinner table for a few drinks as we do.
The appetisers section, smartly, has been repeated in the bar menu, which otherwise is short and sweet. A page each, or less, is dedicated to the rest of the courses.
We started with a split-in-two Paaya Shorba (R285). The high-on-nutrients soup made from lamb trotters was aptly salty, a bit on the higher side (like it should be). The shreds of meat and a bone gliding around at the bottom added to the taste. Though they made sure they served us exactly one soup split in two, not a drop more, maybe less.
The batter-fried Squid Warangal (R310), tossed with dried red chilies, was served steaming hot and adequately oily. Some chilli vinegar with it would have worked wonders, but the tomato sauce was good.
For the main course, we tried the Mutton Gravy (R585). Despite the menu’s claim, it didn’t feel homemade. The tomato-based gravy that accompanied the five tiny chunks of well-done meat was probably the only dish at the table we wouldn’t call a winner.
The Allepey Mushroom (R385) and the Tadka Dal (R225), however, made us forget the mutton. Cooked in spicy-yet-tangy coconut-based gravy, the mushrooms stole the show. We could taste the desi ghee in the lentil that was cooked in the traditional style.
For dessert, we called for the Angoori Rasmalai (R245). This has to be the most overpriced item for four thumb-sized pieces in a small bowl; that’s of course, if you don’t count the Lacha Paratha for R125 or a chapati for R90.
What we like
The service, interiors
We don’t like