Someone has poured a lot of money into 3 Stories — a new tri-level hangout in East of Kailash. Problem is that they haven’t spent it with much attention to good taste or the year 2010. There’s something quite 1980s discotheque about the whole place — a bit Don Johnson in Miami Vice — and not in a cool, retro way.
The location is a grubby corner of East of Kailash opposite Sapna Cinema. The owners have done a lovely job of screening the restaurant off with potted palms so that it feels a little oasis-like. This is the high point. You enter and given the choice of the hookah bar, the club or the restaurant. The club is full, and this on a Wednesday night, and the bar is scattered with young men with roving eyes sitting in a fug of scented hookah smoke.
We opt for the restaurant. It is a modern cave of black walls, blacks tables, black chairs and mass produced minimalist wall cladding — all framing a cut glass mirror chandelier, which tries valiantly to lift the mood of this three-star hotel lobby-like eating space.Piped music is, again, no mood enhancer. When asked if the music can be changed, the super-enthusiastic server informs us that only instrumental music is permitted in the fine dining space. So fine dining music it is, getting louder and more uptempo as the evening progresses to ensure it can be heard above the dance music thumping up from the club that is mere centimeters away from our table.
But on to the food… the menu is the usual multi-cuisine array — Indian, Chinese, a sprinkling of Thai, Lebanese and some Italian, of the kebabs, curries, shawarmas, pastas and hummus variety. Stay with the Indian menu. A starter of rosemary potatoes (Rs155) off the Continental menu was oily and served with store bought garlic aioli (not even a good one at that). The chicken shawarma (Rs165) needed better vegetables and salad and the chicken dim sums (Rs 155) tasted like good old-fashioned street corner momos. The saving grace was a Burrah Kebab (Rs 245), tender lamb chops spiced delicately and very tasty.The servings on most dishes are huge and this may help patrons move past the taste issue. We stayed with the Indian menu and tried another lamb dish, the dum ki champ (Rs 265), tasty enough but oily, and not as flavoursome as the burrah.
The Three Stories
Dal makhani (Rs 215) was the real star — rich and layered with taste. Not so good was a chicken tagine (Rs 235) with flavourless chicken, undercooked vegetables and a most un-stew like appearance and taste. The couscous it was served with was grainy and undercooked so it could not even mop up the watery gravy of this dish.
Service was erratic. Our server was very friendly and nice enough, but the dishes were staggered and came at whatever pace the kitchen decreed. If you’re not one for sharing, this can be a problem. A good spot for the newly monied and young campus types who save up to impress the girl on a first date.