In recent times, we’ve seen a few restaurant signboards come and go at 39B Chowpatty Seaface. None has had the lasting success of Revival. Now we have Saffron Bay, which is trying hard to turn the tide.
But it needs to work a little on its identity. The outside is bright, with a full view of the beach and the Arabian Sea. Inside, the airy room is almost all-black except for four small sections, each with upholstery and walls coated in a pupil-constricting saturated colour.
Good intentions are visible everywhere, but confusion abounds. The service is quick and nervous. The menu is scattered, with about 120 well-described dishes, most of them Mughlai, with a few nods to regional diversity with dishes like chicken ‘Chattinard’ (Chettinad), baby pomfret ‘rishad’ (recheado), and dal ‘dokli’ (dhokli).
The descriptions raised expectations, making the food that much more of a letdown. The rathaloo chips with curry leaf mayo, ghosht khubani and bhindi dahiwala lacked the finesse of fine-dining and could have very well come off steamer tables at a wedding buffet. Also, they left our plates and fingers oil-slicked. The roomali roti was undercooked, the tandoori, dry and tiny. The murgh malai tikka was juicy and soft, but over-salted.
Saffron Bay already has location, space and ambition going for it. It needs to occupy these with a little more confidence, competence and focus — and a little less grease.
WHERE: 39B, above Ice Cream Works, Chowpatty Seaface, Charni Road
TIMINGS: Noon to 3.30 pm; 7 pm to 1 am
CALL: 2369-6992 / 2369-6993
PRICE CHECK: Rs 2,500 for a meal for two, with one drink each
OPENED ON: August 17
HT reviews anonymously and pays for all meals and events