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Don’t let the menu scare you

Nelson Wang and his son, Edward, seem to have earned a reputation in Mumbai with their brand of Chinese fare.

india Updated: Oct 19, 2012 17:30 IST
Collin Rodrigues
Collin Rodrigues
Hindustan Times

What: Ren
Where: Gabbana House, 2nd Floor, 15th Road, Khar West
Call: 2600 2626
What’s on the menu: Chinese and continental starters
Drinking: Yes
Smoking: Yes

Nelson Wang and his son, Edward, seem to have earned a reputation in Mumbai with their brand of Chinese fare.

Now the latter’s newest offering, Ren, plans to take this legacy forward. While the lounge opens at 7 pm, the first patrons only begin to show up after 9.30 pm. The DJ also takes to the console around then. After 11 pm, entry is restricted to a cover of R2,500.

At 9.30 pm when we walked in, the place was deserted. The light emitting from the Chinese lettering carved into the red walls adds to the lounge’s ambience. A 30-feet-long bar takes up one side. The alcohol menu is expansive, comprising a wide array of brands, cocktails, mocktails, shooters and beers. Pints of popular labels like Kingfisher (Rs200), Kingfisher Ultra (Rs 250), Heineken (Rs 400) and Carlsberg (Rs 450) are on offer at reasonable prices. All the cocktails, except the Long Island Iced Tea (Rs800), are priced at R450. Mocktails are priced at Rs375. Custom-made cocktails and mocktails will cost you Rs550 and Rs450 respectively.

The food menu at first glance seems very diverse. But sadly, after flipping through the enormous entries, we were politely told that the restaurant only serves starters. Then after we chose a couple of dishes from the limited starters menu, we were informed that those dishes weren’t available! Our first orders of Guava Peach and Caribbean Delight (Rs375 each) mocktails came in immediately. The former was fizzy, while the latter tasted like a milk shake. As for the starters, we finally resorted to asking the staff what dishes from the menu were available. We settled for the Black Olive Chicken (Rs390) and Soya and Wine Chilly Fish (Rs575), both of which arrived after a significant delay, by which time our glasses were empty. The chicken was well-cooked and appetising, though we felt the fish was a tad too bland.

The staff, the cocktails and the service at Ren all just about pass muster, without anything being impressively spectacular. But their menu cards are confusing, even misleading. The Wang success formula seems to have clicked here too, considering the place seems to be drawing the right crowd.

What we like
The food
The drinks

We don’t like
Misleading menu

Rating: ***

First Published: Oct 19, 2012 15:45 IST