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ISSUE OF MAY 2003  
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Simply Blue(s)... No Jazz

Rashmi Uday Singh’s
Good Food Guide

Believe me it’s tough! It’s difficult taking my place in the restaurant lily pond and trying to tell the frogs apart from the princes. You have to kiss many a frog before you find the prince and that’s what I end up doing, but my aim is to introduce only the princes to you. And a good restaurant doesn’t necessarily mean an expensive one, it means one which delivers good food and service consistently. Right? Now, though I love the small, hole-in-the-wall, off-the-eaten-track joints, I am confining myself to the somewhat upper-end ones for all of you business-traveller readers. Unless of course, you feel otherwise, then please do write to me and I’ll be delighted to serve you according to your taste. Meanwhile, here’s an amazing family restaurant that is truly raising the bar and setting international "lifestyle dining" standards. The great thing is that it spans the city of Mumbai and in the past 16 months has set up four branches, the latest one opened mid-April.

BOMBAY BLUE
Please, tick the correct answer
What is it that makes the brand new restaurant ‘Bombay Blue’ a sure winner ? Is it the high-powered people behind it ? (Joy Kapur of the Copper Chimney group and Sanjiv Chona of the Cream Centre group join hands with J S Gill, the owner of the largest sporting retail chain in Asia).

  • Is it the huge variety of veg and non-veg dishes ? (Mexican, Italian, Lebanese, Indian, starters, chaats, kiddy meals, shakes, desserts, coffees).
  • Is it the value for money pricing? (Dishes start at Rs 45 and the most expensive is Rs 175).
  • Is it the brightly lit and cheery international ambience ?
Shots of the chic Bombay Blue outlets

Ticked "yes" for all the answers? You are right. Said "none of the above" then you are right too. You are right, because Bombay Blue moves beyond all the above elements and acquires a distinct identity of its own. An identity hard to define, because nothing like it exists. An identity which pulses with energy and seems to have put its finger on the zeitgeist of the city’s consumption passions. No wonder then that though the first Bombay Blue opened at the end of 2001 in Bandra, it has been in such demand that it has opened in Andheri, Lower Parel and Kala Ghoda.

And I am happy to report that the ambience, menu and standards are equally consistent and high in each one. Except that the latest Bombay Blue (Kala Ghoda) is not only the largest but also has plasma screens and a big screen projector, a party room, karaoke lounge and disco.

The Plus Points

Ambience - Glass walls, gleaming white floors of vitrex tiles, create a feeling of light and space. There is a waiting lounge, an outdoor area and even a bar area. The Singapore architects have imported every single detail (including the artificial plants).

Variety - I take a slow look at the plush, handsome spiral bound menu and my mind boggles. From Dilli ki chaat to falafals, from Lavazza coffees to "Copper Chimney" kababs. Kids can gorge on the kiddy menu, have unlimited Pepsi for Rs 29, freak out on the sizzling brownie sundae. The health conscious have not just the soups, but also the sizzlers (paneer chilli etc).
Value - Clearly it’s the "value for money" proposition that makes this recipe work. The portions are generous and you can have a decent meal even for Rs 125.

The Minus Points

Noise - If you’re looking for a quiet rendezvous, you need to head for a non-happening place.

No prior booking - You may end up waiting for quite a while.

No alcohol

My Points

The food report - What a delight to find ‘Copper Chimney’ kababs and ‘Cream Centre’ channa bhaturas here. The Italian dishes have been made under the tutelage of the chef of Singapore’s award winning restaurant ‘Michelangelo’ and done with imported pomodori pelati tomatoes and durum wheat. Rajvir of Chandni Chowk, Delhi makes sure that the Dilli papdi chaat is just so, while, the Israeli chef Allen Kruvi has ensured that the falafal and hummus are redolent of Lebanon. Care is taken to adapt each and every dish to the Indian palate and therein lies the secret of their success.

The timing report - Open through the day (noon to beyond midnight) makes this place a superb option not just for meals but also snacks. But no breakfast available.

The kitchen report - It is spankingly clean.

The loo report - Very clean. The Kala Ghoda branch even has TV screens in the loo. ("We don’t want you to a miss a ball when in the loo," says Sanjiv Chona)

The parking report - Plenty available.

Their ‘Blue Foods’ group (Copper Chimney, Cream Centre, the trendy Noodle Bar) is primed to take over Mumbai, before it moves into other cities. In other words, they plan to paint the town red with their Bombay Blue.

Bombay Blue

Bombay Blue, Summer Ville, ground floor, 14th and 33rd road, off Linking Road, Khar (W), Bandra
Tel:(022) 26000444/26000888.

Open from noon to beyond midnight. No valet parking. No table reservations, Credit cards accepted. No alcohol.
Bombay Blue (V) Shopper’s Stop, Andheri (W) || Tel -(022) 26232222/26237000 || Home delivery. Valet Parking available.

FoodLine

Come, be a foodie! What on earth is a foodie, you might ask. You are one, if you are very interested in food and feel no need to conceal your excitement about food (it used to be called greed at one time). Foodism is a good "ism", a religion which crosses all boundaries, is understood in all languages and knows no frontiers. So, come join the gang and keep in touch with me, share with all of us, your best restaurant experiences with complete details, so that we can all benefit by it.

My lifeline - you! Call, fax, email, your suggestions, recommendations, questions and you’ll find them printed here. Looking for anything connected to food? Found it? This is the place to speak up.

FOODLINE (022) 22161313
rashmiudaysingh@hotmail.com
rashmi_udaysingh@yahoo.co.in
PO Box 19946, Mumbai 5

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