Phone: 022 66880909, +91 8691055872
Address: Goldfinch Hotel, Plot 34/21, Central Road, MIDC, Andheri East, Mahakali, Mumbai, Maharashtra, India
Time: 12 Noon to 11:30 PM
Meals for two: Rs. 1,000
Cuisines: North Indian, Indian, Chinese, Continental
Facilities: Wine, Table booking recommended
I write this column from the gourmet capital of Spain. I’m not only in the midst of a Michelin restaurant marathon, but here as the only Indian regional jury chairperson to attend the “World’s 50 Best Restaurants” Awards. And I’m about to write the review of a multi-cuisine buffet-driven restaurant in Andheri East. I have to admit that I relish both locations (Spain and Andheri) with equal gusto. I love Mumbai’s suburbs, their energy and bustle. And always happy to check out the new restaurants, which keep popping up. Like “Banjara”, the shining brand new restaurant, part of the Goldfinch Hotel, which we chanced upon while exploring Andheri, just before I left for Europe.
Banjara: Goldfinch Hotel, Mahakali, Mumbai: Decor
Walk into the high ceilinged, handsome, pleasantly done up large room and two things catch your attention: the large black marble boat in the center and the really well-chilled room. Brightly lit and cheerful.
Banjara: Goldfinch Hotel, Mahakali, Mumbai: Food
Dishes from Karnataka, Laal Maas from Rajasthan (delicious boldly spiced) and the likes of the North Indian Butter Chicken (must try) as well as the predictable Mughlai and multi-cuisine. Strong points? Value for money lavish buffets, Indian food, especially from Karnataka and other parts of South. Ask for the robustly spiced Prawns Ghee Roast mellow with desi ghee. Chef Venkatarama Gowda’s coconut rich Mangalorean Fish Curry mopped up with the handkerchief-thin Neer Dosa as well as his Goan Fish Curry are worth trying.
Okayish lacy edged Appam and velvety ishtew. But the best deal of all is the buffet. As one of the diners Vikas Bhatkar points out, not only is there a huge spread (over 70 dishes) but live counters, salads, chaats, all cuisines and a huge spread of desserts.
Banjara: Goldfinch Hotel, Mahakali, Mumbai: Minus Points
The kitchen falters on the international dishes, be it the thick-skinned dim sum, overcooked Roast Lamb, gelatinous desserts or the lacklustre so-called Exotic Vegetables. Some of the Indian dishes are slushy and masala-laden. The “Banjara surprise” is an over sweet fried ice cream.
Banjara: Goldfinch Hotel, Mahakali, Mumbai: My Point
The high-ceilinged, handsome Banjara comes to Andheri via Bangalore and Faridabad. It serves up competently made Karnataka and South Indian fare as well as some North Indian dishes. Stay clear of the Continental and Chinese here. And should you be in the vicinity the lavish multi-cuisine buffets at Lunch Rs. 699+5% (tax); Dinner Rs. 799+5% (tax) are great value.
In the Tulu dialect, “Banjara” means “a satiated stomach”. The buffets here ensure that it lives up to its name. It’s open round the clock too.