Address: Classic Corner Building, Next to Holy Family Hospital, Hill Road, Bandra West, Mumbai, Maharashtra 400050
Time: 12 Noon to 3:30 PM, 7 PM to 11:30 PM
Meals for two: Rs. 2,100
Cuisines: Asian, Chinese
Facilities: Full Bar Available
Mediocre’ and ‘ho-hum’ just about sums up our experience at this brand-new Chinese restaurant. A pity! Whenever a restaurant is not up to scratch, it saddens me. I do realize that dreams, investment and hard work have gone into its setting up. But dear reader, my primary and only responsibility is to you. To give you an accurate and honest assessment of the restaurant. And past 30 years, it’s been my policy to have my assistant book in a fake name (once we’re in the restaurant, there’s not much they can do to the food, except fancy up the service), to always pay my bill and to get another palate opinion perspective by inviting guests. And my guests to House of Mandarin were not only charming and articulate, but also the perfect foodie couple who combine style with substance. For a long time, I’d been following their luxurious gourmet world travels in travelmango.in. And it came as the most pleasant surprise to learn that the glamorous Laveena Mitha is a serious educationist who stimulates young minds and runs South Mumbai’s immensely popular GK Genius class. Equally happy surprise to know that the poetic Sajjid Mitha is the founder of Asia’s fastest growing petrochemical market intelligence firm, PolymerUpdate and metals intelligence vertical. Can the hightech founder of the world’s first smartphone application for trading polymers also be so creative, literary and lyrical and such a discerning gourmet? The dapper Sajjid Mitha sure is, and our afternoon was an exuberant, revelatory one. A pity that the food did not follow suit.
House of Mandarin, Hill Road, Bandra West, Mumbai: DECOR
The very somber House of Mandarin replaces the cheerful Sassy Spoon. Done up with predictable clichés, and for some reason, a cherry blossom and a Geisha painting.
House of Mandarin, Hill Road, Bandra West, Mumbai: FOOD
Since neither the menu nor the dishes on it were particularly adventurous or inventive, it put a real premium on execution across many dishes – dim sum, duck, noodles, rice – the kitchen turned out food that just about squeaked past the okay mark and plenty that skidded off the track into tasteless mush.Thin-skinned vegetarian Cheung Fun and the tasty duck were in the passable category. As was the tasty, well-made Grouper.
House of Mandarin, Hill Road, Bandra West, Mumbai: MINUS POINTS
Avoidable… from the Jasmine Tea (read: hot water) to the crumbly Chicken Puff, overcooked lamb and bland chicken, over sweet Lemongrass Creme Brulee and Chocolate Dome. Pork puff not available.
House of Mandarin, Hill Road, Bandra West, Mumbai: MY POINT
Predictable Chinese fare. And for sure, “predictable” doesn’t have to mean disappointing. It can be comforting and reassuring provided it is cooked right. I have many a favorite restaurants, which serve up predictable comfort fare.
Final outcome? The dishes at House of Mandarin were a mix of wins, losses and draws, and woefully, there were barely any outright wins.