There is a slight nip in the air, and to use a popular catch phrase –winter is coming! In the subdued winters of Mumbai, this is the best time of the year to bring out your grills and host a barbecue on your terrace. However, given the shortage of open space in Mumbai, one is often deprived of these small pleasures of life.
Thankfully there are a few places in Mumbai that utilize their open space and host grills and barbecue sessions that are really good. The latest entrant to this list is The Leela located in the Andheri East area close to the International Airport.
It would not be an exaggeration to say that The Leela is one of the most beautiful hotels in the city, replete with a lush green cover and a beautiful pool side area. It is in this pool side area that the hotel is hosting their current Barbecue special at their open bar called 6 Degrees.
Being an avid fan of grills and barbecues, I had to check it out and finally managed to visit the hotel amidst a hectic work schedule this past Thursday. The beautifully but dimly lit patio next to the pool had several tables spread across a large area where the music was piping at decent decibels. The greens of the garden and the blues of the pool gave the place a very calm and serene look which paired well with the slight cool breeze and the beautiful aromas of a live barbecue and immediately I felt relaxed after a long day’s work.
After being shown our table, the service staff promptly explained the menu to us. Although the restaurant offers an a la carte barbecue menu, they have also worked out an all you can eat special that offers soup, breads, salad, meat platters and desserts. It seems to be the most popular dining choice of the patrons as I was told.
To begin with, we helped ourselves with a rich and creamy potato bacon soup, where I wished that the bacon bits were cooked before being added to the soup as they had become a non-crispy wilted goop in the soup. The salads on the other hand, were fresh, crisp and were delicious; same could be said about the breads that we tried during the evening.
The seafood platter in all its glory was a beautiful platter consisting of Sardines, Black Pomfret, Squid, Prawn, Sea Bass, Salmon and Rawas and was served with 5 different kinds of sauces. The seafood was well marinated and cooked to perfection. My only peeve was with the sardines which had small bones and in the dim light, was a bit challenging to eat. The accompanying sauces worked like magic with the seafood and I had my platter licked clean in no time.
The meat platter came next and had beautiful looking pieces of Moroccan spiced Chicken, Lamb steak, Chicken Satay, Pork sausage and Pork belly pieces which were marinated in Goan spices. As beautiful as the platter looked, I was not highly impressed with the same as barring the chicken; all the other cuts were fairly small and some of them even over cooked. The pork was quite nice and melted in the mouth but the rest of the platter was pretty average.
The ambiance, the concept, the service, the breeze, all accounts for a winning formula but at a price tag of Rs.2999 plus tax, the food offering is relatively average. I would strongly suggest the hotel leverage the pluses pointed out above and either restructure the price or better the barbecue line up so that it becomes an unforgettable experience. It surely has the required recipe to become so!
Ratings (Out of 5)
Food: 3 | Ambience: 4 | Service: 3| Overall: 3
Credit Card: Yes | Timings: | Meal for Two: Rs. 6,000 plus taxes | Alcohol: Yes | Wheelchair Friendly: Yes
Address: The Leela Mumbai, Sahar, Mumbai-400059. | Phone: 022 – 6691 1234
Disclaimer: This review was done on an invitation from the restaurant. Due judgment and care has been applied by the author to remain objective and unbiased in the review, but readers need to consider this review keeping this fact in mind.