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Restaurant Review: The negatives stand out more than the plus points of this fine-dining restaurant
As much as one tries not to have expectations, when you hear the name Food Exchange, what immediately comes to the mind is the give and take of flavours, styles of cooking and ingredients between two or more cuisines.
At first sight, this restaurant seemed like an ideal setting where this could happen, given its sophisticated interiors. The newly introduced concept of a 100 per cent live kitchen, where diners can sit around and watch their food being cooked appealed to us, so we chose a spot, known as the chef’s table, adjacent the warm tandoor counter.
The pleasant staff presented us with a menu curated by the manager, that began with a burnt garlic soup, which is definitely worth a mention. The clear soup seemed just right to begin a dinner with. An array of appetisers followed, and this is where the disappointment first set in. The usual paneer tikka, with mint chutney, didn’t come as a surprise at all. We waited a bit more until we had tasted the rest of the dishes to evaluate, but the subsequent babycorn satay and beef skewers didn’t do much either.
Is the fact that the paneer was soft and beef perfectly cooked reason enough to call a restaurant good, or does innovation count especially when you’re a part of a star hotel? We decided to settle on the latter especially after sampling the main course — one pizza that consisted of buffalo mozzarella and basil and another with Parma ham, mascarpone and rocket leaves. The former was insipid, lacking even the ‘t’ of taste; the other was bearable because of the inherent flavour of the meat.
At least the dessert didn’t make us feel bad about missing 20 minutes of a movie we subsequently had to go for. Then again, maybe we felt that too soon. A cheesecake and brownie festival was on-going so an assorted platter of sweetmeats was placed before us. The gulkhand cheesecake surly left us craving for more, but all the brownies made us wonder, “How can a restaurant and trained chefs manage to mess this up?” The consistency was off on so many levels — it was extremely dense.
Thankfully, the last few sips of the mocktails served to us (the hotel doesn’t possess a liquor license as yet) were a life-saviour and helped wash down the brownie. The orange juice, ginger ale, and lemon drink took on a refreshing spin with chunks of marmalade, while the watermelon mocktail appealed to us because of a touch of coconut water in it. It’s a sincere hope that the restaurant picks up its quality of food and experiments a lot more in order to do justice to its name.
Address: Novotel, Chamiers Road (Ph: 044 2430 2333)
Cuisine: Continental, Italian, Indian
Must-have: Thai beef skewers, Lady Marmalade
Timing: Open 24 hours
Star rating (given on 5):***