Great service, but disappointing dim sum
It’s a been a while since I’ve eaten at India Jones. When it first opened I used to pop in quite often, usually joining chefs Manish Nambiar and Anthony Huang for a late lunch after the kitchen closed. We’d sit at the Chef’s Table that’s tucked away under the staircase leading upstairs to the Opium Den next to the open kitchen. The meals were quite simple, new dishes they were experimenting with or dishes that had not been executed properly for lunch and which they needed to examine.
I’ve always liked the food and have returned often as a regular customer after the chefs moved on. While I’ve enjoyed the Chinese and the Chef Wikan Namvesis’ Benihana-style teppanyaki, my favourite has been the Korean set-meal. The last couple of lunches we had have been quite predictable: the girlfriend has the dim sum set lunch and I have my Korean set-meal. But that was about two years ago.
In the meantime, a number of stand alone restaurants offering excellent dim sums have opened so there was less of an incentive to visit India Jones. The girlfriend decided it was time to re-visit and see if she could break her record of 40 dim sum at a single meal at India Jones.
Unfortunately, in the time we’ve been away the quality of the dim sum hasn’t caught up with the competition. That’s not to say that the dim sum were bad or substandard – just unimpressive. Everything was uniformly adequate, almost as if the restaurant was offering it out of a sense of obligation, rather than passion or interest. Nothing stood out, nothing made you feel like you wanted to return.
The service however was fabulous: the staff was warm, attentive and friendly, exactly as you would expect service at an Oberoi hotel to be.
Sadly, I thought the soup was the highlight of the meal. It was velvety-smooth and refreshingly tangy with the mild spiciness of coriander stem; the minced chicken and chopped mushroom added a perfect textural balance to the soup.
I found the prawn in the har gow to be a bit too hard; the bao filling was lovely but the bread, though perfectly light and fluffy a tad too sweet. No problems with the wonton or sui mai.
The gyoza wrappers were perfect but the lamb had an unappetizing greasy flavour typical of imported lamb.
At Rs 2200 (including taxes and tip) I’m not sure that the dim sum lunch is a value for money proposition. It is unlimited, but no one wants endless servings of something you don’t enjoy. For the same amount of money I could take a cab to Yauatcha in Bandra (E), order à la carte and have a better meal.
|Invited by PR company||No|
|Guest of the chef/ restaurant||No|
|Restaurant knew I’m a food writer||No|
|Meal comped by the restaurant||No|