Asia

A grand meal at India Jones

It’s been almost a year since I’ve been to India Jones. The last time we went the food was quite a let-down and we weren’t inclined to return. However the partner-in-dine was in the mood for dim sum and we decide to give India Jones a second chance (and it was probably too late to get a table for lunch at Royal China). We’ve usually liked the food at India Jones but the two things we really enjoy, and for which we’ve returned over the years, has been the Korean set menu and the unlimited dim sum lunch. You can get reasonably decent south-east Asian and Chinese at a number of restaurants in South Mumbai. But good Korean and dim sum is a challenge.

Unfortunately, the dim sum lunch has been discontinued at India Jones so the only two fixed meals were the Korean set menu and the Grand Platter. May had been a difficult month for us. First we discovered that the dog had a massive tumour which was compressing her organs. Four days after her surgery she pulled open her stitches giving an unpleasant meaning to knowing your dog inside out. Following an emergency surgery the partner-in dine and I took turns sleeping for 10 days so that there was a watchful eye on her at all times. After her stitches came out we decided a celebration was in order. Since our plan for dim sum had been stymied, the partner-in-dine decided we should celebrate with the four-course, 17-dish Grand Platter.

This turned out to be a fantastic decision.

Starters Grand Platter, India Jones, Mumbai

L-R Vietnamese spring roll, satay chicken, chicken sui mai, prawn har gow, Singapore popiah

Though the dim sum trolley has been discontinued, India Jones still offers a full dim sum menu, some of which are included in the Grand Platter. While the other starters were quite delightful, the dim sum, both the chicken sui mai and the prawn har gow, were stodgy and lacking flavour.  We particularly liked the daintiness and crunchiness of the Singaporean popiah, the crisp freshness of the vegetables in the cold Vietnamese spring roll and the punch from the basil and coriander and the mild smokiness of the chicken satay.

Next up was a sour-sweet, crunchy som tam salad that was mouth-wateringly refreshing. Som tams can be too crisp or too tangy but the perfectly balanced tartness in every juicy bite of this one made it the kind of salad you want to eat when you’re wilting on a hot day. The partner-in-dine who usually detests som tam served herself to seconds and thirds.

Tom Yum Kai Grand Platter, India Jones, Mumbai

Tom Yum Kai

The steamed prawns in prik nam pla were just a tad overcooked but other than that they were just gorgeous. The sour, sweet, spicy notes of the prik nam pla dressing was good enough to slurp down on its own.

The only option on the menu is a chicken tom yum or a vegetarian tom kha. I stuck to the tom yum and was not at all disappointed – what I enjoyed most was that while you could taste the flavours of lemongrass, chillis and kaffir lime you didn’t have to keep fishing out the aromatics.

Veg green curry Grand Platter, India Jones, Mumbai

Veg green curry

All the main course dishes were, without exception, quite enjoyable. Some dishes though were better than others. The sliced pork was a bit dry but it was carried along by the sweetish barbecue topping. The vegetable green curry was very polite – lots of flavour but almost no heat, but the vegetables were perfectly cooked and brought a pleasing crunchiness to the meal. The plump wok-fried prawns in a sweetish seafood sauce with an undercurrent of pungency and the grouper with juliennes of celery and spring onion that gave out small bursts of sweetness was just wonderful. This is what good Asian food is all about, perfectly cooked meats clothed in sauces that are flavourful but aren’t loud and noisy.

The minimum order size for the Grand Platter is for two persons; however it’s a truly grand serving size and though we’re pretty big eaters we were floored by the amount of food on the table. We decided not to try everything and packed the three dishes which could be easily re-heated for dinner: a velvety peppery wok fried vegetables in black pepper sauce, the simple, unadorned Singapore noodles and a flavourful chicken with chilli and ginger.

Fig and balsamic ice cream Grand Platter, India Jones, Mumbai

Fig and balsamic ice cream

For dessert you can either choose fresh fruits or any of the ice creams. My apple pie ice cream was exactly what I wanted – pieces of tender-cooked apple and pastry enveloped in a smooth ice cream. The partner-in-dine’s fig and balsamic ice cream was very elegant but a little too understated, it could have done with a bit more balsamic.

The Grand Platter is not exactly cheap: Rs 2750 per head which after taxes works out to Rs 3250 per head. However, considering the quality of the food and the size of the serving (we got two meals out of it) it’s definitely worth the price – especially if want to turn a bad month around.

India Jones
The Trident Nariman Point
Tel: 022 66326330

Disclosure
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

 

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