In today’s ultra-competitive space where new restaurants open every week, the older hands have to keep re-inventing themselves. The Ship is doing just that. They have been around for several years and now, they have revamped their terrace area into a Mexican lounge and restaurant called Margarita Deck.
On a weeknight, The Ship was far more buzzing than our haunt. Several diners did choose to explore the terrace, but the atmosphere didn’t quite gel and most went back downstairs. Not that Margarita Deck isn’t pretty; with its open kitchen, wooden tables and chairs, colourful Mexican hats and even
cacti décor, it’s quite cosy. They even play what we presume to be Mexican music but, yes, it still lacks a pulsating energy that ups a restaurant’s beat.
The bar menu has quite a selection of Mexican cocktails and stocks even Sol, a Mexican beer. Our Acapulco (R345 plus taxes) balanced a pretty grapefruit in a tall glass full of ice. The rum and grapefruit blend, settled at the bottom, failed to lift up the mild drink.
The new menu plays up the common dishes: nachos and chimichangas for appetisers, tacos, fajitas, enchiladas and burritos. Most are available as either veggies with beans, chicken, beer-battered fish and chilli con carne or lamb on occasion.
Our starter, Tacos with Beer Battered Fish (R345) comprised of three authentic corn shells and were balanced between bowls of fried beans and fresh salsa. Though hard-shell tacos are a bit cumbersome to eat, the crunch factor was satisfying. The crumb-dredged fish chunks with their lovely golden coat and delicate white flesh were a pleasure to bite into. The blend of guacamole, salsa and hot beans, topped with a creamy sour cream made the tacos quite a hit.
We hadn’t bitten into a big, juicy burrito in ages and definitely not a veggie one. The Burrito with Beans and Veggies (`245) encased in its corn tortilla was large enough to need a slice in between. This time the shell was a let-down. The tortilla was close to completely uncooked.
For the mains, Margarita Deck has gone beyond the regulars and introduced the city to some authentic Mexican dishes. The Lamb Barbocoa
(`395) came sizzling hot. Full-bodied chunks of textured meat that maintained a reasonable, non over-powering flavour.
We made a special request for our Chocolate Mole (`450) to be served in prawns instead of chicken. The hesitant kitchen sent out an even more hesitant server to inform us that they had never tasted a prawn mole, so they weren’t sure if it would be fine. It turned out such a winner that Margarita Deck could seriously consider a menu addition. The large, juicy prawns surrendered themselves to the thick gravy of chocolate, chilli and twenty other spices that the mole consists of.
Coming to dessert, there is fusion Mexican to choose from. While we didn’t see a chilli hot chocolate shot, we loved the blend of Chocolate Nachos (`195).
Standing tall on their whipped cream base, these cinnamon-dusted diamonds were layered over with chocolate sauce. An ideal culmination to a perfect meal.
Margarita Deck is soft Mexican. So far, it seems more like a nook for couples, than a boisterous Mexican carnival for friends and families. The service is adorable in their fumbling over-excited-ness to please. The music could be peppier and the place could be brighter. Once they do go al fresco after the
monsoon, we are sure Margarita Deck will pick up.
At The Ship, 217, Fortaleza, Kalyani Nagar, Pune.
Call 26608777 / 66206336