It's easy to mess up French cuisine and make a hash of things. So I am apprehensive as I make my way to Chez Moi, the French-cum-Mediterranean restaurant in Bandra. The restaurant, which opened its first outlet in the lane opposite Lilavati Hospital on the Bandra Reclamation a few months back, has just launched a branch in Oshiwara. More importantly, the menu has been revamped and I am here to check out if it passes the ‘strict review test’.
It doesn’t start well, and for no fault of the restaurant. For a lane that houses half a dozen restaurants including a café, a hugely-popular self-service joint and a couple of fine-dine places, the condition of the road is scary. There are more potholes than tar here and enough mud for a pig to roll in. The Brihanmumbai Municipal Corporation (BMC) apparently feels it’s a private road (owned by a public sector unit and therefore repairing it is not their job.
The restaurant owners, I am told, have now got together to get the road repaired. Once inside, it’s easy to understand why Chez Moi (which, translated, means ‘at my house’) has become so popular. The wooden tables, the quaint chairs, the soft music and the dimmed lights get you into a nice, happy mood and you forget for the moment that bad roads await you outside.
The menu card is a part of an old fashion magazine! The first few pages have the menu and the rest gives you ideas about redecorating your home and a new style trend. The food takes a bit of time to arrive (how very laid back and French) and we while away our time munching on some French Fries and juice.
The Veg Tapenade Platter (Rs 240) is toasted well and the various (olives, hummus) toppings give us a choice of choosing one according to our personal taste. The Chicken-stuffed Zucchini (Rs 45) looks cool in its green and yellow avatar. I like the slightly tangy taste and the size -- small enough to pop it in straight but big enough to chew for a while and savour the aftertaste. The Mediterranean Veg Risotto (Rs 345) is not the best we have had. It’s cooked to perfection and the mushrooms give it a nice flavour, but the chef has overdone the wine. The mushrooms are fairly oozing wine (how did they ever guess I love my wine though) -- which takes a bit away from the taste.
The Roast Lamb Rack (Rs 410) makes us smile again. We look around a bit to see if anyone’s noticing before using both hands to tear apart the rack and savour each bone to its last bit of meat. Yum! The French Chicken Pizetta (Rs 210) is cute -- tiny little pieces of pizza with a variety of toppings. It goes well with a glass of wine though we wouldn’t recommend this to people who love their pizzas thin crust and coming out of wood ovens. As we are about to leave, we hear someone at the next table praising the Cheese and Leek Cigars (Rs 220) to high heaven. We order it as a takeway. In the car, we try the starter with a pint of beer. And we silently thank our unknown friend at the next table. This dish is to die for. Would we head back to Chez Moi again? Absolutely. We just hope the road is a bit better by then.
Where: 13, Candies Lane, opposite Lilavati Hospital, Bandra Reclamation, Bandra West