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Food review: A lot more than grills at Grilla

With a live grill and plenty of quick bites to indulge in, fast food joint Grilla, located inside a swish Thane mall, might be just what the doctor ordered for after a hectic shopping spree

Grilla
Food: Good
Service: Very helpful
Ambiance: Relaxing

In Cooked: A Natural History of Transformation, author Michael Pollan writes about the process of grilling food being akin to a mystical experience. He  goes on to trace its roots to pre-historic times when the early man discovered the joys of grilled meat and thereby, communal cooking. This appeal, he said, drove people even today to host barbeques and savour such food.

Now, we aren’t sure if Grilla’s owners were inspired by Pollan, but this new eatery at Viviana Mall certainly celebrates all things grilled. It’s fun to watch your food being prepared in the comfort of diner-like booths.

We dropped by late on a weekday night and had the place practically to ourselves. We began with a Gourmet Bowl where you get to pick your ingredients. So, we opted for a Chicken Gourmet Bowl (R349) with noodles and Khow Suey sauce. The medium spicy dish was yum; we wished the portions were more though.

The Chicken Pinchos were great value-for-money and packed a lot of meat
The Chicken Pinchos were great value-for-money and packed a lot of meat

On our attendant’s recommendation, we ordered the Chicken Pinchos (Rs 269). The Chicken Satay strips were grilled and tossed in hot chilli sauce, but weren’t too spicy. The meat portions were also generous, making it our value-for-money pick of the day.

The Kiwi Cooler (Rs 95) and the Chilli Fruit Beer (Rs 155) served as thirst busters. The electric green kiwi drink was refreshing but the fruit beer lacked fizz. When we pointed this out, our attendant replaced it with a zestier version. Filled with chunks of apple, pepper and mint, it spelt healthy.

(L-R) The Brownie Sundae looked as appealing as it tasted; the Fruit Beer is one of their highlights. Pics/Sameer Markande
(L-R) The Brownie Sundae looked as appealing as it tasted; the Fruit Beer is one of their highlights. Pics/Sameer Markande

Back to our food, we opted for Chicken BBQ Burger (R299) that arrived with fries. It had a crusty patty (a tad too much for our liking), and was topped with tomatoes, lettuce, and the special spread. A bit messy, it kept falling apart though we eventually managed to pop it in our mouth. We loved the grilled flavours and sauces in it. The fries were a tad soggy but tasted delish.

Sauce dips are integral to savouring grilled food. Strangely, Grilla didn’t have any as accompaniments, except for ketchup pouches (that too, produced on request).

The Paneer Makhani Pizza (R399) was topped with makhani sauce, onion, coriander, herbs and melted cheese. When it arrived, it appealed to the palate but tasted bland. The flavours of the Makhani sauce were subtle while the other accompaniments didn’t appease.

Our choice of dessert, the Brownie Sundae (R140) arrived in a swirl of colours, resembling a work of art — a fitting finale to a memorable evening.

At Level 1, Viviana Mall, Eastern Express Highway, Thane (W). Call 61701523

Grilla didn't know we were there. The GUIDE reviews anonymously and pays for meals.

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