When we heard that Level One had opened its doors near Big B’s residence (Jalsa), we were curious to check out the restaurant. After all, despite being on a prime location, the area until now hadn’t managed to tempt restaurateurs to set up shop. As we made our way, we noticed that the stretch was shrouded in eerie darkness on the Diwali weekend. Once we were at the venue, Level One came across as a pub-cum-restaurant on the first floor. Full marks for the catchy name. As we enter, the décor had sepia-tinted wallpaper with women like Dita Von Teese glaring at us without any reason.
We liked the lounge vibe as Level One has several large sofas, bar stools and table-chair arrangements to choose from, tagged with an adjacent smoking section. After staring at the one-page food section and a long list of liquor menu, My Passion (comprising passion fruit and pineapple juice), a Grape Fruit Minty Cooler (both R150) and a Fresh Lime Soda (R100) was our faux poison to cleanse Diwali hangovers. When the tang revived our jaded souls, we decided to binge.
Mozarella Cheese Sticks with Marinara Sauce (R225) and Fried Prawns with Garlic Aioli (R350) were ordered. While the cheese sticks arrived post a 25-minute hiatus, the sour cheese hardly went down well. Requesting the manager, the preparations were explained to us in a befuddled way making us think if that sourness was intended or not.
Paneer Tikka was served with Mint Chutney (R225) instead, which we later realised was not charged and so weren’t the cheese sticks. However, paneer when dissected kept on dispelling water and was borderline-okay.
We have to admit; the presentation and the place had made us believe that the kitchen will whip something memorable, which it faintly did in the case of Fish and Chips (R250). The French Fries were crunchy and delicious reminding us of frozen origins. The Cream Cheese Pasta (R300) and Grilled Vegetable Club Sandwich (R225) were the last straws we hung on to. Executed without refinement or correct techniques, neither the sauce in the pasta nor the sandwich registered taste in our mouths. Though happy hours extend from 6 pm to 11 pm, from Sundays to Thursdays, finger food and lack of desserts expose a shaky foundation at Level One.
At Level One, Vaishali Shopping Centre, VM Road, Vile Parle (W).
Level One didn’t know we were there. The GUIDE reviews anonymously and pays for meals.