Carter’s Blue moves beyond the suburbs, opening its doors in Fort, to whip up robust Middle Eastern fare
Food: Above average
Service: Can do better
A night-out in South Mumbai often weighs heavy on the wallet, until you stumble upon Carter’s Blue in this swish area. Located in a by-lane off Kala Ghoda, this eatery enjoys an enviable pin code. We are greeted at the entrance by a rotisserie where meat is barbecued for the shawarma, one the hottest selling items at Carter’s Blue.
The Pesto Hummus with Pita Bread was a winner. Pics/Pradeep Dhivar
The restaurant is a cosy joint in subtle hues — cream colour scheme for the walls, wooden chairs painted in white and blue, quaint lamps, and quirky detailing like cushions with prints of Indian maharajas in the bar at the end of the restaurant. We liked what we saw, minus the fact that the floor was a tad messy and a piece of tomato got wedged in our shoe!
We chose a corner table and waited for a friend to arrive, but in about 15 minutes, servers come to our table, twice, rushing us to order. This occurred despite the fact that two tables lied unoccupied at the restaurant. Feeling the pressure, we sifted through the menu where we were pleasantly surprised to find that it was possible for a trio to enjoy a hearty meal (sans alcohol), for under a grand.
The healthy Tabuli Salad was high on lemon
The exhaustive menu covered Lebanese (Mediterranean), Mughlai and Chinese cuisine. We started with the healthy Tabuli Salad (Rs 170, tax-inclusive, minus service charge). Traditionally, in the Arabic world, the dish contains couscous but is usually loaded with green parsley and mint. The dish served here had an excess of healthy couscous but with limited greens, as also rather sparse use of tomatoes. The taste of ingredients was washed out by the excessive use of lemon.
We moved on to the Pesto Hummus with Pita Bread (Rs 170). The dish was like no hummus we’ve seen before — the hummus was green due to the pita flavouring. But don’t judge this dish by its colour; dip in and you know its chickpeas you’re eating, with the added tanginess of pesto. The sauce gives hummus a bite that won over our Indian palate.
Next up, the Chicken Arabic Shawarma (Rs 150) arrived. For the uninitiated, the dish felt the need to scream of its Arab roots, but we were surprised to find that bits of meat had a hint of tandoor colouring. That said, we enjoyed this dish served with garlic sauce.
We then decided to move to the more sumptuous dishes listed under the ‘Lebanese Chicken’ section of the menu. But, just after 9.15 pm, those dishes were wiped out. Our advice: to enjoy the full menu, drop by for lunch or an early dinner. We packed away a few vegetarian starters, Arabian Bitwan Paneer (Rs 250), which was more Indian than Arabic with grilled paneer with vegetables. The paneer was succulent and the portions were large.
Veggie delights, too
The Falafel Shawarma, (Rs 130), was filling and mildly spiced. Although, the name was a bit misleading as shawarma refers to a meat preparation, while falafel is a fried vegetarian ball or patty. This dish was strictly vegetarian and mildly spiced, as we like it. Our take-away had packaging that ensured there were no food spills despite the hour-long drive. Overall, Carter’s Blue offers you a chance to enjoy Arabic fare, with an Indian twist, at prices that are a steal. It’s worth a visit, but it should pay attention to detail — starting with printing the correct number on the billing slip!
Time: 12 pm to 12 am
At: 12 Bake House Lane, Kala Ghoda, Fort.
Carter’s Blue didn’t know we were there. the guide reviews anonymously and pays for its meals.