Why this new Powai eatery needs to make a few changes

Powai’s newest eatery No. 101 boasts of a heady ambiance but their mixed show with the menu warrants a few changes in the kitchen before it can offer a memorable dining experience

Our meal at No. 101 almost didn’t happen. On the weeknight that we visited, the place was booked for a party and the attendant warned us of an hour-long wait. When we clarified that we had called a day in advance and been told that reservations weren’t required, we were told that they don’t reserve tables post 8 pm (information that had not been shared when we had called). Fuming but unwilling to return on another day, we waited it out, and an hour later, we were ushered inside. 

The décor had a kitschy vibe 

As we made our way upstairs to the eatery, we spotted wall-high shelves stacked with kettles, jars, pails, hurricane lamps and a mortar and pestle. There was an open bar and adjacent to it, a wall strewn with framed photographs. One of the walls were stacked with vibrantly painted trunks and hurricane lamps, while the cushions sported images of yesteryear Bollywood actresses; all of which lent a kitschy vibe to the space. Adding an eclectic touch, the pricing of every item on the menu also ends with a 1.

The Achari Jhinga Salad was one of the highlights of our meal. Pics/Pradeep DhivarThe Achari Jhinga Salad was one of the highlights of our meal. Pics/Pradeep Dhivar

Now, for the real deal. Famished after the hour-long wait, we ordered a Nalli Ka Shorba (`131) and an Achari Jhinga Salad (`161). As thirst-quenchers, we opted for a Pinacolada (`151) and a Budweiser (`241). The Pinacolada was refreshing albeit saccharine sweet. The Nalli Ka Shorba, a medium-spicy clear lamb soup, was delectable and made for comfort food. The Achari Jhinga Salad was equally good; it included prawns marinated with burnt garlic and pickled spices, all cooked in a tandoor. It was served on a bed of crunchy lettuce, carrots, bell pepper and tomatoes. The Bengali in us warmed to the aftertaste of mustard oil and vinegar, and the dish was polished off quickly.

The Gulab Jamun were served hot and tasted delicious
The Gulab Jamun were served hot and tasted delicious

For mains, we opted for Dilliwale Chole (`201) and Rara Gosht (`441) served with Garlic Naan (`71) and Malabari Paratha (`61). The Dilliwale Chole consisted of chickpeas tossed in an onion and tomato gravy and tasted slightly bland. The Rara Gosht, which was mutton soaked in mince, was an engaging blend of spices but the meat was a tad undercooked, and hence, chewy. Besides, we found many tiny bones, a major gaffe, especially, as there are chances that the eater might accidentally swallow or bite into them. The Garlic Naan was quite satisfactory but the Malabari Paratha didn’t impress.

The Murgh Tikka Biryani (`371) that we ordered subsequently was also disappointing with a too-prominent flavour of cardamom, which overpowered the dish.

When all seemed lost, the Gulab Jamun (`81) saved the day. It arrived piping hot, and was melt-in-the-mouth good without being cloyingly sweet. It shared joint honours along with Achari Jhinga Salad as our picks of the day.

At No. 101, Ventura, opposite D-Mart, Hiranandani, Powai. 
Call 66918888/ 66716666

No. 101 didn’t know we were there. the guide reviews anonymously and pays for its meals.

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