The Americans swear by Taco Bell, a 52-year-old brand which has its presence in 16 countries. But will the Mexican food giant impress the Mumbaiites who have savoured the ‘Indianised’ version of this cuisine?
To find the answer, we go with a fast-food craving to Oberoi Mall’s food court on the second floor, where Taco Bell has opened its first kiosk in the city. Purple posters explaining the ‘tacology’, urging eaters to ‘Think out of the bun’, exude enough attitude to give its burger-chain rival a tough competition.
Wars can wait, as we queue up to order our first tasting. The crowd ahead of us confirms that this is going to be a long wait. From previous experience of kiosk ordering, we anticipate slack service. But, we are wrong. Thank god for that.
The Taco is neatly packed with a bed of beans, vegies, mayonnaise, cheese and cabbage
When it is our turn to order, the attendant gives us comforting smiles as we argue about the order, patiently explaining our options and efficiently executing the billing.
We move to the next line, which is even longer than the last. In all, we have received our order, which is rechecked by the server before handing over, in flat seven minutes. We are seriously impressed. We mutter a silent prayer that this smart service is here to stay.
We settle into the purple chairs and squeaky white tables. We begin with studying the yellow, orange and red sauce sachets that read Mild, Hot and Fire respectively. I put a Cheesy Feisty Potatoes (R59) into my mouth The crunchy texture, topped with cheese, tomatoes, bellpeppers and onions shuts out all thoughts, and it is indulgence personified. I only wish it were a bit more warmer. I dip the next one in the Hot sauce, and the tangy, spicy whirlwind is hard to
The Chicken Pizza is a crispy flat corn tacos, stuffed with spicy chicken and bean mix
From the corner of the tray, I spot a crooked nacho chip from Topped Nachoes with Beans (R79). The beans are flavourful and it reminds me of New Yorker’s Nachos which, I had once proclaimed, were the “best nachos ever”. Now, no more. With this one, I try the Mild sauce. While the dishes are not spicy, kids are going to love it. For fireworks, tear open the Hot sauce sachet.
Next, I turn my attention to the neatly-folded Crunchy Bean Taco (R30), which has a similar bean-filling, cabbage and cheese topping. Crispy, creamy but not spicy enough, the overall taste is amplified, thanks to the sauces.
Topped Nachos are served with Mexican beans, tomatoes, onions and lots of cheese
The only let down is the The Veg Quesadilla (R95), which is way too bland, with an overdose of cheese.
The winner is the Chicken Pizza (R95), which comes in double-layered flat taco shells. It’s perfect on its own, the shredded chicken and spicy bean mixture, topped with the right amount of cheese, tomatoes and bellpeppers giving us enough excuse to proclaim this indulgence legit.
We finish of with the Volcano Cake, which by now, has turned cold. While a chocolately lava still flows out, it’s a bit chewy for our taste.
Excellently priced with and that extra refill on the aerated drink, the Mumbai foodie has been surely belled.
At: Oberoi Mall, second Floor, Western Express Highway, Goregaon