A cosmic turn-off
The Zodiac, a newly-launched eatery at Baner Road, attempts to recreate an American diner experience but falls short in its bid thanks to a lackluster menu
The Zodiac looked like a pretty little place when we visited. Cute planters and tiny lights adorned the fence of this American fast food eatery. On entry, the pastry counter looked delightful and the seating on level one was functional and bright. The menu was American and had some pasta as well. Smoothies, sliders, burgers and hot dogs dominated the menu. We had been looking forward to an American joint, so the excitement was high.
We ended up over-ordering: a Southern Fried Chicken (Rs 90), Homemade Cheese Fries (Rs 75) and a Guacamole and Chips (Rs 75). The chicken arrived after much deliberation. The crisp-fried fingers revealed that their oil had been reused post its lifespan. It wasn’t quite like the juicy, tangy chicken we’d expected.
Service: Could be better
Our fries took their time to arrive and when they did, the oil issue did an encore. The fries had been deep-fried, topped with some meager shredded cheese and popped into an oven till their tips were charred. It consisted of a sticky bowl of black tips sitting on a base of orange-yellow cheese. It was inedible. The saviour guacamole and nachos arrived soon after — they were basic and edible, thankfully.
We had to order some drinks to help us along. The Watermelon Cruise (Rs 75) was an unusual combination done well with a sprint of mint. And the Sweet Kiss (Rs 75), a strawberry, chocolate and cream drink served in a martini glass lived up to its moniker. You could definitely come to this place to sip (not munch) if you live in the area and are meeting friends.
We shifted our focus towards the sliders. On the menu they sounded delicious. On the plate, the group of two mini burgers, were sandwiched into a pao. Our Mushroom Swiss (Rs 85) had a tad under-cooked patty, a cheese that did nothing for the burger and fried onions that were the sole saving grace.
It was time to move along to the burgers. We opted for a classic, Swiss Cheese and Bacon (Rs 120) and a unique creation, Healthy Sprouty (Rs 89). The chicken burger came in a large bun with a repeat of the same patty, this time topped with crisp-fried pork bacon. It lived up to the adage that bacon makes everything better. We peeled the bacon out and left the rest of the the burger.
The Healthy Sprouty was a really good idea but not executed too well. The patty was made of a sprout concoction, much like a bhel (with onions, tomatoes, mint and green chillies) and lacked a flavour punch. We couldn’t finish this one either for after a bit the sprouts got to be too much effort. We kept chewing on without much taste for compensation.
Again, we were inclined to skip dessert but it fared better than the whole meal. The Chocolate Silk Tart (Rs 75) was a slice of a chocolate pie. Warm and smooth, created with a good quality chocolate, this one was definitely the showstopper of the meal. The service was polite but not in the groove yet. And they especially need to be informed about serving their meals with forks and spoons.
The Zodiac’s personified star signs across the walls all seemed a bit dejected. We understand their blues and wish their owners quickly create a more delicious zodiac for them.
At: Windsor Complex, Shop no 7, near Symantec, Baner Road.