All sound, no spice?
Spices and Flavours, Fort's new eatery, might be drawing in the crowds with its busy Indian menu but the owners ought to look closely at working on the taste factor and flavours, to justify its name
It wasn’t tough to locate Spices and Flavours. After all, it has an illustrious neighbour (read: the Bombay Stock Exchange). We were expecting an empty restaurant since the place was new, and also because we dropped by on a Tuesday night. It wasn’t to be.
We managed to seat ourselves, amid loud chatter from big, fat Indian families and against the backdrop of blaring music — Hindi and even Marathi (surprise). For the longest time, we imagined that the music was emanating from the first floor, where the restaurant runs a lounge, but our curiosity revealed the truth. A peek into proceedings on the first floor revealed that the piped music was in fact, being channeled from the ground floor for the benefit of its customers. Why would anyone prefer to listen to Babuji Zara Dheere Chalo, while having a meal? We gave up pondering after a while.
We decided to focus on matters of the palate. Meanwhile, three attendants had asked us for our choice of water and none had returned with any. However, we didn’t have to face the same fate when it came to food, since the service was extremely quick. We opted for Rassewala Aloo and Tukkad (Rs 140) and Flavour Cheese Bread (Rs195) along with Sev Puri. However, we were told that Sev Puri was not available and we dropped the idea of replacing it with something else. Instead, we settled for Peach Ice Tea (Rs 145).
While the Marwari dish, Rassewala Aloo and Tukkad, tasted authentic and was prepared well with a spicy potato curry and thick wheat bread soaked in ghee, the Flavour Cheese Bread with an assortment of capsicum and a dash of bell pepper and Oregano was ordinary. It lacked a strong garlic flavouring, which we expected from the bread; its taste left us feeling cheated.
By now, a slight headache was beginning to take over, thanks to the cacophony around. We ordered our mains as quickly as we could. Without getting too experimental, we zeroed in on Dal Makhani (Rs 189), a plate of Steamed Rice (Rs 139) and a vegetable dish called Shyam Savera (Rs199). This time too, the service was prompt. We were excited to savour Shyam Savera, owing to its unique name.
The dish consisted of minced balls of different vegetables that were blended together with a curry. Although the presentation made it look appetising, it didn’t appease the taste buds. The tangy taste of the curry had missed the mark. Likewise with the Dal Makhani: the North Indian way of making lentils did not contain the aroma and the flavour that an authentic Dal should have. A disappointment. However, the Mung Dal Shiro (Rs 90), a lip-smacking sweet dish, lifted our spirits at the end and concluded our gastronomic soiree on a happy note.
Spices & Flavours
At: 6/8, Hamam Street, Ambalal Doshi Marg, near Bombay Stock Exchange, Fort.
Spices and Flavours didn't know we were there. The Guide reviews anonymously and pays for meals.