It blows hot and cold

Feb 03, 2013, 11:00 IST | Kareena n gianani

Seven, the new all-day-dining restaurant at Shangri-La, makes a fantastic first impression with an unending array of cuisines and dishes, but falls short due to some teething troubles

We had heard good things about Seven, the all-day-dining restaurant at Shangri-La, the newly opened hotel at Lower Parel. What might have slipped the minds of the tellers of those good things is that Seven likes to throw a good dare at the patron, and seems to have an affinity for the expression ‘kid in a candy store.’

We aren’t fans of hyperbole, so believe us when we say this — the dessert spread at the entrance is vast enough to make you drop all plans of making it to the main course that lies ahead — cheesecakes, tarts, gleeful chocolate fountains of milk and dark chocolate, kala jamun, ras malai, phirni, gummy bears, ice creams, a waffle counter and a candy floss machine…(we warned you about the kid in the candy store bit).

It was only after we walked past (or did they drag us away?) the dessert section that we noticed seven large islands, some of which are live kitchens, serving comfort food, salad, Asian, Indian, pastas, sushi-sashimi and cold cuts. Dare accepted.

We decided to ditch a la carte and started with the comfort food section, picking up the vegetarian stuffed eggplant and roasted chicken with thyme. Both dishes, to our surprise, were cold. The chicken turned out to be chewy and the eggplant was in dire need of temperature to do justice to an otherwise well-seasoned dish.

Just as we wondered what to make out of the disappointment, we dug our forks into the Crunchy Pear and Aragula Feta salad with balsamic sauce, and sanity was restored. It helped that the salad came in a delightful, little glass jar. We suggest you pick up the Fennel Broccoli and Melon and the Caramelised Fig and Blue Cheese Walnut salads too. And yes, sadly, the jars must be returned. 

The sushi and sashimi (the slices aren’t as thin as you’d expect, but the quality of the fish is excellent) did make us forget the erstwhile experience with the comfort food. So, we not-so-glumly strolled over to the pizza counter and picked up the Margherita Pizza and the Pesto Pine Nut Pizza with Artichokes and Olives. Both, again, were lukewarm at best and had the ingredients wildly flailing to make up for it.

It was clear, by now, that having a dish freshly prepared would be our best bet, and the pesto pasta, pink sauce pasta with aubergine, olives and sundried tomatoes proved us right — this time, the dishes were fresh and delicious. Two of us, however, were served the wrong types of pasta, which, we thought was an avoidable error. The Bolognese, too, is something we’d recommend, but do ask them to go easy on the herbs. 

The vegetarian fare — biryani, kadhai paneer, a subzi with soy and corn, and mixed vegetable — would have been members of a decent Indian meal had it not been for the same issue we had with other dishes — the temperature.

We came to the dessert area unsure of what to expect anymore, but the waffles saved us (they were freshly-made). The Red Currant Cheesecake brought smiles to our otherwise confused faces and the Chocolate and Passion Chibust was a good, little treat. The caramelised sugar on the Chocolate Crème Brûlée wouldn’t crack, but that didn’t take away from how delicious it was. Also try their selections of cheeses.

We came out and tried to think of one dish we’d go back for. We could only think of the salads and the sushi. This, in spite of the fact that the restaurant has a great menu; only if they could ensure that it’s served hot.

We cannot rate the experience as it was a preview 

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