Restaurant review: This Byculla Oriental eatery could do more

Feb 16, 2015, 07:55 IST | Hassan M Kamal

Byculla's Oriental restaurant Grills & Wok needs to get certain basics right on its food menu but a locally-prepared soda made it a memorable ending

Grills & Wok
Food: Below average
Service: Quick
Ambiance: Warm

When we arrived at Grills & Wok, an Oriental restaurant located opposite the Fire Brigade in Byculla, we were excited to learn how this eatery has managed to open a second outlet, and that too, in the same neighbourhood. It must be really popular, we felt.

Crispy Lamb Salt N Pepper
Crispy Lamb Salt N Pepper

The eatery appeared like a big luncheon house, though with a slightly lower ceiling. Yet, the staff seemed reluctant to allow you to sit at a place of your choice.

It seemed as if the seating was left empty with the hope of big groups to arrive. When they did, noise reigned supreme.

After the inauspicious start, and with the hope to forget the din around, we placed our order from the Chinese fare. We picked the bowl of Spicy Crab Meat Soup (Rs 120) divided into two (we love the concept), Fish in Chilly Flakes (Rs 250) and Crispy Lamb Salt N Pepper (Rs 220) for starters, and their specialty Chicken Peking Rice (Rs 260) for the main course.

Fish in Chilly Flakes
Fish in Chilly Flakes

Salt and spice
The Crab Meat Soup, though served in a generous portion, lacked any punch expected from a spicy soup. We needed something else to satiate our taste buds. Next, the Fish in Chilly Flakes arrived. Though it was packed with the right mix of spices, it was a bit too salty for our palate. Fortunately, our second starter, Crispy Lamb Salt N Pepper, was much better than we expected. Well spiced and with the lamb cooked to perfection, it's a dish we will come back for. Among our mains, the Chicken Peking Rice turned out to be a real shame; going wrong with a basic rice/noodles dish was unpardonable especially for an Oriental restaurant. Dissatisfied with the rice dish, we turned towards the drinks section  on the menu for a refresher.

Grills & Wok didn’t know we were there. the guide reviews anonymously and pays for  its meals.

Soda slurps
To our surprise, we didn't find any fruit juices or coolers. However, we spotted a rare find — the locally-made cold drink called the Yusufi jeera soda. A few sips and we realised that our trip to Grills & Wok was worthwhile, not because of the food, but only because of the unique taste of the Yusufi jeera soda. In fact, so lost were we in our refreshing indulgence that we missed out on the all-important photographic evidence. Worth an encore, what say?

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