Restaurant Review: This South Mumbai eatery has more misses than hits

Feb 05, 2016, 08:50 IST | Hassan M Kamal

Lower Parel's new eatery, The Urban Pantry, needs to shake things up in sections of its menu and improve its seating plan if it hopes to stand out in a competitive neighbourhood

The Urban Pantry
Food: Average
Service: Slow
Ambiance: Crammed

Located a few blocks away from Crystal in Lower Parel, The Urban Pantry is a new hole-in-the-wall eatery near High Street Phoenix. With two tall chairs and an uncomfortable neck-high eating station, it is better suited for takeaways and not for sit-downs.

Moroccan Chicken Salad
Moroccan Chicken Salad

There’s also no place to stash your bags as you eat. We feel this could have been sorted out; perhaps, with tinier tables or by creating a second rack below the eating station. Also, the owner-cum-cashier sits just two steps away, and you can’t have any private conversation.

the Garlic Potato Bites was the lone saving grace. Pics/Hassan M Kamal
The Garlic Potato Bites was the lone saving grace. Pics/Hassan M Kamal

With the hunger pangs kicking in, we were ready to ignore the discomfort, and dive into the menu. Despite its size, The Urban Pantry offers plenty of choices including a mix of burgers, pizzas, pasta, salads, sandwiches, oriental main course dishes and a mix of cold beverages and hot appetisers. We placed our orders for Garlic Potato Bites (Rs 130) as an appetiser, a non-veg Tex Mex Titanic Burger (Rs 210) and vegetarian Thai Curry with Rice in green sauce (Rs 170), a Moroccan Chicken Salad (Rs 195) on the side, and Cold Coffee (Rs 120) and Nutella Milkshake (Rs 130) to wash them down.

The eatery has an open kitchen, which added to our woes, as we sat through our meal with watery eyes. The Garlic Potato Bites was the first to arrive. Deep-fried with the right texture and softness, they were devoured in minutes, moments before the Tex Mex Titanic Burger arrived. Served with French fries on the side, this giant burger with tomatoes, cucumber, lettuce, cheese and a large patty, layered inside two soft buns, appeared enticing. The French fries did their job, but sadly, the patty was too cold, and lacked any punch or flavour. Even the cucumber inside the burger tasted bitter.

The Thai Curry with Rice in green sauce arrived next. Served in a white plate with plenty of rice and curry, the portion was good. Sadly, the curry was too spicy and almost non-palatable for our chilli-sensitive companion. Perhaps, a spicy quotient symbol on the menu, or an alert while placing the order, could have helped. The Moroccan Salad came to our rescue; it was prepped with plenty of lettuce, red bell pepper, and spiced chicken pieces to make up for previous downer. We expected some magic at least with the beverages — Cold Coffee and Nutella Milkshake — but they were equally uninspiring, with almost no distinction between the two.

The Urban Pantry has a lot of promise, as we saw in the salad, but needs a massive push in consistency, especially since several dishes could have fared better had more attention been paid to it.

Time: 11 am to 11 pm
At: Shop no 2, Chirayu Apartments, next to Phoenix Towers, Senapati Bapat Marg, Lower Parel (W).
Log on to:
Call: 32332000
The Urban Pantry didn’t know we were there. the guide reviews anonymously and pays for its meals.

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