Zouq, the fast food takeaway on Byculla's Clare Road doesn't live upto expectations; their subs, rolls and salads taste similar with no real USP. Not one for the road, this
In a day and age when takeaways, working lunches and food on-the-go are a norm rather than an exception, office goers tend to keep their antennae up and ready to catch any signal of a new entrant. Naturally, when we heard of Zouq and its fleximenu (they offer all kinds of options for their subs, footlongs and rolls served in multigrain, oregano, whole wheat and like), we were keen to test the waters.
Our order was meant to feed a hungry, deadline-driven bunch at work. It included a Value Meal (consisting of French Fries, Pepsi, Chicken Chilly Sub, `95), Chicken Kofta Wrap (`95), Chicken Tikka Salad (`125) and Paneer Tikka Sub (`85).
Nearly an hour later, our lunch arrived the sudden downpour was cited as reason for the delay. Garlic Bread was provided instead of the French Fries while we tried to make head and tail of the complicated invoice. Keen to tuck in after these early hiccups, we got down to business.
When we placed the order for a Chicken Tikka Salad we assumed it to be fresh crunchy greens and leaves wit bits of barbequed chicken mixed in. But a shock of a sight greeted us when we opened our parcel. Thick-cut vegetables drowning in a creamy sauce, greeted us. Nitpicking our way, we popped a piece of carrot in our mouths. To our surprise, it was a piece of chicken, tough and drier than even a carrot!
Next, we attempted the Paneer Tikka Sub, which had the same sauce as the salad. We liked that they went overboard on the creamy and spicy sauces, but the paneer repeated the history of the chicken. With a difference, our Chicken Chilly Sub was a dense mesh of mince or smashed chicken that was hard to tell in its squashed form. The Garlic Bread was not toasted and the rubbery cheese with herbs was a downer.
Finally, the Chicken Kofta Wrap was no different from the salad; the only change being that the chicken pieces tasted softer in the roll as compared to its avatar in the salad. Possibly, because it was cold by the time the food reached us, or perhaps it had to do with the veggies that we had formed a dislike for by now. All abandoned halfway, Zouq told the sad story of all taste and no bite.
At 6A Picadally Flats, Clare Road, Byculla (W).
Zouq didn’t know we were there. The Guide reviews anonymously and pays for meals.