Why this Lokhandwala restaurant disappoints
Lokhandwala’s month-old eatery, Go Panda, makes grand promises but fails to deliver
On a Tuesday afternoon, we set out to try the ‘Gourmet’, ‘funky’ Asian food joint, Go Panda, located at Lokhandwala.
A gourmet meal is a fine-dining experience with high-end cutlery, and the food involves high-quality or exotic ingredients tossed in skilled preparation. So, we are rather confused when we walk into the self-service eatery, which serves its food in thermocol trays and take-away boxes.
Phathimlai is potato fries tossed in a honey garlic tangy sauce
Done up in red, black and white colours, there are high chairs along a community table inside, and four other tables in the outer area. We decide to sit out in the open. For a month-old space, the red paint on the tables has already chipped at places and the floor is in dire need of a mopping.
Go Panda at Lokhandwala in Andheri West
First up, we get the house specialty — Phathimlai (Rs 175) — potato fries tossed in a Hong Kong-style honey garlic tangy sauce. We don’t enjoy the potato chips because they are soggy.
The Vietnamese Smoked Chicken Sandwich with cheese and brown onion (Rs 220), has boiled chicken instead of the pulled and barbequed as mentioned in the menu. We don’t enjoy the Mayonnaise and barbeque sauce combination and the cabbage does little to elevate the dish.
Fusion food combines the characteristics of two or more cuisines, taking inspiration from its ingredients and style of cooking and blends them to make a new serving. However, when we’re served Asian Fish Tacos (Rs 185), sautéed veggies such as zucchini and bellpeppers, along with fish chunks, on a bed of cabbage and served in taco shells, we wish the Mexican element had been better represented with beans, guacamole or sour cream. The overall taste is tangy, but flat.
The last dish we order is Veg Thai Jungle Curry with Steamed Rice (Rs 250), a spicy coconut-based brown curry from the forest region of Chiang Mai. The Jungle Curry hails from Central-Northern Thailand, where there are no coconut trees. So usually, the dish is a spicy, watery stew. Sadly, all we can taste in this version is coconut milk. The dish lacks the delicate balance of ginger, chillies, lemon grass and garlic. All in all, Go Panda needs to up its food quality. The only sweet ending is the Peanut Butter and Chocolate Chip Cookie (Rs 80).
At: Shop 7, Grenville Building, Lokhandwala, Andheri West
Food: Not up to the mark