Monday, February 6, 2012

Atrium Bar - Taj Lands End

You may recall the Taj vouchers I had. That was how we went to Masala Kraft and Thai Pavillion. Well, we still had some vouchers left and they were to expire in mid February. We are scheduled to travel in mid February, so we decided to use the last of these vouchers by having a few drinks and sandwiches at the bar at the Taj Lands End. 

Getting a decent sandwich is a very difficult thing in Mumbai. The only reasonable sandwiches are in the 5 star hotels and they are really expensive. I also find that even these sandwiches have very skimpy fillings. I believe that the very pretentious Le Pain Quotidien has decent tartines, but they don’t exactly count as sandwiches and since I have not been to the outlet here in Mumbai, I really cannot comment. I hear they serve Upma for breakfast, which, according to me is not at all a good omen for a Belgian bakery. The Indigo Deli does serve rather good sandwiches and their burger is quite nice. Beyond that it’s all `sandwichwalla’ territory.    

The Atrium Lounge is where we headed. This is a rather popular post-work place. You tend to meet lots of people here, all of whom are there for a post-work drink and some networking. It’s quite a pleasant place but the tables are rather awkward. You cannot slide your legs under the table, so you have to sit, a bit of a stretch away. from your glass and an even longer distance to your companion. Anyway, it’s a pleasant place nonetheless.

I had my beers and HRH the Queen had her Taliskers. Then we ordered our sandwiches. I ordered an Atrium Tenderloin Burger for myself and HRH ordered a Club Sandwich. We would share the two. We told the waiter that we were non vegetarians who ate everything, beef and pork included, so he should get us an appropriate club sandwich. I do find it rather hilarious as well as a total sham when people say they are non vegetarian and eat nothing more threatening than boneless chicken dishes. But that is another story.

Soon our sandwiches arrived. My God, they were really attractive. The Burger was actually a trio of mini burgers in a long white platter. Very clever, pleasing presentation, and, so sensible. It can be quite difficult to eat a full sized burger and quite messy too, so, by giving you three smaller burgers it made things so much simpler. Full marks to the Chef who devised this at the Lands End. The Burger itself was really good. There was no raw onion; instead, there was some beautiful caramelised onion marmalade. The French Fries that came with the Burger were fresh, hot, well seasoned and delightfully crunchy.

HRH’s Club Sandwich was high and handsome. There was a fair amount of filling. Chicken Salad, a few slices of Bacon, a fried egg, lettuce and tomato. The only disappointment was the tasteless plasticky cheese slice. But all in all, a good sandwich, well filled and moist. HRH also got a small shot glass of some sort of Gazpacho and a slice of Watermelon garnished extremely prettily with a quarter Fig, a Basil sprig and sliced Star Fruit. The garnish was all edible.

All in all, a most pleasant evening with some rather good sandwiches. What more could one ask for? In fact, even though we had gone there to finish the vouchers, this was a meal I would have happily paid for. I recommend you do visit the Atrium Bar the next time you are in Bandra. It’s well worth it.

The sad part of this voucher saga has been that out of the three outlets we visited i.e. Thai Pavillion, Masala Kraft and the Atrium Bar, the ones with the biggest reputation for food turned out to be disasters. A humble lobby bar turned out the best food by far, in fact the food was genuinely comparable to international standards. I am sure that on looking at the photos you would see this.


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