I was 17, I had just passed my driving test. I owned a bashed up blue VW Polo with tinted windows and neon blue interior lights. I thought I was the coolest lad in the parking lot. I also rode around town with the seat wound down to its lowest setting and reclined back in my seat like something from Straight Outta Compton.
Flash forward 9 years and I’m sitting tilted head to the ceiling in arguably the most poorly conceptualised dining chair in the world. It’s a white leather lazy boy that makes even the most heavily modified low line boy racer’s hot hatchback look as high as a tank. It’s like those “emergency chairs” (Peter Kay reference) your familiy wheel out when long lost “relatives” show up, cold and destitute, on your doorstep expecting a hot dinner. I was always in favour of a warm cup of soup and a wooly hat, Salvation Army style, for these creatures who are about 3 degrees (think Linkedin) removed from being anything close to “family”.
Chair rant aside, “It Happened in New York” is the real McCoy of Bandra restaurants. The furnishing is bright, plush and the long colourful rugs are a lovely sight along the bare wooden flooring. They have really thought about it, and nothing is too kitsch or gimmicky. There’s a bit of “bob your head” house music on the PA which is most agreeable to the ear 🙂
The food is straight up, no fannying around, comforting global cuisine. This isn’t fine dine, nor nouvelle cuisine, but fresh, honest food cooked with care. The cheese platter is beyond generous, comprising not the most imaginative of cheeses but all good quality. The Vegetable Grill with cauliflower couscous is a “constructor’s” dish but well composed. The mixed veg is as fresh and as al dente as one could desire and the thin cheese sauce an appropriate complement. The Ratatouille with Baked Eggs is another simple but perfectly executed dish, with some good multigrain bread on the side to mop up the runny egg yolks.
The service is attentive, polite and unfussy. Dishes are served in quick succession and there are a few staged prompts along the way to make sure the experience is an enjoyable one. I suppose some might have issues with price (3k INR for three dishes and a diet coke), which is not extortionate given the Bandeau location but cheap neither.
There’s little to dislike save for the seating and even that I will tolerate if it permits me the nostalgia of being 17 and cool again…