+91 (Juhu, Mumbai)

There are only two other tables occupied on the Saturday I show up. Some middle aged “mutton dressed as lamb” aunties who think the epitome of their existence is to pose in their “kala chasma” (black sunglasses for non-Hindi speakers) for innumerous selfies. What’s worse one of them feels it’s appropriate to communicate via mobile with her bemused teenage son sitting at a table the other side of the room with a couple of girls. Cramping your style, young man, cramping your style!

The first dish up is Yam Galouti Kebab and is an interesting one. The suave, exceedingly polite Maitre D informs us it has been blended 18 times to achieve the smoothness. What does that mean – 18 times? I’m not sure this is the kind of value-add I am looking for. Even if he told me that the Yam had been crushed by the finest hands of 18 Lucknowi Princes for several days in a palacial kitchen, I don’t think it would have left me any more impressed or my experience heightened. The kebab that arrives is fragrant, smooth (I’d hope so)…Alas if only all +91’s food was as good.

The Sweet Potato Chaat is let down by a stale matchstick basket and some bullet like pieces of sweet potato enough to crack a tooth. As my Granny used to say on every family excursion to some outdated UK seaside town “watch out for that Rock Candy, you’ll brek (sic) your teeth on it, it’s so hard”. One bite of this +91 creation and my Granny’s prophetic Yorkshire wisdom came flooding back.

On to the mains, and the Bhindi is wrist-slashingly awful. I found the whole untopped, untailed Bhindi devoid of sense. The Bhindi was severely uncooked. The chewy, stringy “lady fingers” are the last thing my dining companion broke free from her Bandra bubble to come and taste. The black daal is slight too thin for my liking and not as rich as one would hope for, but with some fresh tandoori roti, it makes for a satisfactory dish. On the drinks front, no sparkling water is to be found in a purportedly high-end restaurant (excuse me!?). Clearly an oversight.Next time I visit, I’ll do like the toothless North Indian Nawab of folklore who was unable to eat anything other than smoothly ground kebabs. Maybe then I will leave +91 with something else than sheer disappointment.

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