Sizzlers


Its always tough to review a chain restaurant and so we will talk about the one franchise we have visited most often. The one at Kala Ghoda, Rampart Row or Fort (depending on whom you speak to).

Bombay Blue has been around for years now and has its passionate fans. Its the place you take your friends to get a taste of pretty much every style of cuisine urban India enjoys. Chaat, Punjabi, Mediterranean, Sizzlers & Mexican – they all have their place in this joint. Multi-cuisine restaurants are typically “masters of none”. Blue does a decent job of maintaining authenticity, except in Mexican which is rubbish.

If I were you, I would stick to one of the Indian dishes or a sizzler for the main course. The appetizers have a wide range too, and here we would root for the onion rings. The correct amount of extra flavouring makes it a great start to the meal and easy enough to share. The Nachos were much hyped but the cheese seems canned and a bit too “readymade” for my taste.

The main course has several good dishes and the punjabi range is actually very good. No surprise, considering they share a kitchen with the legendary Copper Chimney. Try the black dal or the paneer butter masala and you will be very happy. The naan is also excellent.

But, this is Bombay Blue, not your regular Punju joint. You must do it their way – hence we recommend the Veg Mini Meal. Basically a thaali, with limited portions, but more than enough to fill most of us. Drinks to accompany can be anything ranging from a thums up(not coke) float to lassi to fresh lime soda. All are consistently good.

The service was very good for us. This is one thing on which I have heard (& read) mixed reviews. However, our server was excellent, knowledgeable & helpful. The speed was good and they were courteous, so we will not ding them for this.

The only downside is that this place has now become too successful for its own good. What used to be 2-3 restaurants across Bombay has grown to become a nationwide chain. With it has set in, what we call the “Mickey D effect”. Like McDonald’s, the food is consistent, and middle of the road. It neither excels nor does it suck. So, what was a great breath of fresh air and deserving of the early praise it earned, has now become India’s answer to the fast food chains of the US. Much like those places, families gather here in a place of familiarity and seek out their favourites.

So, for the lack of romance and the “element of surprise”, we dock one half bone for what used to be a fine 4 bone eatery.

My recco – Go with your family and enjoy the good variety and flavours, but don’t expect anything extraordinary.

Check out the Hound Report Card for the final analysis:

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Anyone who has ever eaten a good sizzler needs to use this place as the benchmark. A stalwart in the delicate art of preparing a tasty sizzler, Yoko’s has been dishing out these fizzling platters for well over a decade now.

The biggest concern with a classic oldie is that it does not age well. Well fear not Yoko fans – this classic is still just as good.

Technically, Yoko’s offers burgers, soups, sandwiches and even some “continental” food. But, try anything other than their mainstay and shame on you!

Yoko’s offers over 10 different kinds of vegetarian sizzlers and you can do marvellous customization on just about each one. I have two picks – the Veg Shashlik comes with two skewers of paneer kababs and a tangy sauce. Fries, steamed veggies and a stewed pineapple on top complete this ensemble. The Veg sizzler with garlic & mushrooms is just awesome. Some people swap rice for fries, others swap fries for mashed potatoes. But, I just like it the way God intended – with everything!

Pair this up with a lemon ice tea or fresh lime soda and you are good to go. Once you have fought your way through the steam curtain and spotted your platter, try and polish it off. This was my claim to fame in college and I still come pretty darn close. If you are in your late 20s/early 30s and still eat like a “Complan boy/girl” you might wipe it out. But stock up on the ENO & Digene, just in case.

The ambience is no great frills and the crowd has everybody under the sun. Service is prompt, polite and reasonably helpful. Overall, this remains one of the top two places to get a sizzler in India. I recently tried the Malad(W) outlet and am happy to report that the flavour is consistent with the SV Road outlet. They cannot get 5 bones without a better ambience – sorry, but those are the rules! But, great, great food.

My recco – Head here for lunch, skip breakfast and the previous night’s dinner. Order a sizzler with everything and then wipe it out. Wash it down with some iced tea. Once you are done digesting, write to the Hound and let me know if this is the best sizzler you have ever had.

Check out the Hound Report Card for the final analysis:

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So we come to it finally. A 5-bone eatery. This place has it all – the food, the ambience, the beautiful people, live music, art – what else could one ask for?

The food at OOB is spectacular. You could possibly get better sizzlers or Fondue or pasta, but it would not taste as good. 🙂

With tons of options to choose from, its tough to pick. But thats why they pay me the piddly bucks. To start with, sample the wine and drinks menu. The Sangria is a standout as is the caipirinha. The beer and hard booze list is decent and the range of mocktails is robust. While they offer a decent collection of international wines, the domestic selection is probably their weakest point. No Sula wines on the list mean you dont get the Dindori Shiraz or Chenin Blanc.

The starters are delectable. I would recommend either the pesto crostini platter or the stuffed mushrooms. If you cant decide, order both! The list of salads is very good as well.

The main course is all about the bakes and sizzlers for me. There are some excellent pastas, but try one of the bakes instead – maybe the Veg Exotica. Nice cheese, without overwhelming the palate. In the sizzlers, the veg sizzler with barbeque sauce is my pick.

But the great thing about OOB is the ambience. A huge canvas canopy covers the large outdoor seating area. Kept cool by giant fans in the summer, there is a variety of seating from comfy chairs to floor seating. Take your pick. Live music is there most nights and there is even a small art gallery for you to browse through. This is one place which rocks at night and is the ultimate “chill pill” over lunch. So much so that it manages to attract everyone – bankers, housewifes, students, artists, media folk and even actors. Need i say more?

Well, I will. OOB is perfect for almost any occasion – working lunch, special parties etc. But the best idea would be to head here with your partner or some close friends. Get some food, drink and enjoy a meal the way you wish every meal could be.

My recco – A 5-boner means GO NOW!

Check out the Hound Report Card for the final analysis:

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