This is one place which remains an enigma to me. Sheesha – the rooftop hideaway for college kids and everyone who was young at heart – this is what was my impression from six monhs ago. Age has not been kind to this place.

We walked in on a typically busy Saturday afternoon, and found half the place turned upside down. I understand that places need to renovate, but please do not serve food to us with dusty overturned tables within sniffing distance of our sinuses. A straight ding of 1.5 bones to this place.

Lets not bash this place completely. The kababs are still amazing. Try either the Afghani Paneer Tikka or Ajwaini Paneer Tikka and you will be set (my pick – the Ajwaini, tastes better and you can fool yourself into believing the Ajwain will digest faster). The other awesome starter is the Aatishi Aaloo. The Mushrooms are also very nice. Have this with a cold fresh lime soda (sorry, no beer here!) and some parathas, and you are set.

Your first wrong step would be to over-extend and try the main course. The Dum Aaloo Kashmiri is very average. Oily, over-masala’d and the polar opposite of subtle, this was a definite miss. The Kaali Dal is ok, though other places in the area do a better job. Stick to starters and you’ll be better off.

The biggest disappointment here is the service. The blase, chalta hai attitude mixed with a healthy dose of “adjust karo” makes for a heady mix of poor service. Our waiter forgot our order and came back with hardly an apology. As many as 4 waiters avoided my pleading gestures as i begged for some green chillies to end the misery of the main course. Bad show guys!

The saviours are the elements. This is an open rooftop restaurant – a rarity. It has decent hookahs and with waiters ignoring you, you could remain in a happy sulk in a corner forever, as long as the coals keep the hookah bubbling along.

My recco – Wait until March, when hopefully their repairs are done. Then, go at night, go with friends, and set low expectations. Order kababs, a hookah, some rotis and laze the night away. Ask for your bill 30 mins before you’re ready to leave!

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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