I’ll be on a flight back to America tonight from Bombay, and I’m now looking forward to the gloomy darkness of winter. I do love Bombay, but I am SO excited to go home. Anyway, last night, my brother and parents went out to eat. Since I couldn’t go, my brother decided to write about his experience. Enjoy!
I am Shyam, Janki’s younger brother. I’m going to try out this foodblog things because Janki, or Jankiben as we call her in the hood, wasn’t able to attend our latest dinner experience.
We went to Vong Wong, an upscale Thai and Chinese restaurant at the ritzy Nariman Point in South Bombay. Let’s break for two here. First, I’m not sure which ‘_ong’ iteration belongs to which nationality; Vong seems more Thai and Wong seems more Chinese and the menu was arranged in that order, so I might have cracked the code, but we can’t be too sure of that. Two, the entrance was ornately decorated stairs that led to an elevator. Which barely fit three people. And went up one floor. Good news though: there was an elevator operator, just in case we arrived in such a hunger driven frenzy that we couldn’t press buttons. Digression done.
The dining area was nice. It was dimly lit (read: classy as shit), and there were multiple levels of seating, and clean furniture. In the middle, there was a window into the kitchen, a fluorescent view of a sterile, steel cage, which initially struck me as odd, but as time went on (and time did go on), I came to love and appreciate “the window to creation” (which is what I called it. To myself.).
We were seated at approximately 9:30. Sadly, the service was extremely slow. It was 10:00 before anybody came around. The first wine list had no wine, and then, upon request, we received the absurdly priced wine list: wines that go for $10-12 ( Rs.390-468/-) at Trader Joe’s were priced upwards of Rs.2000/-($51.28). Instead, we asked for local Indian wine, which was not on the list. The wine was quite good, actually, fruity and light, but not too acidic, and a seemingly good combination for Asian and Indian foods. Too bad the wine was gone before the food came.
Here is where you’ll find the most difference between me and my sister. She will remember each taste in each dish. Each individual flavour (we’re in India!) and texture. And, more importantly, each individual dish. I remember overall impressions. That said, the food was good. Not excellent, but good: solid Thainese cuisine. the flavour (hooray! again!) came through in each individual dish, even if it was overwhelming basil-ly.
For appetizer, we got the vegetarian sampler: a sampling of vegetarian finger things. we got spring rolls, some fried vegetable thing, paneer…annnnd I forget. The pictures don’t, though. (They will be uploaded upon my return to the States). All was tasty and enjoyable, especially with the 6 or so sauces we got.
Dinner was also good. We got Pad Thai, Prik Paw Something Something Vegetable, Pineapple Rice (fan-freakin-tastic), and, my perennial favorite, red curry. The dishes were noticeably better than the appetizers, each with their own distinct character. The pineapple rice was especially enjoyable–baked brown rice doused in pineapple juice and served in an emptied half pineapple shell. Definitely something I’m going to try to make.
The tastiness of the food and wine (and the missed possibility of combining the two) was overwhelmed by the absolutely terrible service. Though we were seated at 9:30, our food didn’t arrive till 10:45, and our table was visited at appropriately long and frustrating intervals in between. Our waiter seemed unaffected by our complaints, attempting to mollify us by letting us know that it takes time to cook food.
as Confucius say:
“glass always half full, unless you thirsty, then just empty.”
Unfortunately, I was extremely thirsty.