Having been to the Khar outlet twice before I decided to give the Powai restaurant a shot for my Independence Day dinner with my wife. My earlier pleasant experiences with Cafe Mangii in Khar was the only reason I chose it in spite of having a plethora of excellent dining options in the area. Well, not going there anymore!!
It started off well - We were there at around 8, early-ish for dinner service and there were quite a few vacant tables. We were directed to our table and got a friendly and smiling waiter for our service. We started with the minestrone soup which was a bit more tomatoey for a minestrone than I expect, but yummy nevertheless. We decided to try the Jalapeno and cheese poppers. It was OK but was more like a bar finger food and looked a bit out of place for a Italian fine dine. I should have stuck to the fondues or the gnocchis for the appetizers. Having tried their pastas before - we decided to go for a pizza this time. The Smoked Scarmoza which left us a tad disappointed. It could have been done well if the toppings were more generous. What stood out ironically was the delicious peach and apricot iced tea (Yes Iced-tea! I-Day = Dry day remember?)
Things start to go sour after that. After we are done with out food and waiting to order the desert, Mr . Manager comes in and asks if we can shift tables so that they can join our table to accommodate a larger group waiting outside. Now, anyone in the hospitality industry will tell you one of the basic courtesies is to never ask a guest to move tables before he is done. My local Udupi restaurant doesn't do that and let alone a fine-dine restaurant!!! No matter how politely it is requested, it is still insulting. And it was not even like we were lingering at our table more then we ought to. Mr. Managers argument was that he is requesting it only because there are kids in the group. lol. So What? Kids not handicapped or old people for whom I would have gladly given up my seat. You can't really expect anyone to buy that excuse, clearly it was because a larger group means more business to you.
Anyway, we decided to not wait for desert and pay up and leave. An attempt was made to placate us by offering a free desert or discount on the bill. ugghh! For an area like Hiranandani which has such great dining options with little to chose between them - sometimes its the service and the experience which tips the balance in favour or against a particular restaurant. I, for one, will take my valuable rupee and spend it elsewhere next time.