It started as a chat on twitter and emerged into a fullblown invite from Bungalow 9 in Bandra to lunch. As a lady who never turns down any opportunity to ingest the sinful calorific stuff, I was the quickest to confirm mine attendance with secret pacts with self to starve myself before and after said meal in an effort to be all out glutton. Much hectic emailing back and forth happened, and finally, a motley group of us twitter ladies reached Bungalow 9 this past Saturday, all agog about not just seeing and experiencing this restaurant, (me personally, have heard many nice things about it, but only been there for one brand promo type of event which had me nibble nervously at starter type things, and not sink cutlery into a complete meal).
Have you been there ever? I recommend it wholeheartedly. For one, the setting is quaint. It is situated in a bylane off Bandra reclamation and is not, thankfully on one of those roads that are traffic snarled up. The exterior is a discrete Bungalow9 written in calligraphic style that can be missed if you’re driving past with other things on your mind. When you enter, though, the feel is olde world and quaint, with high ceilinged interiors, the kind of home that take you straight back to an era when life was genteel, unrushed and a meal was savoured in peace. The owners have retained the original character of the place with the sloping roof, a wooden staircase, exposed brick walls, vintage wood cabinets, a charming and inviting book shelf (what, what, I’m a reader, aren’t it, I gravitate to bookshelves like said moth to flame). The bar is outside, there is lovely seating outside, which is all cosy for small groups of friends.
I tottered in much dazed by Schumacker-Vettel clone autodriver (yes, I’ve been travelling in public transport ever since old faithful 11 year long driver returned to native place citing Mumbai as being criminally expensive to raise family in) and found Sue Castellino (@SueCastellino) and Amruta (@LoveAmruta) with the chirpy Priyanka and my darling Chandni (@FundACause) already waiting there. Soon to walk in were Paromita (@suddentwilight)and much mwuah mwuahs happened, followed by Lata Sunadh (@lataSunadh) wearing a To Die For Right Now This Second neckpiece I wanted to rip off her neck and run away swiftly into the afternoon, but only the thought of missing out on the food which promised to be scrumptuous kept me sitting put in my seat. And once I sit down at a table to have a meal let it not be said that I rose without completing it. Ramya (@ideasmithy) she of the strong opinions and kickass hair cut came in next, followed by the very gorgeously statuesque Shunali (@shunalishroff) and the darling Genesia (@genesiaalves), the latter two being ex-colleagues from my very first workplace and I’m not going to tell you how long back ago that was, or I’ll be marched of to be carbon dated, of course, they were and are significantly younger than me and don’t come into carbondating range yet. The last to run in was the chirpy Shakti (@shaaqT).
The food. Let’s get to the food. The menu was extensive. I am terrified of extensive menus. I order something and see something looking better on another person’s plate and wonder if I should have ordered that and spend the rest of my meal in a funk. So, I left it to the good person serving us to recommend something. The menu, I’m told by Chef Rajeev, who is a lovely, cheerful chappie who came out to see us basking like stuffed pythons after hedonistic meal, is a result of all his travel around the world and he has not one jot of intention to attempt the fusion trend going around like a bad cold. He tries to present the dishes as they were intended to be eaten in their original country and his only concession might be to plate them up appealing as a concession to the fine dining requirements of the restaurant.
What I opted to share with Paromita was Fresh Catch of the day which came grilled, with a helping of glass noodles and veggies. My poison was a non alcoholic Ginger Peach. Of course good resolutions fell tragically by the wayside as I ended up partaking from everyone’s dish, including a lamb peri peri which was to die for and ravioli. And some chicken satay. And some incredible sushi.
Okay. Don’t march me off to the fat farm just yet, there was incredible dessert to follow. Blueberry & White Chocolate, Baked Kahlua Cheesecake, Jack Daniels with sky cream. Sigh. The memory of sinning. And then the Bellinis.
And we finally teetered out, high on laughter and Bellinis and good conversation. And of course I did the newbie author thing and handed out signed copies of my book. Featured below. (Oh yes, you had better get used to me plugging it in every post until it doesn’t officially hit best seller status).
Now. Go buy the book. And go have your own ladies’ lunch at Bungalow 9. You can always diet another day.