Restaurant Review: Moshe’s
Chargrilled talapia in lime sauce.
Ever since the sea link opened up, Moshe Shek says he has had a flurry of patrons from the suburbs at his flagship restaurant in Cuffe Parade. We believe him, because on the fourth day after the opening of his first outpost in Bandra, the 1,200 sq ft restaurant was packed to full capacity.
Shek says he spent months looking for a suitable property in Bandra, for something perhaps as rustic as the old bungalow in Cuffe Parade that he eventually converted to his flagship branch. Unfortunately, the Moshe’s in Bandra isn’t a patch on it original. It occupies the first floor of the long defunct Gazebo Oriental, a Chinese diner, which was replaced by Nature’s Basket and Ray’s Café and Pizzeria. Starved-for-space Bandra is entirely to blame for this. But Shek has tried to recreate the charm by using the same burnt orange wall colour and candle-shaped bulb chandeliers seen at his Cuffe Parade establishment. The bakery section, a staple across all his branches, has been accommodated even in these tight confines.
The menu is by and large the same, with a few additions such as the creamy spinach, feta and white bean dip, goat cheese and pear crostini, open ravioli with sweet potato and chargrilled talapia in lemon sauce. Shek says he shopped for inspiration for the new food on his recent travels to Lebanon, Turkey, Israel and Italy. The grilled pear and goat cheese crostini is one of his better inventions. Although the crostini arrived slightly soggy under a slice of caramelised pear, the sweetness of the pear perfectly offset by the tangy goat cheese made us forget the mushy bread. The chargrilled chicken with apricot chilli sauce was a sweet and pungent combination that worked well. The chargrilled fillet of tilapia (Shek says he used the fresh water fish because of “the uncertain state of fish lately”) was considerably elevated by its spicy lemon sauce, but tasted almost exactly like Moshe’s excellent rawas in lemon butter sauce, also on the menu here. Much of the dessert menu has stayed the same, with Moshe favs like gooey chocolate cake and Philly cheesecake. Two new additions—crème brulee and chocolate ice cream with red wine chocolate sauce—were still not being served yet, and will likely be ready in a week’s time along with a new tea menu.
With the exception of the charming villa setting, our experience here felt more or less like an evening spent at the Cuffe Parade location, which is probably a good thing if Shek is aiming to recreate the experience for Bandra residents. Under Shek’s supervision the staff were attentive, the food arrived on time and was generally well executed. We only hope that this remains the case once he begins to divide his time between his multiple properties.
A meal for two costs approximately Rs1,300.