Restaurant Review: The Table
The Table is a bit like the city it resides in—eclectic and hard to pigeonhole. The name appears unimaginative, especially when compared with the inventive dishes it serves, but projects the simplicity its owners wish to portray—food which focuses on fresh ingredients, made without pretence, and served in a casual setting. Yet, the prices and the ambience are more Indigo than Indigo Deli. The high wooden frames and clear glass make it seem like you’re in an extension of the street, but the very contemporary silver chandelier and chic bar remind you that you’re not. The menu—the work of executive chef, Alex Sanchez (who writes a lovely blog on his experiences in this city, titled “Mumbai for now”)—has influences from over five cuisines (we spotted Italian, French, Chinese, Japanese and American dishes). However, it doesn’t feel disjointed or frivolous as with most “multi-cuisine” restaurants. The portions are slightly larger than appetisers, and slightly smaller than mains, which is just as well, given sharing is encouraged.
Our red beetroot was baked perfectly, succulent and well-cooked, and accompanied by the delicate citrus-sweet flavour of orange carpels, crunchy pine nuts and whipped goat cheese. The addition of a little cream to the whipped cheese was an astute neutraliser; the only flaw was that it barely had a hint of the promised mint. The spinach and four-cheese cannelloni though good, paled in comparison to the previous dish. The seared tuna, on the other hand, was cooked just right, with the core scarcely touched by heat to bring out its natural flavours. It was almost out-done by its bed of braised leek that had the right amount of crunch and came finished in butter for good measure.
Of the heavier dishes, the New Orleans’ style lobster and shrimp cake was comfortingly greasy, but not overly so, with the shrimp offering texture without interfering with the flavour of the lobster meat. The accompanying Creole-style remoulade had a hint of paprika, enough to add spice but not too much so as to overwhelm the lobster. The fried chicken was overshadowed by its accompaniment of an extremely creamy mash; clearly, butter is better. Our only qualm during the meal appeared when the corn on the cob on the menu turned out to be babycorn. While several dishes may be considered on the wrong side of value for money—they average around Rs500—the grilled tenderloin was glaringly overpriced. Served on a bed of young onions and a tame peppercorn sauce, it failed to justify its price of Rs1,200. Of the desserts, the coconut panna cotta was covered by a passion fruit sorbet. The two made for an excellent combination, but the passion fruit all but eliminated the flavour of coconut. The chocolate tart was flawless; it had the right intensity of chocolate, while the jaggery and vanilla gelato and cherry sauce served alongside offered a good balance between sweet and tart.
Uniquely, The Table serves over 30 wines (of which only two are Indian) by the glass, and is the only place in town to serve half-glasses at exactly half the price. Like Le Pain Quotidien across the road from it, The Table has a communal table. But theirs is at the bar and therefore more likely to be embraced. The problem you might face at The Table, as one also does at a dim sum or tapas restaurant, is the danger of over-ordering. Which we did, and the resulting bill of Rs2,250 per head excluding alcohol felt excessive, and certainly not the price one would expect to pay at a casual dining restaurant. The onus, therefore, is on the restaurant’s waiters, who will need to be trained, to ensure that customers don’t end up wasting their meals.
A meal for two costs approximately Rs3,500. All reviews are conducted anonymously.
Devendra Das likes a bong, all Bongs and while not preoccupied by either, chronicles his gluttonous experiences.
NB. The price of the tenderloin steak has since been changed to Rs775 plus taxes.Tags: restaurant review, restaurant reviews, Special Top Story, The Table
LocationHotel Suba Palace
Opposite Dhanraj Mahal
Phone2282 5000, 2282 5001, 2282 5002
HoursDaily, 7pm to midnight