Restaurant Review: Le Monde
When you walk into Le Monde, the new Continental restaurant and bar in Juhu, chances are that you will spend your first few minutes there looking up, rather than at your table or your menu. The ceiling is a thing of marvel. Indoors, under the cemented roof, a net made of thick rope is stretched across the restaurant’s four walls. This net is also suspended over the tables in the outdoor section. The web of lines looks almost like a fishing net that has frozen in mid-air while being cast. Custom-made glass bulbs wedged in the mesh shine like twinkling stars. The rest of the 2,500 square feet restaurant, designed by Indigo Deli and Opa architect Sameep Padora, has been left deliberately simple. You dine on tables made of wood and lounge on capacious couches.
It’s still muggy in the evenings, so it’s best to get a table inside where there are dining, dance floor and bar areas, but no walls or screens dividing the three sections. The downside of dining indoors then is that the deafeningly loud volume of the music leaves little scope for meaningful dinner talk. On Friday night, a handful of revellers getting down to club hits by the likes of Pitbull and Akon paid no heed to us diners whinging about the restaurant’s inappropriate choice of music.
Le Monde’s menu offers Continental staples such as pizzas, pastas and risottos. Our meal began with the lamb kibbeh, which is traditionally a fried and lightly spiced minced lamb patty. At Le Monde, we were served shallow-fried balls of lamb that was neither minced nor spiced but was slightly undercooked. The vegetable tempura with asparagus spears, zucchini slices, baby corn and onions, was as much of a let down because the batter was not as crisp as it should have been.
For the main course, we ordered the chickpea and ratatouille cous cous, in which the star element was the herbed and mildly spiced ratatouille cooked with chunks of aubergine. The boiled chickpeas provided a nice texture to the Mediterranean staple. We don’t usually feel the need to season risotto with oregano and chilli flakes, but at Le Monde, the two were integral ingredients in the dish. We’ve noticed that these days, chicken is frequently but incorrectly described as “smoked” on menus, in a bid to make it sound more appealing perhaps. As we suspected, our risotto, which was cooked well over the al dente point, contained boiled and not smoked pieces of chicken. The fennel-crusted John Dory was as good as we expected it to be. The pairing of fennel with fish seldom fails, but while the meat was well cooked, the thin slivers of curried potatoes beneath the fillet were too salty.
No matter how the rest of your meal shapes up, we recommend that you order dessert, specifically the white chocolate and strawberry cheesecake. It isn’t a cheesecake per se, but a two-tiered treat of creamy white chocolate mousse and smooth strawberry mousse on a crumbly Oreo biscuit base. Should this be too mild and airy for your liking, get their intensely rich tiramisu, and you will leave the restaurant somewhat sated. At Le Monde, the good and the bad is evenly balanced. The former includes Padora’s architectural ingenuity and some great desserts. The hit-and-miss food and the annoying soundtrack could however potentially ruin a great evening.
A meal for two costs approximately Rs1,900. This review was conducted anonymously.Tags: Le Monde, Nightlife, Restaurants, Sameep Padora
A. B. Nair Road
Opposite Penne restaurant
HoursDaily, 7.30pm to 12.30am