Food Review: Pico Express
In March this year, entrepreneurs Arjun Gadkari and Abhay Jaiswal shared with us their plans to give to India what Pret A Manger is to the UK, a quick-service chain that sells gourmet food at affordable prices. Part of their company’s 18-month expansion plan is opening grab-and-go outlets called Pico Express, of which there are currently two in Mumbai, one at the Nirlon Knowledge Park in Goregaon, and the other in Tardeo, which opened last month. The South Mumbai outlet is located on the same floor as a gym, in a strictly-vegetarian office building near the Sobo Central mall.
The branch, which is made up of a food display, a cash counter, and a seating area for 16 people in an awning-covered terrace, is serviced by polite and knowledgeable staff. The menu of sandwiches, wraps, soups, salads, and hot and cold meals targets the office crowd that can’t afford the luxury of a leisurely lunch. We got there on a rainy evening and ordered their Korean chilli ramen noodle soup (Rs60), but the bland concoction of light-soy flavoured water with a few floating strands of flat noodles and thinly sliced red capsicum provided no solace on the terribly wet day.
However, their warm and filling sandwiches did manage to lighten our mood. For when you’ve scheduled a post-lunch meeting that’s likely to last until dinner time, get the ultimate veg sandwich (Rs105) with slices of aubergine, zucchini, capsicum, onion and feta packed between two thick but soft triangular pieces of focaccia. Their tomato and basil pesto sandwich (Rs90), which comes with fresh basil leaves and mozzarella, is a lighter but equally tasty option. The penne cooked with basil pesto (Rs140), which is among their hot meal offerings, was gummy and heavy. The best thing we can say about the mushroom lasagne (Rs135), served in a microwavable plastic container, is that it was just about better than your average flight meal. The too thick sheets of lasagne were layered with button mushrooms, a tangy tomato and onion sauce and blanketed with baked cheese that was hard even after being zapped in the microwave.
After the first batch of food arrives at 8am, Pico Express replenishes the quick-selling items at noon and around 7pm. When we went by at 6.30pm, they were out of the eggless blueberry cheesecake and banoffee tart and were left with only the eggless apple tart (Rs75), which had a delicious cinnamon-scented apple and almond filling, but a soggy crust. Jaiswal and Gadkari have made good on their promise of serving moderately-priced food made with quality ingredients. We only wish some of the dishes had more flavour and weren’t quite so heavy. The Tardeo outlet’s main advantage then is that along with Pronto and Domino’s Pizza, it’s among the few places in the neighbourhood that offer home delivery.
This review was conducted anonymously. Pico Express Tardeo offers home delivery between Mumbai Central and Napeansea Road.Tags: Pico Express, Restaurants
Film City Building
Next to Inch By Inch Gym
Near Sobo Central Mall
HoursDaily, 8am to 10pm