Red Box Cafe, Andheri (West)
There is a saying that goes, ‘If you are not sure of doing something right, it’s best if you do not venture there at all.’ That’s the first thought that sprung to my mind after seeing the fishy looking (pun totally unintended) paella in front of me at Red Box Cafe in Andheri West.
But I am getting ahead of myself. Let me do a quick recap.
After having spent a delightful morning watching a nice children’s play at Prithvi Theatre, the next thing on the agenda was – where to head for lunch. Having been a regular at Red Box Cafe for long, I thought it would be good to introduce the kids to some fusion fare, right? Wrong!
The one good thing about the plan was that the restaurant was empty, which meant that a couple of boisterous kids were well-tolerated, to my great relief. The kids were all pumped up to try out something new. I thought Seafood Paella (Rs 325) for the rice-loving son and Satsivi (Rs 325) for the more adventurous daughter was a good idea. The hubby and I settled for Chicken Cheese Burger (Rs 155) and Chargrilled Chicken Steak (Rs 355), respectively.
Well, the Paella was more of a seafood biryani, but luckily my uninitiated-to-Spanish cuisine son did not mind gulping it down. There were no mussels and a sparse offering of other seafood variety – a sad example of the otherwise vibrant paella.
Now coming to the Satsivi. Traditionally, Satsivi is a sauce that accompanies grilled or fried meat. And that is the image the mind had conjured while placing the order. But sadly, that is not what came on the table.
What we had was a thick cheesy sauce draping two batter-fried fillets of Rawas fish and the sauce definitely did not have the distinctive walnut-ty taste that one associates with Satsivi. Obviously, either the chef, or I were confused about this dish and for the sake of Red Box Cafe’s patrons, I sure hope it was me.
The Chargrilled Chicken Steak though was delectable with the steak all juicy; and the saucy all nice and sweet-sourishly tangy. The burger is a whopper and totally worth the price. In fact, in hindsight, a couple of burgers would have been apt for the meal because all of us tried to grab a bite from it.
Since the kids were still famished we decided to fall back on some comfort food that few chefs can go wrong with and fewer kids can resist – BBQ Chicken Pizza (Rs 355). And what a good decision that was! One that literally saved the day.
This is a must-have at Red Box Cafe and a discovery for someone like me who has visited the place several times and stuck to the standard steaks, pasta and lasagna. In fact, after this pizza it will be tough to ever take a bite of any of the takeaway pizzas one usually has to chomp down in misery.
So, here’s the moral of the story – the chef could stick to augmenting the more popular dishes and making it more innovative, and/or adhere to the original flavour and tastes of other classic international fare to cater to purists. After all, he managed to restore my almost-depleted faith in Red Box Cafe by serving pizza just the way it should be.