Pondichery Cafe, Sofitel Mumbai BKC Reviews, Bandra East, Mumbai - Burrp
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Sanjay  Punjabi - Burrp User

Sanjay Punjabi

June 02,2016

C'est le ton qui fait la chanson

2000 hours, May 27, 2016, Thursday, BKC

The Prelude:

C'est le ton qui fait la chanson. And I do marvel at the way AccorHotels group has positioned itself in the country. Pullman, Grand Mercure, Ibis, Hotel Formule1, Novotel and Sofitel Mumbai BKC. The last is in fact, the flagship property of Sofitel - a French Luxury hotel chain under Accor Hotels, and running in the fifth year of its operations in India. Ably helmed by the General Manager Biswajit Chakraborty, the French touch is reflected in the entire ambiance, - the designs, the lightings, the paintings, the settings. Even the hotel's logo represents an amalgamation - un poignee de main - between the two cultures. A warm friendship, the fragrance of Paris wafting into the melting pot of India.

The Personality:
We were invited by the hotel to celebrate the opening ceremony of 'Tastes of Thailand' and to meet Thai International Chefs who had been specially flown in from Bangkok. We were hosted by their personnel - the restaurant manager Mr Amit Basu and the marketing team member Ms Varsha Nair. There was also the presence of Ms. Sirin Surathin- Deputy Consul General, Thailand. And true to style, the festival was launched in grandeur with traditional Thai dance performances.

The Platter:
Soon the magic of Chefs Chitsanuphat Dungjampa and Chalermchai Tavornaroonrat came to fore. There was a presence of every conceivable Thai food spread before us. To soothe the naysayers, the restaurant had intelligently kept a few Middle Eastern items and maintained a section of Indian food as well, and an equally impressive one at that.

1) Tord man Gung(deep fried shrimp cake)
2) Tord Hed(Deep fried Mushroom)
3) Chicken Dimsums – The minced meat was great, rightly flavourful, the dough of the covering was also rightly thin, and translucent too. The only area where it fell an overpowering lemon grass flavour. Cut that down a few notches, and you have a winner at hand.
4) Kha Nom Pang Gong (Sesame Prawns).

1) Lab Kai(Spicy Chicken Salad)
2) Lab Hed(Spicy Mushroom Salad)
3) Yam Pla muck(Spicy Seafood Salad)
4) Gai Yang Som Tham: Raw papaya and carrot julienne for sweetness, Tamarind for sourness, Thai chilli for heat and crushed peanuts and beans for crunch. Sprinkled with fish oil. A wonderful play on flavours.
5) Mushroom Tart, Balsamic Grilled veg, eggplant caponata with Grilled Polenta, Yum Hed (Mixed mushroom salad).
6) Seafood on ice: Whoa. Though sans spices and just a hint of salt, the iced prawns and calamari were a rare experience. Thumbs up.
7) Basa with sundried tomato and asparagus salad – Nice. The soft Basa quickly absorbed the tang of the tomatoes.
8) Yum Cai (Grilled and roasted chicken, cold) and Classic Smoked Turkey salad, cold.

1) Tom Yum Phak(Mix vegetable clear soup)
2) Tom Kha Goong (Prawn Coconut Soup) Prawns and coconut, can you beat that? The broth was tomatoey and light. The prawns were so well cooked that they were rendered extremely soft. Not sinewy or rubbery as is their wont.

1) Gong Kiew Wan Puck (Mix veg Green curry). Although only veg, the curry was extremely delightful. Rightly sweet and coconutty.
2) Kra Pao Gai(Chicken Tossed in hot basil sauce).
3) Chu Chi Pla (Grilled fish cooked in red curry) Rawas in red sauce. Spicy, but not fiery spicy. And sweet too.
4) Kao Pao(Steamed jasmine rice). Not a big fan of sticky rice, but a mish mash of the above two curries with this went absolutely well.
5) Pad see en(Stir Fried noodles with vegetables)

1) Baba Ganoush, Mint Labneh, Tabouleh, Balsamic Dressing, Cocktail Dressing, Basil Pesto Dressing, Ranch Dressing.

1) Tandoori Fish and Chicken Kabab. Served with Green mint chutney. Excellent.
2) Lasooni Kumbh - Mushroom marinated with Garlic paste and Indian spices, cooked in a clay oven. Soft and nicely chewy. The lasoon of it elevated the flavour to multiple notches higher.
3) Paneer 65: Deep fried cottage cheese marinated with curry leaves and South Indian spices. Thumbs up.
4) Gosht masala – Spicy brown bhuna mutton. Well done too.
5) Meen curry.
6) Panchratna Dal – One of the best dals I have had. Had with fish gravy and rice, it made my day.

1) Kluay Chuam : Poached Banana in syrup.
2) Kaok Nyao Ma Muang: Sticky Rice with Mango.
3) Mango Shooters. Mago juice, chillied and salted. Served in cutesy mini mason jars. Excellent.
4) Malai Barfi and Malai peda. Okayish stuff, the peda was a wee bit too sticky.
5) Dark Chocolate Pastries.
6) Coconut Delights. A pastry cum barfi, one of the most marvellous items. Not too sweet and full of coconut beauty, it rated an ace.
7) Florentine Slice France. Again excellent stuff. Loaded with dried fruits and nuts. In appears it was akin to a chikki piece, but that's where the resemblance ended. One bite and you could fathom the premiumness of the fare.
8) London Dairy ice creams in six flavours - Mocha almond, Dark chocolate, Hazelnut, Vanilla, Butterscotch and Strawberry.
9) Honeycomb: Did you know that a honey comb can be actually eaten? Yes, it's true. A startling fact brought forth, and with a live example to boot. The crunchy comb dripping with honey, poured on a poached banana or a chocolate sponge – sprinkled with zillions of toppings – cashew nuts, raisins, almonds, chocolate chips, white chocolate chips, pomegranate, blueberry crush, strawberry crush, strawberry compote, mango compote – you name it. A rare experience.

The Postlude:
Chaque chose vaut son prix. This is a premium place and a luxury hotel in its truest sense. The food is great, the ambiance hard-worked upon, the patrons - a lot of them expats, and the opulence evident. This location is also used for many a party thrown in by mega stars, so you get the drift. But at the same time it is not only all glitter and diamonds, it's not only all commerce, and it's not just stiff professionalism. This place also has a soul. The humble sous-chef who also doubles up as someone who scoops out ice creams for you, frowning if you ask for a small one. The food managing staff who are chivalrous to lift the heavy pans so that the ladies can easily fork out the delicacies. The alert servers who are ready to be with you to attend to your requirements with a smile. The managers hovering around, the scores of greeters, the extremely courteous marketing team... the kind of warmth and camaraderie which is exuded is exemplary. It's these who make the place worth visiting again and again.

The Parameters:
The Food Quotient: Food Quality: 5/5, Food Choices: 4/5, Food Portions: ---, Food Presentation: 5 /5
The Other Determinants: Location: 4 / 5, Cleanliness: 5 / 5, Warmth: 5 / 5
The Hygiene Factors: Ambiance: 5 / 5, Space Quotient: 5 / 5, Delivery Time: ---
The Conclusives: Pricing: ---, Honesty: ---, Overall Experience: 4.5 / 5, Will I visit Again: 5 / 5.

The Ps:
Bouquets / brickbats can be addressed to sanjaynpunjabi@gmailcom or mentioned in the Comments section below.

You can visit my Twitter (glutttony123), Facebook (sanjaypunjabi.sanjaypunjabi), and blogsite (link offered below) pages as well, just for kicks.

Sincere thanks to stalwart blogger-influencers like Rishabh Mittal, Karan Karayi, Isha Dalal Rana, Palki Hattangadi, Shravanika, Yatin Gadgil, AA Connoisseur, Swayam Sampurna, Akshay Gautam, and a few others whose writing I envy. A big and grateful shoutout to my twelve thousand plus followers and to all those who helped me achieve my 121 million status.

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karma3 - Burrp User


October 06,2015

Not upto the 5-star mark

Me and my wife went for buffet lunch today at Pondicherry cafe. We were debating between Novotel and Sofitel, and eventually decided on Sofitel since we were already near BKC. The spread was reasonable (I have seen much better spreads at other 5 stars), but the food quality was below par. Grilled chicken, Chicken biryani and stewed fried chicken were very salty..and there were no fresh juices.. Worst part was that when we went for desserts, there were fruit flies hovering over most of the desserts..my wife infact sighted a dead one over fresh fruit cake and took picture, and when she told the restaurant manager about it, he gave a lame excuse that since Hotel is very close to Mithi river, it gets a lot of flies.. I have been to so many restaurants in BKc, and never saw flies, so was very shocked to hear such excuse from a 5 star Hotel. Anyways, we paid and left but I was really disappointed. I am giving a 3 star only for the fact that serving staff was courteous and my 1.5 yr old had a good time there.
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Nicholas Dias - Burrp User

Nicholas Dias

February 01,2015

Very nice food

we had a business meeting at sofitel and my the meeting went really well. After a long day my director decided that he would treat us at the buffet in pondicgerry cafe.
Forget the food i fell in love with the amazing dessert counter. I tried almost everything on display.. the food looked so good.
Ive heard that they have plenty of food festivals so i guess the food also differs but when we were there they had a normal buffet which we ate till our stomach was over flowing
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Lillian Mendes - Burrp User

Lillian Mendes

January 31,2015

Melting Pot of Food & Culture

I've been here for quite a lot of times, and each time i've been greeted by a lovely cultural festival. Be it the Malaysian Festival or Sri Lankan Festival, they always had a live counter and interesting traditional performances that kept me entertained while i enjoyed my dinner. On the regular days, the buffet offer a large variety of delicious food that caters to everyone's palate. The price may be not so favorable if you plan to eat there everyday, but good value for money food, with a luxury!
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milonee s - Burrp User

milonee s

May 08,2014

pond love

Pondicherry Cafe, the all day restaurant at the Sofitel fits the bill perfectly. Service was quick, food was excellent (Margherita Pizza and Sushi) and the restaurant ambiance was friendly. The huge double ceiling restaurant with its large areas where the cooks prepare food gives it a huge sense of space. It was quite buzzing on a Friday afternoon but that did not hamper the quickness of the service in any way.
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Sunita Murarka - Burrp User

Sunita Murarka

November 21,2013

Consistently good food

Sofitel is one of my fav eateries. I pretty much go three twice a month. I've had lunch dinner n breakfast as well. I'm surprised by their consistency of good food. Although I donor appreciate their Chinese food but Indian Italian is outstanding .the moment you order your food(type) they get u papad plate with chutney,if you order Italian they get a bread basket which is outstanding.ive not had better bread served in Mumbai .the pizza pasta n risotto r great.in Indian the kulchas the black daal r very good n to be appreciated. The staff is very very helpful. Although the Chinese is very disappointing.over all I just love it
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Yashesh Gandhi - Burrp User

Yashesh Gandhi

September 20,2013

Nice coffee shop

This is my favorite coffee shop. Its proximity from home, and the fact that its so spacious and that Accor Advantage Plus members get great discounts here helps! We keep frequenting this place. We love the pizzas and the coffees. We've had a buffet dinner once and found it to be great as well. Earlier there was an issue with mosquitoes, but recently that has been solved as well. They had a French Vanilla Frappe which was amazing, and recently they've started making it in a different way.
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aquielia16 - Burrp User


December 14,2012

My new love

I am from Mangalore and thanks to my awesome friends, I recently visited this awesome Pondichery Cafe and fell in love with it. Such a peaceful ambiance with awesome food! I went here quite recently and discovered that they even have different flavoured tea and it is one of the very few cafes in town which offer various cuisines apart from just coffee and snacks..Now if you bored of CCD and other cafes around bandra, do give this place a try
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May 11,2012

Top notch

Reached Pondicherry Café at Sofitel for lunch after making reservations on a weekday and were promptly guided to our table. Sofitel is the five star brand of the French hospitality chain Accor. Novotel, Juhu and Ibis, Airport are part of the same group. The place naturally evokes comparison with the nearby 022 at Trident.

The café has a nice, laid back, relaxing ambience with soft lighting when compared to 022 which is bright and sunny. The buffet spread had a variety of salads and cold cuts. Good tandoori starters. Sushi was on the dry side. Live Oriental stir-fry counter was a good addition compared to 022. Another good thing was availability of a variety of mocktail/juice shots. The desert section was huge, but I found it just a notch below the desserts at 022.

Quality of service was top notch leading to a very good dining experience.
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