Spaghetti Kitchen Reviewed by candyfloss
I love Italian food, it’s my absolute favorite. And I just have to try out every place that has Italian cuisine. Until now, the only places close to work that qualified as "Italian" were the usual pizza chains: Dominoes, Pizza Hut, Papa Johns, Smokin’ Joes, and Garcias. But recently, to my absolute delight, Spaghetti Kitchen opened in Powai! And I had no choice but to make a reservation as soon as I heard, even though that meant taking a two-hour lunch break 🙂 It’s right above Aroma (good shakes, sandwiches, and pastas, will write about this after I try out their breakfast) and Bistro Grill (which happens to be my next foodie target, so hopefully I’ll write about it soon).
About the decor: The restaurant is really lovely and well spaced out. The restaurant opened recently so everything gleams of newness. They have booths, which are very comfortable, and regular tables and chairs. When you make a reservation, ask for a booth! We went from work for lunch on a Monday so the restaurant was pretty empty and we got to pick where we wanted to sit. Even though there were only two other tables occupied when we went, from the way the tables are spaced, it won’t be cramped or uncomfortable even when the restaurant is filled to capacity. They’ve put up beautiful paintings and lovely ornate ceiling lamps. One thing I noticed and wasn’t happy with is that they had all their lights on, even in sections where noone was seated. They need to be more environmentally aware and light only occupied areas, specially in the daytime when the sunlight pours in through their huge windows. We even got to see a cute baby squirrel scampering around on the ledge from the window that we were seated next to. That reminds me, they have high-chairs for families with babies and toddlers.
About the service: I read a few reviews of this place before I visited and most had bad things to say about the service. That to me is really surprising! The serving staff was very courteous and very prompt. I was a bit undecided about what to get for my main course and dessert and our server was very patient with me. Our plates were cleared promptly between courses and the next course was served when everyone at the table was done with the previous. You should know that they add a 10% service charge to the bill, and I think that’s really sensible. I’ve noticed most people can be really cheap. They don’t mind spending 300-400 on a drink, but when it comes time to leave a tip, they want to leave like 50 bucks for a bill of thousands, even after having made the serving staff run around a million times. I prefer leaving a decent tip, and a little something extra even when a service charge is included if the service has been good. My friends generally grumble about this, but I make them feel guilty and prevail. Thankfully, my colleagues didn’t grumble.
About the food: We opted for the corporate set lunch that they have, which is a four-course meal. It starts withsoup, where you have to choose one from two vegetarian options. Then choose one from the four anti-pastioptions, two veg and two non-veg, and pizza, again two veg and two non-veg options, wherein you can choose one. The main course is either pasta or risotto, where again you have four options, two veg and two non-veg of each. My favorite course, dessert, pick one from three options, out of which one will be sugar-free (for the calorie-conscious and diabetic). You also have a pick of one beverage, either an iced tea, a soft carbonated drink, or coffee. There’s even a complimentary bread basket for every table, that includes breadsticks and warm fresh bread with a delicious salsa to spread on it. All this for Rs. 450 + taxes. Each course is served in a portion size adequate for one person, even big eaters will be more than satiated. Also, the presentation of each course is just beautiful... it reminded me of Hell’s Kitchen (that show on Travel & Living, Gordon Ramsay’s as yummy as the food :). Also, everything was really clean, with the crisp napkins, sparkling cutlery, and dazzling white crockery.
Now for the good and the not-so-good (as always the focus is on the vegetarian food, sorry all you non-veggies). I got their peach iced tea, which was a bit frothy, so I’m guessing it came from a tap. But it tasted really good, was just cold enough, and wasn’t too sweet. I’m usually not a soup person, but they had this tempting-sounding "summer vegetables and basil" soup, and I really enjoyed it. Thankfully the airconditioning was strong, so I didn’t balk at the idea of soup in this heat. The anti-pasti I chose was cottage cheese dish in some delicious garlic sauce. And that was served with three small slices of thin-crust pizza, with olives, bell peppers, and tomatoes. The first two courses were really amazing. For the main course I chose the risotto in cheese sauce with vegetables like brocolli, bell peppers, and mushrooms. Maybe I’m just not a risotto person, but the one at White (a restaurant in Goregaon) is better. And from what my friends said, the pastas, veg and non-veg, weren’t great either. This is not to say the main course was bad, it just wasn’t on par with the first two courses. Redemption came with dessert! A delicious walnut brownie with a tiny scoop of vanilla gelato. Mmmmmm, heaven! I almost chose the orange panacotta, but then my chocoholism set in and I changed my order (the server was very sweet about that). The brownie was just delicious, slightly warm, and crunchy with the walnuts, it offset the vanilla gelato beautifully. Mmmmmm!
So that was about their corporate lunch, but I’ve also tried the a la carte at the Spaghetti Kitchen in Lower Parel a few times, and it’s really good, specially the lasagna and this starter that’s garlic cheesy potatoes, don’t remember what it’s called, but it’s yummy. Not Don Giovanni (a restaurant in Juhu) standards, but good nonetheless. They also have killer cocktails, so if you’re not going there in the middle of a workday and you’re not driving, give that a try. It’s a lovely place, good food, good service, and the corporate lunch is totally value for money, considering the quality, the portion sizes, and the presentation. If you work in and around Powai, make a reservation today and let me know if I’m invited 🙂