Wednesday, September 12, 2012

5 Things I Hate About Silver Beach Café, Juhu; Confessions of a Tortured Tongue

Name: Silver Beach Cafe

Location: Juhu

Date of Visit: 8th September, 2012 (Dinner hour)

I rarely use the word ‘hate’ for a restaurant so let me fully explain why I came about using this word for Silver Beach Café. Silver Beach Café is the perfect example of ‘All that glitters is not gold’. When I entered this dimly lit, cosy little café I was surprised to see such few tables occupied on a Saturday evening. ‘What could go wrong with a place like this?’ I thought to myself, hoping to not find the reason in their food. Everything, every single thing can go wrong in a place like this. Alas! I did not know this before I visited, else I would be saved from the strange things that they call food.

Reason 1 – I’m torn between spitting it out and swallowing these potatoes with water.

Their service staff recommended a potato appetizer. I think their tongues must’ve gotten numb from tasting unappetizing food for a long time. It was confusing to me; first, why the appetizer was brought to our table after one of the main dishes was served. Secondly, I was extremely confused about what they were trying to achieve when they designed this dish. It was unwashed, unpeeled and undercooked medium sized potatoes, cut into half smeared with coriander paste and served on a bed of very sweet tomatoes. It’s indecent to spit the food, so I gulped it down with water.

Reason 2 – Offensive Service

The service staff was rude, and they did not know what they were doing. I asked the gentleman (sorry, rude man) serving us whether it would take much longer to bring the food to our table. He did not look at me, he did not stop to listen to what I wanted to say, he simply passed me by while my head turned to follow him, when finally he spilled out the words, ‘5 minutes!’ To tell you the truth I almost felt privileged at that moment when he replied. Thank you Mister, no tip for you. He mustn’t be worried about that, they charge a pretty good sum as service charges. Clearly, the restaurant owners know about the bad service and yet don’t wish to loose tip money.

Reason 3 – It feels like being in Jail.

Have you ever thought what it would be like to be handed food in Jail? Well, here is your chance. The service staff is doing you a favour. They don’t look at you, or smile or bother for a kind word to their paying customers. They also bring your food, as it is prepared, not all together. If you want to eat together, everyone must order the exact the same dish. No, that won’t help either. They don’t understand that people have come to a restaurant to enjoy a meal ‘together’. Live with it!

Reason 4 – Which Jerk Made this Jerk Chicken?

Or should I just call it what it really is, a rubber chappal? When I put this chicken in my mouth, I could visualize the cook tormenting that stale chicken breast. Whatever juices were left of it, were pressed on a hot grill and forced out to yield rubber on my plate. Like a Punjabi mother crisps up parathas. It’s a pity chicken breast wasn’t treated differently. The sauce couldn’t mask the chappal. Yet, somehow that wasn’t the worst part. The cook managed to make it worse. Cook a cup of rice in half a bottle of vinegar, bad quality vinegar and you’ll know what the accompanying rice tasted like. It was hard to tell whether the rice was stale or not, because all I could taste was vinegar. Don’t ask me how I finished this dish, let’s just say, I don’t want to talk about it anymore.

Reason 5 – How can you go wrong with cream based pasta?

I don’t think I will ever be able to answer this question; you may try if you will. The spaghetti was what I call ‘Blue Bird’ quality pasta. It was stick, soggy and broken all through. Spaghetti was obviously over cooked. The cream was in lumps and not properly mixed before it was added. It was edible, like the spaghetti I must’ve cooked when I was eight. No, I was never this bad. The quantity was pretty good, but that would have mattered more if the pasta tasted better.

The ham and chicken pizza they served even before the appetizer tasted okay.

This meal was in many ways a writer’s dream and a nightmare. Dream because I enjoyed telling you about it, a nightmare because I had to eat it before I told you about it. With dark wood furniture set in a cosy almost cramped space, a cigar selection and a variety of wines to choose from don’t be deceived by the appearance of this place. It is not worth anyone’s time. No wonder it was sparsely populated even on a Saturday evening. That thing about this place is that they carry a selection of cigars.

Ambience: 6 Average

Value For Money: 5 Below Average

Menu: 6 Average

Food: 3 Poor

Service: 3 Poor

That Thing About This Place: 7 Good

Average Ambience + Below Average Value For Money + Average Menu + Poor Food + Poor Service + Good That Thing About This Place = Below Average

Rating: 5 on 10

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