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A Bit of Everything
... Frangipani opens at the Oberoi Towers, Bombay

Swapna Mitter

E-Mail this travel feature to a friend A truly world class restaurant in Bombay... Welcome to the Frangipani at the Oberoi Towers. Launched with much fanfare, it is clearly a happening place right now, if the patron list is anything to go by. Even on a sunny weekday, the place was packed with an odd mix of bankers entertaining clients, well-heeled international consultants, celebs (including Jackie Shroff and Simi Garewal) and the kitty party wallahs.

Situated where the Café Royale used to be, this large restaurant has plenty of space and natural light -- it gives an airy, fresh feeling of warmth as you walk in. Looking at the menu, one is slightly confused, It has salads, starters (Rs 300), sandwiches, burgers, pizzas (Rs 300-500), Frangipani Signature dishes (Rs 400-700), an Indian selection and the inevitable dolce. Is this a specialty restaurant or a fast food joint? Soon you find out that there is something for everybody.

We started with some beers (Corona, served to its fans with the piece of lemon) and some delicious smoked salmon, which is among the best one has had in India in a long time. The table of course comes, in true Mediterranean style, with an assorted bread-basket and olive oil.

Deciding on what to eat is a huge problem, not because the selection is so large, but because the preparations sound so exotic. There is New Zealand beef, fresh catch of the day (Kingfish), tenderloin, chicken, and of course a few vegetarian selections.

We decided on a signature dish of grilled pomfret with seafood. Could you get more eclectic? Pretty good cooking we discovered. One that will please even the greatest of gourmets. The pizzas are perhaps the best in town, baked in a Neapolitan clay oven, which renders a distinctive flavour. It is served on an authentic pizza tripod. The authenticity of the toppings is evident in the taste.

If you want to avoid the decision-making problem, go for the buffet. But decisions are required there as well -- you could go for the cold buffet, the hot buffet (with the pasta bar), or both. To that you could add a visit to the dessert counter.

If you want to taste everything, it will set you back by Rs 632 per head. To do justice to it, you would probably need to fast for a couple of days prior to your date with Frangipani! The cold buffet (perhaps the only one with such a wide array of non-vegetarian selections) is enticing, particularly the large basket of frozen, marinated mid-sized prawns. The hot selection had... I lost count, but perhaps, a score of dishes, all tantalizingly appetising.

Now for the dolce -- large, tempting and lip smackingly delicious, that is, of course, if you can still eat more. Go to the counter at the end of the restaurant and take your pick. Frangipani also has a wide array of coffees -- Kenyan, Java, Colombian and Viennese -- to round off a fabulous meal.

Finally a word on the wine list -- super selection of French, Italian, New World and Indian Wines, priced between Rs 2,000 and Rs 5,000 a bottle. Spirits average about Rs 250 a peg.

It's an expensive place -- an a la carte meal for two with drinks (but no wine) will cost Rs 2,500 - Rs 3,000. But then you are paying for great food and super ambience of international five-star standards.

We would say, go there. It's well worth the money!

Frangipani, Oberoi Towers, Nariman Point, Bombay. Phones: 022-2325757.
Open daily. Lunch served from 1230 hours to 1500 hours. Dinner served from 1930 hours to 2330 hours. Alcohol served. All major credit cards accepted.

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