I have to be honest and admit that I had not heard of this place until my friends mentioned it to me. They had planned a meet over here. I decided to make a voyage for food and for food company(I meant good company, honest.). The advantage of such a trip is that it spares one from the embarrassment that they get while taking pictures of food in a restaurant. Food Photography often wins hostile stares from everybody including the staff and the little baby in his mother's arms. Oh yes its great to be in good company.
We met at Cheval as a "Hungry Dozen" of some sort with a determination to make our own tasting menu out of the grub offered. Cheval is a high horse that I wouldn't want to get off from. It feels very European in its decor. There are three sections to the restaurant. The classy pub, the old Villa and the smokers den.
Our bunch sat in the classy pub. It has a bright appearance, a mix of European and Industrial decor(Thanks to the Air conditioning Ducts overhead). There is also a flashy gallery like wall with a few art pieces. One must admit that it sets the mood quite high for a lunch on a hot day. The Old Villa had a very Mediterranean cafe like appearance to it. Given choice, I would have preferred to eat here but there was some sort of an event going on, which made this area off limits for us. The smoker's den is a small strip of space betwixt the restaurant's inner parameter and the old building's wall. Its good to have a drink and a smoke while looking at the hypnotic lights and traffic of downtown Mumbai. Good place to be at night, I reckon.
Being a little late, I missed the drink's party but was just in time for the entrée. Though, they do have a rather great Wine menu.
My first stop along the Rider's trail was the Warm fried Brie. While the item was acceptable and quite tasty, it wasn't quite Brie. It was too crumby and less Brie-y. The cheese within needed some work. The crust was too thick and the cheese lacking the appropriate viscosity.
Captain : Ribs with Mango. Now that's something new.
First mate : Quite true buddy, something different than the regular ribs.
Captain : This could have been a bit rarer though.
First Mate : I could slip one of these on each of me fingers and then dip in the Chilli.
Captain : Oye, I usually start the dialog over here.
First Mate : Aw, dont get salty mate. Lets enjoy the grub.
Done with the self customized tasting menu of appetizers, it was time to move on to the mains.
Captain : Is this even Fish N Chips?
First Mate: That's what the menu says, eh?
Captain : More Like Chunks N Chips.
The pizza had a slightly more sour taste than expected but nothing that intruded into my experience.
Captain : This pizza is parma-nently tasty.
First Mate : Do you mean the Parma ham or the Parmesan with that quip?
Captain : Lad, you are dampening my humour faster than rain on gunpowder.
With the mains done, we ordered a large platter of desserts. After all who doesn't love desserts?
Crème brûlée with shortbread wafers. This was a very average dessert. The flavor was a little off and it lacked any depth and sweetness. Its safe to say that it wasn't a good choice.
Sticky Toffee Pudding is sometimes referred as the flagship piece for the establishment by epicures. The sponge cake is perfect in consistency and soaked well with the Toffee sauce. The appearance is smooth and sticky at the same time. And thankfully it doesn't appear spongy and aerated. The appearance is best described as a castle of cake surrounded by a toffee moat.
Have a sip of the toffee moat, a bite of the toffee soaked castle and a spoon of the Vanilla ice cream which stands like a tower on top of this sweet citadel.
Captain : Oye, Stop hogging the dessert and save some for your Captain.
First Mate : Easy there Captain, at least I have a smaller appetite than the cannoneer.
Captain : That be true but save me some dessert will ya?
The service was satisfactory and ordinary. It started off with glitches but resolved in time. Though definitely not something I find myself raving about. The crew needs a fair bit of more training.
The pricing in Cheval's could definitely be on the upper side. Although between our bunch, we managed to mitigate the costs to 1100-1150 a head. But an appetizer, a drink, a main and a dessert will definitely offset a single person in the North of 1500 INR.
To conclude, I will say that Cheval is a great choice for fine dining uptown. Given the opportunity, I will definitely want to come here again. Although, it does need a superstar attraction to put it on the map of food enthusiasts. As of now, my post will have to suffice. (Cheesy self promotion)
The Captain's Score : 8/10
"We have a long way back lads, time to get busy on the sails. Set the direction to North and let's go. To the Horizon and beyond!"
Cheval Bar & Restaurant
145, Near Rhythm House,
Mahatma Gandhi Road, Kala Ghoda,
-I paid for my own meal. -