I looked at me map, a bit confused. The co-ordinates marked were nearby but there be no land in sight. Suddenly, a strange mist began to fill the air. Where the mist came from, nobody knew. The lads were quite anxious. Its not everyday that one sees something like this.
Then as mysteriously as it had appeared, the mist disappeared. The seascape changed completely as if we were facing an illusion. Now, there were many tropical islands on the sunny tranquil sea. And as marked on the map, the biggest one was our destination. "This be quite the magic of the sea lads," I said, "I wonder what lies for us at our destination."
Waterstones is a thematic five star Hotel with each floor adorning different themes like Mountains, Snow, etc. The place has an amazing infrastructure and feels like a tropical resort within Mumbai. The clustered Sahar neighborhood, the slums and the chaos of the town simply vanish away as one enters the Waterstones' property. It is a mesmerizing paradigm of tropical beauty that feels like a dreamy retreat from the city's rat race.
Walking to the restaurant itself was a soul pleasing experience for me and built up great expectations. I was part of a Blogger's meet organized by the parent group's PR. I have been having a lot of these recently but some experiences are more memorable than some others.
Being surrounded by a garden gives the place a very tropical feel. Its as if one is sitting in the jungles of Southern China or Malaysia and dining with the elements.
Before me meal, I scouted the food on offering. It was great to see Executive Chef Zubin D'Souza being a part of this luncheon whipping up various goodies for the patrons.
Crewmate : Should we ask him to join our crew, Cappy?
Captain : That would be nice but I doubt we could afford his services.
Crewmate : We should get more booty.
Captain : Aye lad, now if only I could find me the lost Spanish galleon rumoured to have millions of Golden doubloons.
Crewmate : Then we could get rid of our Caravel and buy a nuclear powered super carrier.
Captain : Oye Oye, our ship is our crew mate too. I will never get rid of her.
entrée or a bar nibble, this works at most places. At ASF, it was excellent with long fingers of potato wrapped perfectly with a sweet chili sauce.
Captain : It be fun to wear these as rings and eat em out of yer fingers.
Crewmate : But ain't it rude to play with yer food, Captain.
Captain : Who do ya think we be lad? The Royal navy?
(Top Before Cook, Bottom : After Cook)Customized Wok. All Stir Fry has been known to be among the pioneers who popularized Wok tossed noodles in Mumbai. Long before the Wokunami hit Mumbai, Wok noodles in its most sacred form existed at AST. This dish follows a buffet standard, for INR 730 one can have as much of it as one desires. Seems to fare well for folks like me who would like drinks and some noodle after a tiring day or a long flight. One can assemble the base ingredients themselves.
First collect the noodles of your choice - There were six kinds in offering during my visit. Then add the veggies from a large selection of both local and exotic (like Red Cabbage) ingredients. And its recommended to go after the meats and seafood last. Then one gives their bowl to the chefs who will flip it upside down into a wok and cook it. One can choose their sauces and condiments. It is recommended to go after one sauce rather than too many unless you want to "Subway" up your noodles.
The final product has limitless possibilities. My choice of Kung Pao sauce with hot spices gave me a good mix in me bowl. It was spicy, savory and very meaty. One done, thousands of combinations left. This was definitely the zenith of my All Stir Fry experience. Shame I could not go for seconds or thirds or fourths or fifths.
Lets move on to the desserts.
In fact, the cake had a very strong peppermint flavor which took my fancy. I enjoyed this cake more as a peppermint cake than the apparently Peppermint flavored Green tea it was supposed top be. Nuances aside, I enjoyed this as a dessert and it was my favorite among the dessert selection of the day.
Captain : I love this Peppermint cake
Crewmate : It says green tea Cappy.
Captain : Does it look green to you?
Crewmate : But green tea is not green. Thats matcha...Hey where is the cake? Did you engage me in a distracting conversation so that you can pilfer the cake?
The service was variable. The guy serving us at the start was excellent. Polished, articulate and well informed about the dishes. The other server towards the end of our meal however delayed the desserts, the Khao suey and had confusion with the dish nomenclature.
The pricing is quite easy on the pocket for an establishment inside a five star. Getting a plate of Chili Squid with all of its exotic ingredients at 450 INR sounds unrealistically cheap. It would have cost at least a thousand in most other five star Hotels. To be honest, the pricing resembles those inside bars, pubs or casual diners. Coupled with the amazing ambiance and quality that ASF brings, this is definitely a steal.
There were many ups and many downs at ASF. Its a new place and will stabilize with time. But if I look back at it, I enjoyed my experience. It will remain to be one of my most memorable restaurant visits. Thus reader if you are around the Mumbai Airport, do drop in at All Stir Fly. And if you are a jet setter, then a stay plus grub inside the Waterstones Hotel would be a good choice.
The Captain's Score : 8/10
"Filled and inspired lads, that be how I feel. Now show me yer strength, pull some lines, set out the sails, raise our flag and conquer the seas. "
All Stir Fry at the Waterstones Hotel
Off International Airport Approach Road,
Sahar, Andheri East,
-I was invited to sample the grub by the Restaurant's PR. But me post is unbiased and neutral.-