There's a new favourite table in the suburbs, the one at Lemon Leaf Andheri and it's a swing bench right next to the bar; takes getting tipsy to a whole new level. There's just one of it so makes sure you either reserve it well in advance before the evening begins. It's a much fun place than the arc like Bandra original. Exposed concrete walls seem to be the trend and Lemon Leaf nails it exactly like mentioned in the manual. Extending into a breezy al- fresco, the real estate figures are decent enough to engage a Lokhandwala filmy party.
Having a previous sub-par experience at the original one shortly after it's christening in 2014, the expectation from this new outlet was going to be met with several apprehensions; though such was not the case with this new outlet. The food though dominated in one dimension is indeed likeable. Its value for money, tasty, presented decently and arrives quick to the table. This being an invite by the restaurant means there's a list of dishes to taste and save to the F.A.M or Food Access Memory, hence without any complicated lines induced with several punctuations, the details is as follows:
- Burnt garlic soup - A Punchy concocction. The zest of burnt garlic doesn't dominate the palate at all. Makes for a cracking upgrade for folks stuck in 90s with a bowl of Hot&Sour Soup.
- Tofu in magic sauce - An absolute goto dish for the vegetarians folks. The heat though was a bit overwhelming for me.
- Bangkok style crispy chicken - Do not bother to read or ask whats in it? Its crispy, its brown and its a beautifully cooked portion of chicken. The basil is secondary in terms of aftertaste and thats good. Top dish, easy reco.
- Thai chicken dimsum - Beautiful and delicate looking silk like dough, but the minced meat inside seemed tough like a meatballs. Perhaps a small, lightly packed meat filling would make a world of difference.
- Crystal dumpling with shitake mushrooms and water chestnuts - A better rendering that the meaty counterpart, but marred by the crunchy texture of the mushrooms.
- Fish Bao - Ooh! These are nice, really nice. You'll get a lot of acididty from the devil sauce, which may be liked or disliked based on personal preferences. Apart from that great bun, crispy nugget of fish, juliennes of bellpeppers, a drizzle of sprouts, all cocooned inside a large romaine.
- Tofu Bao - Well, can i get another one of that Fish Bao please?
- Penang laksa with chicken - If you're a sucker for a soupy meal in a bowl, then this is your dish. Adjust your position on the table, relax and sip on that gorgeous rich coconut broth. Deeply comforting, no negatives whatsoever.
- Fish congee rice - A great alternative to the Penang laksa or Burmese khao suey. Crispy fillet of fish stacked on a cylinder of sticky herbed rice and served with a bowl of mildly spiced curry. Perhaps, perfect for someone interested in mains with equal balance of rice, curry and fish.
- Date pancake with ginger caramel ice-cream - Pancake aside the ice-cream is a star. Ginger and caramel make for an absolutely soothing mixture. The date mixture is warm and compliments the ice-cream well, though the crepe itself feels uninspiring. The glazed peanuts add another texture to the dish; Crunchy, gooey and mushy, you get them all in one plate of dessert.
- Cocktails - Oh yes, they make some great cocktails too. The Caprioska - strong and refreshing. Apricot&Basil Sangria - One of the nicest white wine sangria of recent times, makes for a perfect afternoon drink.
For most of the parts, this outlet fares much better than the Bandra outlets. The food overall tastes spicy sweet across the board, Soy influences are few and marginal. As said earlier, largely one dimensional food, but its likeable, well priced and decently portioned.
New dishes, swanky bar, that swing bench, more floor space and quick service, all make this one an easy favourite for quick uncomplicated meals and a favourable choice over the original restaurant.
*Medium&Rare was invited for this meal by the restaurant & agency.