It’s rare to come across a restaurant where everything seems to be just right and just about perfect! But it sure is not impossible to find one in our dear city. ‘Waterfront’, on Necklace Road, is surely one amongst them, and scores quite naturally in all. Be it the ambience, service, location, novelty, taste, presentation and lastly and most importantly its food, Waterfront wins hands down; with the same ease as one would relish their exotic dishes!
While the menu covers Indian, Chinese, Oriental and Thai, I would rate the Thai cuisine as their USP. Not everybody can boast of having an expat Chef all the way from Thailand. The divinely sinful Thai spread is something that has to be devoured to be believed! The use of natural herbs and spices adds to the freshness of the cuisine and truly leaves us asking for more. Som tum, a raw papaya salad with peanuts is a hot favourite amongst the international visitors and expat crowds. The Khao phad kra prow is the Thai fried rice (chicken, mutton, prawns or vegetarian are the choices) and is one of the spiciest dishes on the menu. It can however be toned down depending on the customers’ choice. “I will tone it down to medium spicy for you since you will not be able to have the real spicy one,” says Somboon Sirithangkul, Consultant Chef of Thai Food at Waterfront.
The variety on the menu is amazing. Finely sliced spinach is deep fried to end up as the tasty and crispy spinach almonds whereas broccoli is deep fried after dipping in a batter and shallow fried to make the spicy broccoli hot chilli. A personal favourite of mine was the cheese kurkure, wherein cheese was wrapped in a covering and deep fried making it truly a treat to relish, with a soft inside and crispy outside! For the experimental ones out there; you have the soft shell crab and the lobster with a sauce of the guest’s choice. It is famous with the black bean sauce, so do try it out!
Scoring high on its presentation and luring the eyes before the taste buds; are exotic and innovative dishes like Phoenix Fried Rice. Served in a lotus leaf, this vegetarian or non-vegetarian fried rice is made, put in the leaf, steamed and then opened at the table so that the sights and aromas from within hit the eyes and nose, before you are eager to eat right in! Similarly another delicacy, the Bamboo fried rice is served in a thick bamboo container thereby giving a little bit of the bamboo flavour too!
An Indian specialty on their popular menu is the paneer sabz rogan josh, which is an amalgamation of the right amount of vegetables, paneer and spices. They also have the regular favourites; dal makhani, nizami handi, murgh kali mirchi, murgh zafrani etc. I however, would go with the hare masala ki machi, wherein a tender piece of deboned fish is wrapped in a banana leaf and shallow fried to give you just the right taste of the fish (without its usual annoying smell), spices and a wee bit of the banana leaf flavour!
“Authenticity of the food and its original taste, is retained and maintained consistently,” says Phaneendra, Manager at Waterfront and adds that “the restaurant scores because it is a fine dining restaurant with a great ambience.”
Somboon, talking more about his specialty cuisine says “Thai food is very famous across the world since it is healthy food and is made with natural herbs like lemon grass, ginger, sweet basil, galangal,” all imported here from Thailand. Speaking about his Thai favourites he listed gang kiew waan (traditional Thai green curry which is made with kaffir lime skin, green chilli, cumin powder, fresh coconut milk), tom yam soup, som tum, kra prow kai (fried chicken with hot basil leaf and red chilli paste), phad chaa (lobster, chicken or prawns stir fried with spicy Thai herbs - an all time favourite of his); and the jungle curry, which is “so spicy that you will have fumes coming out of your ears” he says with a smile.
Waterfront is everything - it is a lounge, a bar and a restaurant; with an al fresco option by the Hussain Sagar lake. The live western music completes the amazing feel and compliments the view of Tank Bund at night. The interiors are very classy, loungish and give you the international feel. If you would want to have a banquet for about 150 people, they have a rooftop option too!
You would need to pay a cover charge of Rs. 350/- on weekends to enjoy the place; and with a meal for two costing around Rs. 800/-, it is worth the price! It also stocks 36 varieties of imported wines, single malts and old fashioned scotch.
Overall, a great place, with a rare combination of good food, drinks, location and service.
Starters: Crispy spinach almonds, broccoli hot chilli, soft shell crab, hare masala ki machchi, saffron fish tikka, cheese kurkure, som tum, porpai thod (Thai spring rolls)
Soup: Tom yam (spicy Thai soup)
Main Course: Gang phed (red curry) prawns, lobster (with sauce of choice), roast duck in spicy plum sauce, still fry zucchini and asparagus in white garlic sauce, baigan patiala
Desserts: Fried ice-cream, darsan, date pancake with ice cream
Month: July 2009.