Zodiac Grill (The Taj Mahal Palace & Tower, Apollo Bunder, Colaba, Mumbai)


In a nutshell:
A legendary restaurant that has announced its shutdown shortly, with woody interiors, dim lights , live piano, warm service and awesome food – but leaves u poorer in 5 digits.

Address & other details:  Zodiac Grill

Meal for 2: 2500 onwards

Cuisine type :  vegetarian & nonvegetarian

Disclaimer: All restaurants / eateries reviewed by YUMMRAJ were visited by YUMMRAJ himself & he has paid for the full Bill & tips also. http://www.yummraj.com does not have even one featured / sponsored reviews. YUMMRAJ believes in going to a restaurant in anonymity, as a normal guest, experience everything & give a honest account of the same to you.

Receipt - proof of payment
Receipt – proof of payment

I rate all the food items & then give a final overall rating which is a simple average of the individual item ratings. What the ratings stand for: 5 = Excellent, 4 = Very Good, 3 = Good, 2 = Fair, 1 = Disaster.

Short description – in case u r in a hurry:

We have a love for food and also for history. So u wud find us tracing out old heritage eateries across the country that r still running and also visiting historical places.

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So this was interesting – it was legendary, had heritage, and it was about to become history (we came to know from the newspaper that the eatery is about to down its shutters soon). So we decided to visit them.

The interiors
The interiors

The cuisine made us compare this experience with that of The Orient Express, Taj Delhi. We have been to Orient express a few times and we just love almost everything about it. So expectations were high even before we entered.

The inetriors
The inetriors

The interiors were simple, yet premium. Wood draped all over, on anything vertical, a beautiful oval niche in the ceiling with figures denoting zodiac signs.

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Beautiful fresh flowers were placed in different places in the room.

As mentioned, a gentleman was playing a grand piano, sitting on one side. Since it was a low ceiling closed room, the music was at times getting a bit high on volume. Piano was inside the room vs outside the coach at the Orient Express. The volume was higher and tended to come in the way of conversation relative scale.

The piano
The piano

The lighting was pretty low, to the extent that one cud not see the detailing on the face of the person sitting opposite. Too dark for my personal taste. Too woody and too formal for me as well. Orient express roars ahead on this front. Personally like the intrigue in the interiors of the Orient Express Delhi. This one was full wood, a bit gloomy.

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The menu card was very descriptive. Not too many number of items and not too less. Good amount of veggie items were there in the menu as well.

Service was outstanding. Most people were middle aged and some looked to be in their fifties. People were very very warm and they took care. I guess the service team of zodiac grill beats the one at The Orient Express (the latter r more formal, stiffer and less warm albeit efficient).

A special mention to the gentleman who prepared the coffee for us at the table – he is an outstanding performing artist. While the coffee was good, his theatrics were outstanding. He gave us some memorable moments. A special mention also to the young guy (Manager, I guess) with whom we enjoyed a great food chat.

Coffee being prepared
Coffee being prepared

Food was outstanding. Loved it. Regret that they will shut down. Food at both were comparable levels. Being located close to sea, Zodiac grill had better choice of fresh fish and seafood.

Overall experience of an evening at both places – I wud still rate The Orient express higher. I was wondering initially – am I biased? Till the time I cud sit in peace and compare each aspect.

Detailed description – in case u hv the time to njoy reading:

Cranberry jelly with goat cheese parfait Amuse Bouche – sweet and sour from cranberry jelly, salty from goat cheese. Interesting play of flavours and textures. The jelly melted into liquid once inside the mouth and the aftertaste was more goat cheese. Rate it 4.5/5

Cranberry jelly with goat cheese parfait Amuse Bouche
Cranberry jelly with goat cheese parfait Amuse Bouche

We were served a bread basket comprising of baguettes, Oats bread and mini onion croissants. Baguettes were good and rate it 4.25/5.

Bread basket
Bread basket

Oat bread was brilliant. Lumpy, grainy soft inside but not fluffy, crisp outside. Rate it 4.5/5.
Mini onion croissants were just yumm. The onion was not visible but was felt on every bite. There was also a pronounced butter flavour. Rate it 4.5/5.

Butter served with the bread basket
Butter served with the bread basket with a ‘Z’ on top

The Camembert soufflé was just unbelievably good the cheese sauce was particularly subtle but full of flavours the texture of the soufflé was most interesting. Loved both as it is and together.,Rate it 4.75/5.

Camembert soufflé
Camembert soufflé

Pistachio dusted Diver Scallop Ceviche – Scallop was as pristine as it cud b. Retained all its flavours.  Rate it 4.25/5.

Scallop
Pistachio dusted Diver Scallop Ceviche

Pan Seared Sea Bass – The sea bass was soft, flaky and as we cut it with the knife juices oozed out of it. A bite into the fish and you could feel the layers of fat in the fish. There were three different mashes – pumpkin mash, almond mash and tomato mash on which the fish fillets were placed. All of them brought their distinctive flavour and texture to the dish.

Pan seared Sea Bass
Pan seared Sea Bass

Apart from this, there was clams served on Palm heart. The tiny pieces of clam meat packed an awesome flavour. Rate it 4.95/5.

Clams on Palm heart
Clams on Palm heart

For a taste changer we were given Green apple sorbet. Earlier, blood orange sorbet that we had at orient express was unforgettable. This one was good but not that great. The texture was a bit too mushy. Would have struggled to guess the ingredient if we were not told. Rate it 3/5

Green apple sorbet
Green apple sorbet

For main course we had Crab meat stuffed tiger prawns. The tiger prawn packed an amazing amount of flavour which is hard to come by in any restaurant.  However the flavours of crab meat stuffed in was overshadowed by the flavour of prawns. The scallop was as usual extremely delicious.

 Crab meat stuffed tiger prawns
Crab meat stuffed tiger prawns

The squid ink tagliolini served with it was excellent. Rate it 4.5/5.

Squid ink tagliolini
Squid ink tagliolini

For dessert we had Kalhua mousse. It was intense, dark, robust, full of Kalhua flavours on an awesome base. Rate it 4.5/5.

Kahlua mousse
Kahlua mousse

After dessert we decided to go for Snake coffee. This speciality of Zodiac Grill was a very interesting experience – I think unforgettable. Rate the theatrics, including the narration 5/5.

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The final coffee was very good. Flavors of coffee, Kahlua, Cointreau & orange rind cud be felt. Rate it  4/5

Snake coffee
Snake coffee

Overall rating of food at Zodiac Grill averages out to 4.4/5

I wish I cud revisit but alas it wud shut in a short time…..

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3 comments

  1. Food looks really great! I like that you review both high-end and street eateries with all the range in between. We also have no bars as to the type of restaurant/ eatery we frequent.

    My caveat is that prices in India for the higher & high-end restaurants are surpassing European ones by a long way – especially if we consider we usually have a couple of bottles of fine wines to accompany. I am talking Michelin stars here.

    E.g. this cost us 58€/pp inclusive of all taxes & we had a pretty rare & delicious Reisling to accompany it for 24€. http://akinotxilis.com/2015/10/01/el-serbal-santander/#more-2911

    Keep the reviews coming!

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