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Amadeus – An Awry Experience

As the hands of the clock move, a subtle ambience turns rowdy, waiters turn ignorant and food turns bad! Lesson learnt from the once perfect restaurant, Amadeus, in Mumbai

As the hands of the clock move, a subtle ambience turns rowdy, waiters turn ignorant and food turns bad! Lesson learnt from the once perfect restaurant, Amadeus, in Mumbai.

With time, they say, everything gets enhanced. But recall the phrase that there are exceptions to every rule? Apparently true. Farrokh Khambata’s latest venture after Joss, Amadeus, is a perfect example of good stuff going bad with time. If you were to swing by this fine-dine restaurant a few weeks back, you would walk out with a cheerful stomach. Your only complaint would be the delectable calories consumed and maybe very negligible teething problems like overstaffing and extra enthusiasm.

But take a look again and those petite problems have turned into mammoth struggles with shocking results. If an over-crowded space, uber-thunderous music and a lot of time is what you have in your mind, then Amadeus is the place for you. Staff giving each other harrowed looks and running helter-skelter with food trays being passed over your heads is a sight that will greet you on a Friday night at Amadeus. Let me break it down for you. Know what it feels like when countless people nudge your elbow while you attempt to devour well-presented food? Or have you tirelessly worked those throat muscles while you try to have a conversation over loud music to get your companions attention? Maybe not. Try attracting any waiter’s attention and see if they pay attention to you before you are tired of waving your hands for at least 15 minutes. Sad, but true. This pretty much summed up the experience at this restaurant.

For the sake of culinary diversity, this place earns its brownie points, but if you aren’t well-versed with the cuisine, then be prepared to pull out your phone and Google terms such as ‘Paella’, ‘Tagine’ and ‘Cocas’, because it is very likely that your waiter doesn’t know anything more than you. If you are looking for a party spot to hit over the weekend, don’t bother knocking the doors at Amadeus, unless you are a Bollywood star or a socialite or unless a human stampede is your late night idea of fun.

Amadeus has tried to present a gourmet experience with an innovative repertoire of Levantine, Spanish and Eastern Mediterranean cuisines. The menu provides a tiresomely excessive number of options, which means that we didn’t get the opportunity to try more than half the items. So maybe try going in a large group so as to be able to sample more dishes.

Uphill or maybe not
At the top of a flight of stairs nestles the contemporary and cosy looking restaurant, so work your appetite and wait to be seated as a troubled receptionist tries to locate your reservation and find a hostess to seat you. Once seated, take a few seconds to look through their inviting drinks and food menu or even soak in the ambience and the people around you. After going through their vast drinks menu, we started off with a Rossini and a Whiskey Sour from their selection of wines (in their own cellar), cocktails and mocktails. An instant sugar high in the Rossini and the strong whiff of the egg in the Whiskey Sour got us to keep our glasses down earlier than we expected to.

The disappointing drinks awakened the appetite Gods inside us. Suddenly realising we were ravenous, we opened the food menu. What greeted us was a suggestion of way too much Spanish food. We took over 10 minutes to narrow down on a dish which was made more difficult because there was no staff to help or advise. Going with our gut, we had the Beer batter Clumped Corn with Spiced Chimichuri Sauce and Lemon Allioli which was tasteful to say the least. For those non-alcoholics out there, worry not, there is no actual beer in the dish. It’s just so that the name sounds ‘fancy’. My companion had Gambas al Pil Pil – Sea Prawns in Olive Oil Slivered Garlic and Smoked Paprika, which was perfectly well-balanced in terms of flavour, but the bread seemed stale, which immediately disturbed the taste buds instead of offsetting it. The dish failed to awaken any of the senses and didn’t match up to the expectations present when selecting the dish.

For the main course, I went with Paccheri Stuffed with Spinach and Ricotta with Oven Dried Zucchini and Pecorino Romano on the side, which I would not recommend due to the pasta being very dry, hard and chewy. The pine nuts were just spoiling the taste of what would have been a good mixture of spinach and ricotta. My companion chose Grilled Herbed Himalayan Trout with Lemon Zest, Potato Cigars and Champagne Beurre Blanc, which were mildly offensive to the nasal cavity.

With so much mayhem around us, it comes as little shock that we were the least bit inclined to experiment with a dessert, but their menu consisted of tempting and alluring options ranging from Kahlua Tiramisu, Hot Chocolate and Grand Marnier Soufflé to even Frozen Gianduja Chocolate with Liqueur Sabayon on Lady Finger.                                                          .

Culinary mistreats or feast to the eye?
While the restaurant is all about inconspicuous affluence, the cultural connotation of the quite open space is brought to being with the large sepia-toned, black and white images of some of the finest maestros in the world of music. Other images of flamenco dancers and an orchestra, give the space an identity that truly complements its decor and location. A beautiful, Ostler chandelier passed down from generations adds a befitting finishing touch of muted grandeur to Amadeus. A private dining area for groups, gives one the luxury of privacy and personalised service if one may wish for.

According to me, a meal at Amadeus makes for an enjoyable, but not an outstanding experience. A much needed preamble to Spanish gastronomy, we have our fingers crossed that other culinary experts take a leaf out of Khambata’s book and tap into this delectable cuisine. A night I won’t forget so easily, I’m sure.