Monday, November 9, 2015

Restaurant review - Level 12 - Double Tree by Hilton, Chinchwad

Ambiance - ***
Menu - ***1/2
Taste - ***
Service/Price - ***
Overall - ***

Another Zomato meetup. Another chance to try out a new place. Another chef's table guaranteeing the best of their dishes. Complimentary. I found no reason to refuse to attend this meetup. So there I was, first to reach as usual after a long long drive through the city traffic.

Doube Tree is located in a crowded area near Chinchwad station. However, they have enough parking space and also valet parking. There are multiple restaurants there, the one we went to was Level 12 located on.. guess which floor..? 12th silly. First thing you notice, while going up, is that lift is really badly lit. I didn't get into the lift the first time because I thought it's faulty. I didn't want to get stuck in it. But then I realised that that's how the lighting in it is. Unfortunately, the story is the same at the restaurant as well. You can hardly see what's in the menu unless you hold it up so that the fire from behind the waterfalls lights it up. Same story while eating. We had to switch on the cellphone flashes and torches to see what we were eating, and take 5-6 photos to get that perfect frame. Or in some cases take the dishes near the fire for a better photograph. This really should change. It is not classy nor romantic if you struggle to see your beloved's face while on a romantic dinner. The view from the hotel is good though since it is on 12th floor. Bonus.

The menu is pretty standard, though some of the dishes are named differently. We had a fixed menu but then the head chef for the three restaurants came up and decided to offer some dishes which were not on it. That was good. My take on the items we ate -

  1. Sweetlime soda - Easy thing to make but the sweet and salted perfect mix is difficult to achieve. It wasn't achieved
  2. Thecha aloo - Story behind the creation of this dish was good. I struggled to find the taste of thecha in the dish. 
  3. Tandoori tawa gobi - Decent. Well cooked
  4. Palak patta chat - Good innovation. Tasted like chat, obviously. Good starter and something that you would want to make at home too for the sheer novelty exotic factor of it.
  5. Dahi puri/waterless pani puri - Decent. No great shakes
  6. Fish tikka - Well cooked. Just enough burnt bits. Tasted good. Not dry.
  7. Seekh kebab - Well cooked. Decent taste. Not extraordinary.
  8. Malai drums of heaven - Slightly difficult to eat. Tasted alright. Not something I would recommend
  9. Paneer lababdaar - Paneer was soft. The gravy was again, regular. 
  10. 12 ki daal - Best dish of the day. Perfect softness. Just right amount of butter. Spices were just right. Definitely worth eating again and again
  11. Jeera pulao - Good
  12. Subz dum biryani- Surprisingly good. Served from a cooker. veggies were cooked well, rice grains were separate. spices were just about right - not extra. Another positive dish
  13. Mix veg raita - Standard
  14. Roti/naan/laccha paratha/amrutsari kulcha - Amritsari Kulcha was good. give it a try.
  15. Butter chicken - Not as good as it should be. Butter chicken is one of the standard dishes that is available in any restaurant. Needs the right amount of butter and sweetness and yet should not be overly sweet. That balance couldn't be achieved.
  16. Lamb shanks curry - Looked good. Tasted bad. The spice mix used was just not right. Didn't tickle my taste buds
  17. Jalandhar ki special malai kulfi - Ordinary
  18. Tiffin halwa - Served in an old style steel tiffin box. Moong dal halwa. was cooked well, needed to be a little more sweet.
  19. Sugarfree Date Fig and mascorpone ice cream - Worst dish of the day. Confused dish. Absolutely no taste. 

The funny part of the price is that many dishes have the prices ending in "12" because of the name of the restaurant. Some creativity shown there. Prices are on the higher side considering the other aspects of the restaurant. Service, well, what do I say. They were trying very hard but even when there were hardly any other people in the restaurant, it was a struggle to manage our table of around 12 people. Stewards didn't always know what they were serving, they served paneer lababdaar on top of butter chicken (bad lighting), we waited for clean cutlery and got it only after multiple reminders, some of us had to wait a long time to get roti/naan or some curry before we could start eating. So, even though the head chef was very gracious in attending to our table personally, the service from the other staff wasn't up to the mark - in fact well below the mark.

Overall, an ok experience. can't say anymore.

Level 12 - DoubleTree By Hilton Hotel Menu, Reviews, Photos, Location and Info - Zomato