Sunday, 2 October 2016
No. 101, Powai: The address for Great food, Warm service...and Conversations!
Powai is amongst the most strategically placed location in Mumbai that houses the biggest of MNCs in the ITeS space and amongst the coolest of residential hubs. The Hiranandani Housing has ensured state-of-the-art gated communities and clinical maintenance of the environment. The overarching impact of this potent commercial + residential combination has ensured a very happening buzz and feel to Powai.
Expectedly these factors and immense demand have fuelled a buzzing food scene in Powai with some of the most hip lounges, bars, fine dine places…and a range of gastronomical options to sip, gorge, socialize and hang out at. However, off late the entire food scene in Powai has started to become a tad stagnant with the likes of Mainland China getting complacent and un-innovative, Yellow Chillies and Red Olives not having the ‘happening’ feel, Sigree Global Grill coming across as too industrialized and assembly-line and others like Mehmaan Navazi, Breeze, Saffron Spice, Rodas, Chillies, etc. too falling in the safe, unexciting zone.
Out then comes a relatively new entrant No. 101 in this overcrowded space. The objective pretty simple – Strong focus on good, flavorsome North Indian and Mughlai fare with aggressive, value for money pricing. It’s not a big set-up with the ambience itself appearing a bit confused. What with colorful Bollywood posters and witty Hindi one-liners adoring the entrance staircase…ending up with random posters and an artifacts-theme wall in the interiors. Having said that, apparently No. 101 doesn’t even attempts to try too hard on the décor or music front. The TV is tuned on to some random sports action and the music is kept low-key. The focus remains on the things that really matter – Great food, efficient & warm service and of course…the quality of conversations with your gang.
We were late to try the ‘Wow Menu’ with some of the best appetizers and drinks priced at just Rs. 101. But the offer definitely looks most tempting to visit the place once again. Drinks definitely are not a forte of this place with most of the mocktails & cocktails we ordered being pretty standard. However, what really bowled us over was a selection of some the best starters – the succulent Gilaafi seekh kebabs, the delicately made Galouti Kebabs, the the finger-licking Reshmi kebabs (which we couldn’t have enough of and kept on asking for more), Chicken Tikkas & Tangdi kebabs the quality as good as the best of Awadhi/Lucknowi cuisine and even vegetarian delights like Bharwaan Kumbh (Mushroom) which is quite a specialty out here!
We were so full and satiated with the starters itself that we decided to keep it pretty simple with the maincourse. Butter Chicken, Murgh Chilman Dum Biryani and standard Indian breads like Butter garlic Naan and Tandoori Rotis. And once again each of these items stood out as one of the best we’ve had in a long while. The butter chicken was tender, perfectly textured and delicious to the core; the Biryani calming, soothing and soulful…just what Biryanis should be! And most importantly, the best of the lot was the Naan and the Rotis. The Rotis are amonst the most overlooked part of most restaurants. However, No. 101 has its heart in the right place. The Rotis and Naans were served at the perfect temperature, Soft and Crispy and with the right amount of Garlic, butter, etc. to make it an experience in itself. Come to think of it, these are such standard items in most restaurants that we’ve stopped looking at our Butter Chicken, Chicken Biryani or Rotis with any amount of affection. However, it took No. 101 to bring back the love for these legendary Indian foods.
To sum it up, No. 101 is a refreshing alternative in the buzzing food scene at Powai. If it is delicious food that you crave for, at the most bang-for-your-buck pricing and no other frills like Sports bar, music, lounge, cocktails – just pack in your friends and family and head off to No. 101 for a comforting time and endless conversations with your Besties.
All of us will keep coming back to No. 101 for more such Good times!