Amitabh, Xavier and I, after considerable deliberation on the choice of tonight’s restaurant, ended up at Gaylord, again in the Churchgate area. We sat at one of the tables near the entrance, informed a (relatively young, clean shaven) waiter that we’d like a seat inside ASAP, and we’d have drinks in the meantime. Just to be on the safe side, Xavier confirmed with him that it was OK if we got a seat in-between our drinks and we could take the drinks inside. After a few rounds of explanation, he seemed to get the point, and nodded. But the explanation must have done him more harm than good, because he forgot to make our reservation.

We ordered drinks in the meantime. Amitabh, a Bloody Mary (whose recommendation is “don’t have it.” Incidentally, Amitabh benchmarks drinks in a restaurant by Bloody Mary. So his recommendation actually translates to “Don’t have anything.”), Xavier, a Margarita (he didn’t enjoy it all that much either, but was less vehemant about it), and myself, a Virgin Mary. As its the first time I’m having it, I had to enquire (a) if it was non-alcoholic, and (b) what on earth is it? Turned out to be tomato juice, with salt on the rim, and a lemon hanging from a stick poking through it. The salt was tasty. (OK, I’m kidding, I fairly liked it.)

And then there was Paneer Alu Croquet, a starter that sounded interesting. Turned out to be mashed paneer and alu filling made in bonda style. Xavier walked down to the nearby bakery and bought chocolate muffins (very nice), a custard muffin (fairly nice), and a chocolate croissant (OK), while Amitabh ran into an old flame. By this time, we noticed that most people that came after us were being let in, and after a fair amount of screaming and threats, managed to get a place inside. It’s split into two floors, the first overlooking the ground, and we were seated above.

At this point, Amitabh wants me to write that their men’s room is pathetic. (To Amitabh, the loo is an important benchmark, again. If they take care of it well, they’re bound to take good care of the kitchen, etc.)

We settled on garlic bread, vegetable Au Gratin (pretty good), Canaloni Indiana (pasta cooked with spinach and tomato sauce — excellent), between the three of us. The service inside was acceptable. It’s a smoking restaurant (pity), and as always, I was flabbergasted to observe that there were more women smoking than men. There was a bar inside, too. The food was fairly filling. On the whole, I think I’ll come back here.