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Restaurant reviews: Silver Beach Cafe, AUMA, Amour

Restaurant reviews: Silver Beach Cafe, AUMA, Amour

Silver Beach Cafe offers a warm setting and delicious food to kill a quiet day in Maximum City.

Silver Beach Cafe's warm interiors are a perfect antidote to a rainy Mumbai afternoon Silver Beach Cafe's warm interiors are a perfect antidote to a rainy Mumbai afternoon
The Neighbourhood Hero
Although it is more bar than cafe, this warm and inviting eatery, located near a private beach close to Juhu, offers a warm setting and delicious food to kill a quiet day in Maximum City.

A roof-to-floor glass wall dimly lit by a French-styled lamp post welcomes you to Silver Beach Cafe. It's situated on a quiet street parallel to Silver Beach, an exclusive stretch ahead of crowded Juhu beach. The warm theme continues with wooden flooring and seating on both levels of the restaurant.

The best view is had from the leather couches that run along the glass wall. The menu at Silver Beach Cafe is invigorating and comforting. It focuses on Italian food with Turkish and Oriental inclusions. Classics like margherita pizza, minestrone, bruschetta and pastas sit alongside more evolved flavours such as the harissa marinated pan-seared Indian salmon, tempura shrimp, and grilled kasundi fish and aranchini.

The cafe has an extensive wine list; a mix of old and new world. The champagne list includes the revered Dom Perignon. Top-rated international brews such as Hoegaarden, Stella, Leffe, Carona and Amstel are on the menu, as are various wine cocktails. Try the white wine sangria that come in either apple or watermelon varieties. These are extremely refreshing.

The English cheddar -stuffed fresh mushroom tempura appetiser satisfies deeply as molten cheese oozes out with every bite. The grilled kasundi fish and aranchini is genius. The fresh fish is cooked to perfection while the flavour.
Silver Beach Cafe, Jaldarshan Building, near ISKCON temple complex, Gandhigram Road, (lane opposite Army Grounds), Juhu, Mumbai; Meal for two without liquor Rs 2,100; Tel : (022) 26208930

-Anamkia Butalia

Auma's food may deserve its fine-dining tag
Swank interiors & good food aren't enough
Auma: Hit & Miss

Auma's food may deserve its fine-dining tag, but the overall experience at the table needs a serious rethink

The danger with multi-cuisine restaurants is that they have no distinct identity and the food is half-baked. Auma, Delhi's latest fine-dining eatery, very narrowly avoids slipping into this category. My meal began with a raw papaya salad. This is a favourite and Chef Bhagirath didn't disappoint. The papaya shreds had crunch and the sweet and spice balanced nicely. Then came a chicken liver pate. This dish was a knockout. The pate melted on the palate and blended beautifully with the berry compote that accompanied it. I would recommend it unreservedly. The final two antipasti were forgettable.

The caprese salad was fresh but lacked punch, while the chicken in the caesar salad was just too chewy. For main course, I had a green Thai curry. Once again Chef Bhagirath favoured balance over boldness and produced a well-turned-out dish.

The dish of the day was the tiramisu. The cake layer was shaped like a cup and held the coffee mousse within. This was topped with milk foam and had the overall effect of a stylised cappuccino. Full marks for creativity but I'd drop the virtually flavourless Bailey's ice cream on the side. There was also chocolate parfait. with caramel cream; tasty, but heavy.

Unfortunately, service was painfully slow. Dessert alone took 20 minutes. I'm told this was because the kitchen was understaffed that afternoon. They deserve the benefit of doubt there, but the disturbingly loud 80's pop music was unforgiveable. Perhaps it masks sounds from the open kitchen, but it also forces both diners and waiters to raise their voices; a deal-breaker.

Would I return? For a fine-dining restaurant in Delhi's most expensive mall, service was below par. The menu had hits but also some misses. If Auma can sort out these teething problems, it may meet success.

AUMA, 1st Floor, DLF Emporio, Vasant Kunj, Delhi; Meal for two with drinks at Rs 4,000 + taxes; Tel: (011) 43151251

-Pierre Mario Fitter

Outdoor dining in the patio section at Amour
Outdoor dining in the patio section at Amour
Amour Needs More
It starts strong but it then tends to taper off from there. Amour, a new Delhi eatery, oscillates heavily and ultimately feels incomplete.

Hauz Khas Village has a welldeserved reputation as Delhi's 'Eat Street'. That makes it hard for any new restaurant to succeed. Amour gives itself an important head start with spacious, beautifully-styled indoor and patio dining. This is quite unlike the hole-in-the-wall norm for its neighbourhood. Unfortunately, the service and food squander away that great first impression.

We began the evening with the parma ham and rocket pizza. Rather puzzlingly, this was listed on the menu as 'Yummy'; unusual for a fine dining establishment. The next course arrived well behind time, forcing us to eat additional slices of pizza purely out of hunger. Despite being recommended by the wait staff, the vegan sushi is skippable. However, the king prawns with Moroccan couscous were delicately spiced and are a sure-fire hit.

The indoor restaurant section at Amour
The indoor restaurant section at Amour
We were impressed to find Foie Gras paired with duck ballotine on the menu, and though it didn't hit the ball out of the park, it's worth a mention. For mains, we settled on the tortelli stuffed with mushroom in a smoked shitake sauce. This, it turned out, was a super decision. The in-house tortelli was cooked just right, generously stuffed and complimented with a rich creamy sauce. For our second main course, we settled for a roasted French quail in mixed fruit vinaigrette. The quail emerged whole from the kitchen, cooked a deep brown to a juicy succulence.

The accompanying vinaigrette was a tad bit too acidic for the dish, so we just skirted around the edges and stuck to the meat. For dessert, we picked the volcan chocolate to play it safe. But despite its simplicity, the flavour of the chocolate used in its making lacked the decadence one usually expects from a purely sinful dessert of this nature.

Amour is worth a visit for those who rank ambience over food. Its charm and aesthetics certainly hold appeal. The menu and service however, need serious fine-tuning to go the distance from average to excellent.

Meal for two: Rs 2,500-Rs 3,500 Address: 30, Hauz Khas Village, Hauz Khas, Delhi. Tel: 9654126687

-Hitani Kaur