Being a “foodie” seems to be the in thing. A connoisseur, even better. Of food, of restaurants. Yeah well.
What is a “foodie” really? Well, we will come to that, and only because I am gonna force my opinion on this unwitting lot of readers.
I’m no “foodie” in the popular sense of the manner in which this work is being bandied around. Do I know food? Yes I do! I cook, see, and I may add, I cook very well, if I may say so. And just so the peoples’ know, this is not just self-appointed, or rather anointed mantle….I have the permission of several substantial people to say so. If you can count the following as substantial, then good for us all. The staff from the Crowne Plaza, in London, my neighbours, who would pop by for a midnight snack and/or meal, several friends and colleagues, from several parts of the globe….Pune to Chicago, London to Singapore, Abu Dhabi to wherever. All places where I’ve lived.
More important, there is my darling Mudder (of course), who is a fantastic cook. Now before you peoples’ say, “Oh yeah, you’re a guy, of course you love your mother’s cooking”, let me say, and say objectively, she is a fantastic cook, and I will join issue with anyone who don’t agree! Now, if she is able to say I cook well, then who gives a rats ass about other permissions? Maybe, I should mention my kids, my cousin sister, Shambhvi and my Uncle and Aunt. Oh and my neighbour, Brian Michael, who was licking his fingers after he conned me into cooking my signature Paneer (cottage cheese) dish, at 9.30 AM, on a Sunday!
Is that enough by way of testimonials? If it isn’t then @@#$%^&, I’m a dammnnn good cook, even if I say so myself 🙂
So coming back to what is a foodie, in my rather exacting opinion? Dammit, a “foodie” is someone, who can actually cook for himself, and not just go around sampling and passing judgement. Capice? If you don’t capice, then you may…
Canto – Casual Dining, Bar.
Not me, that’s what Zomato says. Hmmm. This Canto place is owned by my friend Pankaj, and is run by him and his wife Pooja, a couple most friendly, most charming, and most hospitable. Now this Pankaj, is the very same gentleman who owns Camp Evergreen, the place where I went riding to, about 90 km from Bombay. I think, I wrote about that wonderful ride if memory serves me correctly. Yes it does, here is that link: Camp Evergreen
Pankaj and Pooja have spared no effort whatsoever in setting this up. Really high ceilings, high arched french windows, beautiful flooring, choicest furniture, superb lighting, not too bright, and not too dark, just so. Elegance, that’s the word that describes it best.
Can’t go wrong there. A stones throw, albeit a strong arm needed, from the beach at Chowpatty on Marine Drive. Right at the intersection of Hughes Road and the Road leading to Marine Drive, clearly visible from the street, can’t miss it unless you’re blind (blind please excuse me for dragging sight into this).
I would say multi-cuisine as people used to call it back then. Pankaj quickly corrects me saying, its more appropriate to say “fusion”, so fusion it is. The food is fusion. Pankaj is the owner, and I just wanna make sure, I get a bit of a discount the next time. By the way, its a joke, I don’t take things for free. And on top of that, the prices are most convenient, and don’t really melt the old plastic. That’s as far as price goes, but how about the quality, the presentation, the portions? Superb quality, appropriate presentation, generous portions. What more could one ask for?
As far as the bar goes, I’m told by other friends that the prices are fairly reasonable, and the bar is well stocked.
Well, due to the high ceilings, tapestry, curtains, marble flooring/tiled flooring, and a fantastic music set up, the sound is simply amazing. The place actually turns into a small club just around 9 pm or so. Perfect to unwind to some good food, some good drink, and some great music.
As you can probably tell, this is a big A+ as far as I’m concerned. Do we say A+ when one reviews a restaurant? Maybe? Maybe not. But, I did say ab initio, I am not a “foodie”, nor am I a food critic, I’m just your average guy, who is up for a nice time out, for lunch, tea/coffee, a snack, dinner and drinks, and some nice music. So A+ works for me, big tick in the box as far as I’m concerned.
Canto does the trick for me. What makes it even sweeter, is that they have agreed to put bike stands outside, for the bicycling community, just as long as we don’t wear shorts, lycra/spandax, tights to Canto at night, lest we drive away the ones dressed to party at night. The whole world, does not live in shorts after all.
I would suggest, don’t take my word for it, go experience it for yourself, lest you accuse me of being partisan. And if I am judged as partisan that’s fine too, I look out for my friends, and this friend, his efforts, and the outcome, most certainly deserve that I put in a good word.