Ratan Manzil, Wodehouse Road
Meal for 2: Rs 1,200
A long, long time ago, restaurants in Mumbai fell into three categories: Mughlai, Continental and Chinese. Then word spread that a brave new eatery in Bandra served an unfamiliar cuisine—adventurous foodies rushed to the no-frills eatery which was serving up a spectacular Tom Yam soup and papaya salad. Then, as other, exotic eateries sprang up, the city forgot all about Thai-Baan. So it’s cause for rejoicing that the restaurant has popped up again in a quiet corner of Colaba. And it has lost none of its spicy magic.
We drop in on a quiet Sunday afternoon. Initially, we are a little rattled by the menu that lists the nutritional and health benefits of each dish. We order the Tom Kha Je (Rs 175), a delicate coconut-milk-based soup flavoured with ginger and lemongrass, that boasts ‘anti-viral’ properties. We also order the spectacular Mee Grob Koong (Rs 345), a platter of crunchy vermicelli and prawns in a tangy sauce. And two excellent, tender variations on the satay theme—the conventional Satay Kai (Rs 295) and the spicier, chilli-basil-infused Thai Prik Kai Satay (Rs 295).
Equally satisfying is the Chicken Pad Thai Noodles (Rs 295), a flavourful, peanutty package that comes wrapped in two thin omlets. The Pla Rad Prik (Rs 450) proved to be chunks of fresh fish in an enjoyable chilli, basil and garlic sauce. The Green Thai Curry (Rs 355) is flavourful and packed with vegetables.
Our only quibble is that the upholstery—only a month old—already looks shabby and stained. But the meal and service are both excellent, and Colaba can well rejoice at the arrival of this value-for-money eatery.