Beside Eros Cinema, M. Karve Road, Mumbai.
Meal for two without alcohol: Rs 3,300
This little Churchgate joint is a miniature social history of Mumbai. In the heyday of Indira Gandhian socialism, I remember eating soggy `8 burgers in its Sundance Cafe avatar. It has since morphed, via a Manmohanomics era Chinese restaurant, into a chic post-globalisation bistro, known for its great wines and cheeses. Frederic, one of the partners, was a finance guy with P&G in France before coming here. Why Mumbai? “It made more sense opening a place like this here than in Europe,” he shrugged. Another partner is Cedric, the chef, who has apparently worked with Michelin-starred chefs in Europe.
Everything about our dinner was simple, elegant and well done: the salmon crepe and the home-made ravioli with Roquefort and walnut we had for starters; the sole meuniere and chateaubriand with duck liver and truffle that followed; the cheese platter that Chez Vous is known for; and finally the chocolate fondant and tarte tatin we had for dessert. The highlight of the meal, however, was perhaps the old-fashioned tarte tatin, with its mellow, burned toffee taste, originally made famous by Maxim’s in Paris. But they change their menu frequently, so it depends on what’s on offer on that day. Everything is sourced fresh from local suppliers, Frederic informed us, except for their cheeses and wines: the former come exclusively from boutique farms in France and the latter from selected French family vineyards. So please don’t ask for a Sula or Grover here; they’re not available.