My uncle was visiting us from Bangalore just for a day. Since we hardly meet, I decided to take him out for dinner at Eden, another famous vegetarian restaurant which my family, friends and I patronize.
I also got my aunt a simple jewellery piece as a belated birthday gift and their sweet little kid, a big bar of chocolate. We picked up a sea blue t-shirt for my uncle, which he liked, but not before he tried the earlier tshirt that I had bought, which turned out to be too big for his medium frame. So the plan was to drive over to the beach, find a parking spot on a Saturday evening if you are truly blessed, walk over to the shop and exchange the t-shirt and head over the beach for a while and wrap up with dinner at Eden.
It was a perfect plan and it worked beautifully. The evening drizzle made it even more endearing. I had completed a cycling session an hour earlier and was lucky to have caught a rare rainbow over the ocean. It was such an unexpected magical moment, so I called home and let them know incase they were interested in making a dash to the beach.
It was breezy and just a great feeling to sit by the banks, enjoying the bluish-grey sky and watching the corns getting grilled over the charcoal. As the evening progressed, the beach came alive with the rows of snack shops ready to fry away the usual favourites. We decided to make a move since we were hard pressed for time.
We went to Eden by 7.00pm and the place was relatively empty. Within 30 minutes, it was packed with waiters scurrying from table to table taking orders. They forgot our soup and the Tandoori salad and had us waiting for over 30 minutes.
We were terribly disappointed with their service and I was embarrassed when my uncle suggested we cancel the order! After a reminder, the tomato soup and the salad were served immediately. The soup was well flavoured and served at the right temperature. The tandoori salad, which is my favourite did not measure up. The cottage cheese (paneer) seemed chewy and possibly not fresh, because if it was fresh panner, it would cut through like butter. The rest of the vegetables were done well. The coriander dip was an excellent accompaniment.
For the main course, my uncle preferred rotis. For the sides, I ordered a dal makhani and a tandoori gobi masala. While the dal makhani was cooked with the right spice levels, the gobi (cauliflower) masala was a little too hot for me to handle. So mom and I attacked the mildly spiced lentil gravy.
Thankfully, we had ordered just enough portions and except for the dry vegetable, we cleared our plates. The bill for three was INR 1300 including tips, moderately priced. I usually don't tip for poor service, but gave them the benefit of doubt on this occasion. The service is usually impeccable and the waiters are old timers who take care of each and every customer who walk through their doors. Some days are like that I guess. Who knows I may need the benefit of doubt on another day!