So Manuscrypts had invited three other people whom he'd known through the twitter world. Gautam (lawyer, entrepreneur, 'kurta'-type worker), Prmod (fashion designer, photographer), and Radha (accounts specialist @ Dell, photographer). And of course, the mercenary. Me. Although I wasn't featured...rules, you see. So we started off with soup - Manu with cream of mushroom, Gautam with French onion soup (vegetarian - not made from beef stock), and I had settled for the chilled melon soup with a hint of cinnamon.
Let's go backwards - there was ice in the chilled soup! I don't know but maybe it hadn't occurred to them that the melon is supposed to be refrigerated, and that's how it would be chilled. And hint of cinnamon? I guess some people would struggle to find the cinnamon, and so it seemed like they added several spoons extra, just to be sure it wouldn't be lost. What was lost, however, was the taste of the melon, which was already marred by the addition of ice to it. The cream of mushroom wasn't a good mushroom soup - it needed to be a puree of mushrooms, and not some stock mixed with sliced of mushroom and cream (which is what it was - unless the puree was so diluted it seemed like stock). The French onion soup lacked body, plain and simple.
For starters, we ordered the Goan sausages. Thankfully, there was an option between pork and chicken, and we asked for pork with glee. The masala used was an imitation of the Goan reshad masala, but thankfully again, it didn't kill the dish. Tasted quite good actually. I guess my overall dissatisfaction over the meal resulted in forgetting whether we had any other starters (notably the veg ones).
For our main course, I settled for a pepperoni pizza, Manu ordered the king sized sausages, Gautam had the sea bass with fennel, cheese, and lemon oil, Prmod ordered a veg lasagna, and Radha settled for a veg pizza. When it arrived, it raised our hopes. As it got introduced to the palate, we wished we hadn't ordered it. It said sea bass. It was mackerel! I'm a Mangalorean, and I'll know the taste of Mackerel even in my sleep. I guess it's this deception, deliberate or accidental, that put me off. Gautam's response was even more acerbic. To quote him verbatin "I think this fish swam out of the sea, swam up a river, hiked across long distances and landed on my plate" or something like that. In short, it wasn't fresh. The mash potatoes though, although a bit grainy in texture, were quite good, and though I'm not a fan of mashed potatoes, I could have eaten it all.
Luckily, Manu's sausages were saving grace and were pretty decent. My pepperoni pizza and Radha's veg pizza were OK, and luckily being thin crust, weren't too hard to down. I think Prmod's veg lasagna was the best dish of the evening.
I guess since we were out reviewing the place, we were 'forced' to try desserts (I'd have left after the show thus far if I was out for casual dining). They were out of blueberry cheesecake (something the owner claimed was their specialty) and so we settled for a mango cheesecake, chocolate with caramelised bananas, and a chocolate mousse.
The mango cheesecake was more cake and mango essence than 'cheese' and/or cream (save for the top), and chocolate thingy with caramelised bananas, well, we didn't know we had to dig deep to reach the bananas, and the chocolate tasted quite awful on it's own, but combined with the banana, it was much better. The chocolate mousse seemed more like a thick sauce than a mousse, and I don't even care enough to think hard enough of it tasted.
Food: Pfffbbbt. Not up to the mark...veg dishes may probably be saving grace.
$$$: Around Rs. 500-600 per head.
Verdict: Don't visit and have me say "I told you so!", coz I'd love to say it. Nice ambiance, and probably if you want to eat only sausages and veg food, then visit maadi.
Under The Mango Tree, #03, The Bat and Ball Inn, Laurel Lane, Richmond Town, Bangalore. Phone: 22111112/3/4