Oct 10 2012

Cafe Marina, Colaba- Review

Roochster

I love open air places and ever since I read about Cafe Marina, I did want to try it but thought I’d wait it out because the prices were a bit much. So it was one of those random visits again and here’s what I thought.

Food– They mainly serve alcohol here so people would in all probability come here to drink; but they do have food too. We hadn’t gone there to drink though, and after seeing the menu we just decided to call for 2 veg starters among the 4 of us. One was garlic bread with cheese which was good but not something that you can’t make at home. They hadn’t even cut the pieces properly! It was more like 2 pieces of a loaf left upto you to slice! Next we tried the veg assorted platter with which we got a free beer (Fosters- big bottle). The Tandoori Veg Platter had 2 kinds of paneer, mushroom, cauliflower, babycorn, aloo, some other tikki). The variety and taste both were very good.

Ambience– The ambience is the USP of the place. Located in Colaba, walking distance from Gateway of India, Taj hotel, and super close to Radio Club, Cafe Marina is a terrace cafe atop Hotel Sea Palace. With tall tables and chairs facing the breathtaking sea, who will not fall in love with the place?! I did, for sure! Being an open air place with dim lighting and lots of peace, it would be the best place to go to on a romantic date, especially in the winter season.

Service– Now this sucks. We got there at 6 45 and placed our order by 7 max. Our food did not arrive till 8 30! And what had we ordered? Just Garlic bread and a Veg platter. To top that, the beer which was free also did not arrive till we had to ask them to get it at around 8 15! Ridiculous! It’s not the waiter’s fault; he tried his best to convince us that the food would only take half n hour to come. But there was some mismanagement and the cook probably wasn’t prepared to cook (strange to even say this)!

Prices– I understand that the ambience is amazing and all of that but the pricing could be better! The veg platter is for Rs. 475 (we were lucky to get a free beer with it). I don’t remember how much the Garlic bread with cheese was for, adding to that service tax, it came up to Rs. 184 per person. The platter was a good idea, more so because of the free beer. Also, they have some offers and happy hours for those wanting to drink.

Verdict– Ambience- Outstanding! Food- Decent, Prices- Too much for food but ok for alcohol, Service- BAD! You make your choice.

Rating– 2.5/5

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May 7 2012

Elephanta Caves (Gharapuri), Maharashtra

Roochster

I’m a typical Arien who needs something or the other to keep me going all the time and so I get pretty random and crazy ideas when I’m bored. I had made up my mind on Friday night that I have to do something exciting to get out of my daily school routine. Basically, I needed to do something different and so; I decided to go to Elephanta Caves! After making some last minute calls on Friday night, Fash agreed to come and I was super excited to finally get out and do something ‘different’ from the usual. Saturday was one such impulsive day and I honestly don’t regret it.

How to get to Elephanta Caves? Simple. Go to Gateway of India (Mumbai), buy tickets for the ferry to go to Elephanta. They’ll be available at the entrance and priced at Rs. 130 for a return journey to Elephanta and back. If you want to go on the upper deck, its Rs. 10 extra. Mondays closed. It takes a little more than an hour to reach so make sure you carry some sweet or something in case you’re the type who gets sea sick. Once you reach the island, there’s a mini train ride that costs Rs. 10 to drop you to the entrance of the Elephanta market leading to the caves.

The Journey– Before the market, you have to pay Rs. 5 as tax to enter the island properly. The market goes uphill towards the main entrance for the caves. You’ll find everything from Indian accessories to bags to tshirts to show pieces to leaf paintings to pretty wind chimes to what not! Oh yes, you’ll also find lots of monkeys so DO NOT buy corn on your way up because you wont be able to eat even 3 bites before a monkey comes and intimidates you and snatches your corn away! That happened to both me and Fash! These monkeys are big bullies! They even snatch bottles of water! To reach the top, it took us about 20 mins or so because there were so many steps!

The entry fee is Rs. 10 for adults and Rs. 250 for foreigners. Really sad! I wish the government wouldn’t be so shameless! Anyway, so then you walk ahead and you’ll find the first cave which is the main and the best cave. There are beautifully carved stone sculptures of Shiva and other Gods. They’re all works of art and it’s amazing how people had so much time thousands of years ago that they created such beautiful things for us to see. You’ll find 3-4 other caves ahead but they’re all incomplete and not as lovely. You might get a little bored after seeing the first 2 caves but make sure you see all of them since you don’t get to go to Elephanta Caves very often!

Food– After seeing all the caves, we decided to have some nimbu pani made by a local lady which was quite nice, especially in the garmi. And then Fash had some ‘Chicken Freiad rice’ (as it said at the small restaurant in the market where we ate) and we both had Fresh Lime Soda which was quite bad! I chose not to eat cause I was having a major Mc Donald’s craving so decided to go there once we reached Gateway. I bought corn on the way back though, once we crossed the marketplace (where the stupid monkeys were). So we had left at 10am from Gateway of India and were back by 3 in the afternoon.

Overall, it was a good trip. Not a ‘wow’ place but definitely worth visiting especially if you’re a Mumbaikar or if you haven’t seen the Ajanta and Ellora caves in Aurangabad which are way better than the Elephanta caves for sure!

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