Friday, January 30, 2009

Breakfast at Four Seasons

Since I had time to kill in the morning, decided to go to the new Four Seasons. I must admit the location completely fazes me..Bang on Dr. E. Moses Road with not so eye-pleasing surroundings, I was a little surprised at the choice of location but it is central. Not so far from CBD and not too far from the wealthier burbs!

Be forewarned, they do not allow cabs in for security reasons! Now I am a little lost on that one. Private cars are just as liable to be bomb carriers and cabs can also be frisked and sniffed, but I suppose they clearly feel that cab drivers are more likely to immolate or be human bombs…clearly a man togged in an Armani suit and being driven up to the entrance is likely to have far "more" reasons to not self immolate than a hard working, sweaty taxi driver who has little earnings and many mouths to feed!

I cursed hubby dear for keeping the car, but it’s a short walk from the gate to the entrance, so no fear! But the principle of it is the moot point or maybe I am just grumpy being made to get out of the cab and walk ! Especially when I am lugging a laptop and a BIG handbag (why did tote bags come back in fashion?)!

Once you go past the gate you can be forgiven for forgetting that you are on E Moses Road…the place is verdant, with green being the only colour that you can see.....the lobby is nice enough, done in wood panels, marble and long French windows affording a lot of light.


The place technically does not have a coffee shop, but an Italian restaurant called Prato where the buffet breakfast is served…there is an open air patio where you can order tea and a la carte breakfast but I can't see it being very useful beyond a few months in the winter months, given the humidity that Bombay has….at least not for most air conditioned Mumbaikers!

The buffet breakfast can be described in only one word- disappointing! Being used to the fantastic spreads on offer in places like the Taj, Oberoi, Sheraton and Holiday Inns of the world, the breakfast is at best meagre. In fact the Four Seasons’ breakfast spread very effectively drives home the point that recession is indeed here, lol!

Essentially a continental breakfast, priced at INR 900 (USD 18 approx), the bread spread is decent. A Danish, some chocolate stuffed croissants, plain croissants (which were stone cold and I could taste the congealed butter) and a couple of whole wheat buns…but I happen to be a strange creature who loves her whole wheat loafs and the pleasure of slicing them and putting them through the toaster and watching them slowly disappear only to magically re-appear all browned up! That’s also my son’s favourite part of the breakfast!

The cheese selection is disappointing with only brie on offer, though I must admit it was good quality brie. The standard single helping packs of Kellogg are on offer, though I missed my dry muesli. There is an adequate spread of fresh fruits not to forget some ham, bacon and some salmon. Tea, coffee and juices are part of the offering,

The only difference between the continental and the Four Seasons breakfast is an Indian hot preparation (today it happened to be a South Indian preparation) and eggs to order. The price of the difference? INR 400 which is not bad for eggs and Uttapam given that it is Four Seasons!

The service is pleasant and not intrusive. The ambience of the Italian restaurant is very appealing with high ceilings and wood panelling. I only wish that the spread was as exciting!

So if you plan to go out for a breakfast buffet on a weekday with the family, Four Seasons is definitely not the place to head for, unless of course, it’s for the snob value of having had breakfast at “The Four Seasons”!

Sunday, January 18, 2009

First week in Mumbai

We are settling in...its a welcome to Mumbai, the city of glitz, grime, excitement and endless opportunities....

I think 3 redolent years in Kolkatta followed byanother two in Cairo has absolutely ruined us (**grin**) for the buzz that's Mumbai! But its nice to be back in a familiar milieu, and match steps with the buzz in the air around you, the city has a pizzaz and attitude that difficult to match!

Mumbai has changed so much in the 5 years that we have been away though some things remain quitessentially Mumbai, like the ubiquitous dabba wala, the enterprising hole in the wall guy who does everything from pay your electricity bills to get you a mobile connection, shops home delivering everything under the sun, the pan chewing plain speaking Marathi bai...its fun to be back!

The first week is over though my harrowing search for apartments is not! Again, spolit for space by Cairo, it took a while for reality check to set in, but we have found a couple of apartments that we like, so inshaallah, we shall wrap up something soon!

Of course the first week was spent in complete gastronomic decadence be it a gujarati thali at Thakkers and Rajdhani, crisp hot dosas at Shiv Sagar, pani puri at Elco Arcade, bhelpuri off the roadside vendor, not to mention finally a VEG burger at McDonald (making up for 2 years of deprivation in the land of red meat, lol!)

And how can the homecoming experience be complete without good old Hindi movies...saw Ghajini, Rab neBana di Jodi in Eastman technicolour, lol, complete with the cheese nacho and hot samosa experience!

So far its been fun! Hubby has joined back work and has to drive to the suburbs for work. Am convinced the man must indeed love me to agree to stay in South Bombay and do that trek every single day!

We are well but miss Cairo and our friends tremendously....inshallah, shall make a trip to Cairo sometime this year!

The catch? Dont have mobile number as yet...correction, got one but it has been deactivated on account of my current nomadic status being deemed unacceptable by the TRAI, lol! Once they beleive that I am here for the long haul, maybe they will relent and grant me a mobile connection.....

Friday, January 16, 2009

Schools in Bombay

I think by the time I am through, I would be pretty clued in to the different schools in Bombay, responses to expect, the running around to do, and the sweat and blood you need to shed to get your child in...

The first conclusion? Faith, I think its easier to for me to get a job, the market notwithstanding, than for me to get my son admitted to a school.....

The second conclusion? Schools are the best business to be in infalliable business model that is recession proof! All you need to do, is to find the capital!

My wish list - Cathedral, St Mary, Ambani school, Bombay International and Campion!

Third conclusion? Expand that darned list!