Location: Behind Svenska Hotel, Andheri West, Mumbai
Date of Visit: 4th July, 2012 (Dinner)
You know when you’re young, some instances, small or big, make such an impact on who you shape up to be. I don’t remember what magazine or who wrote those magical words, but smiling at me, on top of the page were the words,
‘The Herb Crusted Filet Mignon at Indigo is like orgasm in your mouth’.
I can divide my life into before and after I read those words, I was 12, obviously I didn’t exactly know the meaning of all the words. But I was a curious kid; I nagged my grandpa into telling me, that the dish was magical. So, I had imagined that whenever I get to eat a Filet Mignon at Indigo, there would be fireworks! It’s a pity that it took me nearly 12 years after, to try out the Filet Mignon at Indigo. But it was my calling and I made it.
So, last evening when my sisters and friend accompanied me to Indigo Cafe, Andheri West, there was definitely no question about what I was going to order. I went through the menu anyway, it’s a hobby, to imagine all the gorgeous items listed when I am hungry, and salivate like a dog. The menu was a combination of French, Italian and contemporary cuisine. It also included breakfast classics like scrambled eggs with roesti and waffles with syrup. There was a range of different sandwiches and burgers, including BBQ Pork, salmon to safer picks like fried chicken burger with a side of potatoes also made into the listing. Selection of pastas was on the menu, including pink pepper gnocchi in the specials that made up for an impressive variety to choose from.
Herb Crusted Filet Mignon, was unfortunately not listed on the menu, I realized that it had taken me 12 years and they must’ve revised the menu several times over. I went for their Filet Mignon with jus and a side of garlic potato wedges. My younger sister chose a salmon burger while the older one went for a corn crusted, vegetarian, potato burger and our friend chose a fried chicken burger with a side of mashed potatoes.
Finally, I took a breath to look around. Hard wood furniture, no- cushions (at least in the outer section where we were seated.) Very simple looking aesthetics with a spacious setting and yet, with the mood lighting, candles and bowl full of white spider lilies which made the place look casual yet romantic.
The staff was on their toes and courteous. But I must mention that the glass they served me water in, had an eggy smell. It could have been a small slip up, but no one appreciates a stinky glass. In an udipi or chaiwala it can be excused. In Indigo café, I ask for a complaint card.
If you find three girls laughing hysterically on the next table, you can identify one of them as me. It was so hard to stop making silly jokes when our food arrived, for the fear of throwing it out of our noses. I am almost certain that the service staff and other diners thought we were ‘under the influence’ of something.
The best tasting item, my younger sister’s salmon burger, great fish, great flavor. You can see that fresh dill and salad along with the spiced fish in the picture above.
The safest choice was clearly the fried chicken burger, which tasted decent, like any other fried chicken burger, nothing extraordinary.
The veggie burger below was more studded with corn than it was crusted, as described in the menu. Not a treat for a corn-hater as my older sister. I tried the veggie burger made with fresh, soft cheese with the sweetness of corn and I liked it.
Let’s get to the point now, the Filet Mignon was simple and there were no fireworks whatsoever. Either the gentleman in the magazine had questionable taste buds or in 12 years the Filet Mignon at Indigo, is no more the best of its kind. I believe there is some magic in simplicity, and yet the best chefs can make a simple dish with subtle flavours taste great. I can safely say, there wasn’t one of the best Chefs that created that Filet Mignon, it was bordering on Mediocre and below average.
Don’t get me wrong; my high expectation hasn’t blurred my judgement, I speak from experience. I have eaten many a rare steak, globally. In fact, the first time I ate rare pepper steak in Sauce Diane back in college (IHM Mumbai), when we were learning Flambe techniques and gueridon service, I had 7 of those and I can tell you those bad boys were 10 folds better than the steak I had last evening. The best one that I can re-collect though was in a little place when I was studying Nottingham, it was rare steal with cognac, cream and green peppercorn sauce and those flavours are still etched in my memory. Getting back to the point, this was perhaps one of the steaks that was barely bordering towards enjoyment, but definitely not what I had read about and expected.
That thing About This Place is that it definitely creates the perfect setting for a meal that I will remember, with its beautiful décor, pleasant staff and a memorable evening. What brought it all together was that smiling security guy ,Valet guy and the memory of those words that will always remain with me, an Indigo Café that made me realize my love for rare steak.