I settled down in a chair with the sea breeze in my face and witnessed the changing hues at dusk. The roar of the surf, the appetizers; Pineapple Panna and chunks of achari Tarbooz and Kaltenburg a brew from Meghalaya set the scene for my dinner at Bageecha , a open-air Indian restaurant at Novotel, Juhu beach. Run by Chef Bhairav Rajput, a ‘young veteran’ of Indian cuisine, they offered a fixed menu available in vegetarian and non-vegetarian options. I went in for the former priced at Rs 1549++ a head which consists of starters, mains and dessert.
Dahi Kebab made of hung curd was piquant and fragrant, Sabz Ki Galawat was delicate with wafts of desi ghee emanating with every bite, , Bikaneri Paneer Tikka crusted with spiced crispy Moong dal was delightful and lastly the Pyaaz Jimikandi ki Tikkki was perfect with the malty brew.
For the mains the highlight was the Garhwali Aloo Thechwani; a simple turmeric forward gravy made with potatoes not cut but pound served with Parothi , a flaky and crusty Ajwain flavoured bread. Kutri hui bhindi, shredded okra tossed in double the onion was done so well that a Bhindi-hater would fall for it. The Black dal was commonplace just like the Subz Miloni. The Garhwali raita with cucumber and mustard seeds complemented the mains well. I ended my meal with Kong Firni, a Kashmiri variant made with semolina and not rice. It was flavoured with rose water and garnished with Almonds.
Last words, lovely ambiance and delectable food at the Bageecha. If only they had more options on their menu for those preferring to go a la carte and yes they certainly need more lighting, we like to eat with our eyes first, no!