First, thanks everyone for the overwhelming response to my art sale! You are awesome!
A friend of mine asked me why I didn't try to publish my restaurant reviews in print. Well, hotels like the Westin will never have anything negative (unless it's a MAJOR PR disaster) printed in traditional media. Having been a part of that media, I can tell you exactly why. But I won't. I know you'll figure it out.
Besides, the blog (despite the desolate comments section, gets more than a hundred hits every day). That's all I need to put the word out there.
Now, for the review. I am doing three restaurants at the Westin, Gurgaon.
Taste, the pavillion restaurant, Eest, and Prego.
The food at the Westin, Gurgaon is almost always spot on.
The service, almost never so.
Let me explain.
We go to the Westin Gurgaon very very often, so much so that we know the wait staff and what shifts they are generally on.
Oddly, they don't know us. EVER. Even when I can see they recognise us.
Way to make your regulars feel welcome, peeps.
TASTE, THE RESTAURANT: Open 24/7,
Minimal decor, huge floor space
Children are always allowed. They even have an outdoor play area for kids for the Sunday brunch, complete with clowns and trampolines.
Other times, the outdoor area is a smoking lounge.
The dinner buffets are big, but manageable.
The menu doesn't change much. So if you have eaten at the buffet two nights in a fortnight, don't expect any surprises on the third.
Sushi, salads, cold cuts and fried stuff for starters.
Asian, Mughlai and limited Italian (read: pasta) for the main course.
A big desert menu, filled mostly with oddly gelatinous deserts you expect at Mainland China. The cakes are nice. Don't eat the stuff that's either called "mousse" or "cheesecake". It's neither. It's gelatin.
A la carte, the bruchettas and salads are yummy. I especially like the vegetarian bruchetta served with tomatoes, goat cheese, zucchini, and artichoke with cheese. The pastas, especially the risottos, and the salads are really yummy. So is the Nasi Goreng. In the Indian section, the galauti kababs were delish, if a tad underdone.
Tonight, my bruchetta had ROTTEN TOMATOES!!! Egad! I had to spit it out of my mouth. That's alright. Tomatoes are delicate, and we ARE experience extreme summer. No biggie.
BUT, when I complained about it, the wait staff acted like it was nothing. They took it away without a word (almost like they knew it was rotten but were expecting me not to know) and returned several minutes later and plonked the plate on my table, again without a word. I waited till the end of dinner for some sort of apology. It never came. When we walked out, no one, not even the manager asked how the meal was.
Every time we go there, we go there for the food. The kitchen staff are clearly super awesome!! Two thumbs up, you guys.
But the wait staff always, ALWAYS makes us feel unwanted and ridiculous.
One time, my girlfriend and I complained of an under-seasoned mushroom risotto and the wait staff told us that's HOW IT IS SUPPOSED TO TASTE!! Seriously, it had NO salt. I know the man now and avoid him like the plague when we go there.
EEST: Asian cuisine: Japanese, Thai, Korean, etc.
Decor: Modern orientalism
Lots of private nooks, like a Japanese restaurant.
They have a sushi counter and teppenyaki.
The sushi and sashimi used to be AWESOME when they first opened. It's still pretty spectacular, but not that great anymore. The place was managed by n Aussie guy, called Michael. He was friendly and efficient and he always recognised us when we went and stopped to chat a little. The food was also better when he was around. I don't know if he is still there, but I haven't seen him in a while.
The hand-rolled stuff fell apart when you picked them up and there were fish scales in my sashimi (once).
The Thai food is spectacular. I recommend the prawns with lemon and the duck with pineapples and grapes (Yummy!).
If you are adventurous, you can try the eel on rice or the smoky tenderloin. Both equally good.
Unlike the coffee shop, the wait staff at EEST are not rude. They are super polite but spread out a bit thin, perhaps. Once you are seated you might not be able to see anyone to call out to for water or anything else you need. The fifteen odd times we have been there, we have often had to wait for inordinate periods of time or leave our seats in search of the wait staff.
Also, many among the staff are not at all well-conversant with the menu. And they get your orders wrong.
To make matters worse, their beer selection is woefully lacking. It's all on the menu, but they never have it in stock.
Decor: Have only visited the makeshift Prego, which was by the pool. It was super nice to sit by the water and under an open sky, with the scent of frangipanis in the air.
The deserts are the main star of this restaurant. The pasta is good too. The pizza's were a bit lacking in flavour in my opinion, but I was afraid to point anything out, in case I was told that's how it is SUPPOSED to taste.
So there you have it. Visit the Westin, Gurgaon for the food alone. Forget five star treatment and brace yourself for their wait staff!
Images: Westin's own.