As soon as we grab our seats our restaurant starts to move with a roar of the engine. Yes, we are inside Mumbai’s first moving restaurant in a double-decker bus. The bus takes a u turn from Nariman Point and our glass of Pink panther cocktail clutches to the anti skid mats on the tables. We sip on the pink coloured sprite and enjoy the attention of the gawking passersby on Marine Drive.
The Moving Cart has two sections, the lower deck with air conditioner and the open air upper deck with live music. After being given a show of the tacky blue and red LEDs in the lower deck we move to the upper one for some fresh air. We hear a faint voice singing a Kishore Kumar number on our way up and secretly wish that this is not the live music we were promised. Alas! it is. A bored looking guy sits in a corner reluctantly holding a guitar.
Starters from our pre-decided order start coming in; 3 sorry looking chicken pieces on toothpick, some frail attempt to fish fingers from the Continental menu, chicken kebabs and ajwain flavoured fish fry from the Indian menu. Till now the Indian menu looks like the saving grace. after a second round of starters we move on to soups. Two bowls appear in front of us with very unappetizing liquid; a minestrone residue and a Thai curry gone wrong. After choking on a spoonful we decide to let it pass and move on to the next course.
By now we’ve had only two courses of our promised 10 course meal and the bus has already reached its extreme end which is Wilson College and will drive back towards Marine Plaza from here. We realize that the 10 course might mean 10 dishes.
A waiter walks in carrying pre-packed plastic plates which supposedly is our main course. As
the live singer murders Md. Rafi’s khoya khoya chand in the background, a last nail is hammered on our appetite’s coffin. The veg plate consists of Dal makhani, a Paneer sabzi, rubbery Chicken curry, rice, chapati, salad and Gulabjamun which gets lost in an identity crisis of being a sweet or savory by the end of the meal. The spinach stuffed grilled chicken in the Continental plate looks like the only edible item and we try to satiate our hunger with it while throwing sad glances at people eating at Crystal. The rest of the dishes in the Continental plate are unmentionable and we would like to erase every memory of ever eating them.
As we duck to avoid branches brushing against our faces we reach where we started from. With tacky decor, horrid food which surprisingly come from Marine Plaza and steep pricing, The Moving Cart is a very bumpy ride. This Chennai based restaurant on wheels has to really gear up if it wants to park itself in a Mumbaikar’s heart and mind.
Price: Rs 1200 per person for vegetarian meal, Rs 1400 per person for non-vegetarian meal
The Moving Cart starts from Marine Plaza on Marine Lines and take a one hand a half hour tour to Wilson College and back.
Reservations can be made through their website http://www.themovingcart.com