Admittedly this review will not be the most in-depth. You see, every time I pass this restaurant on my way to Phoenix Mills in Lower Parel, I make a mental note to come here. So last weekend, I was to go for Kapoor and Sons to PVR at Phoenix and right away I made dinner plans to check out Ithaka. It proclaimed to be a Veg Lebanese restaurant and all those words sounded good to me. I love 99% of the Lebanese food I’ve tried and I could legit survive on Hummus and Pita. So it was decided then, movie followed by dinner. But because I have no self-control whatsoever, I had popcorn in the theatre leaving very little place for a hearty meal. (Okay finnneee, you caught me – I had Samosa too). However, I was in the area and didn’t want to change the plan. So here’s my short and sweet review:
It takes you two minutes to reach Ithaka from Phoenix Mills as it’s virtually right outside it. They have valet parking which is definitely a boon. We entered and were a little confused as there were stairs leading up but we chose to sit down itself. Turns out, the lower part is actually the Italian restaurant (Riso) and Ithaka is actually on the first floor. But no one chose to tell us this. I find it a bit strange that they expect people to know this already. Anyway, in terms of food it doesn’t matter because both restaurants serve both the cuisines. It was a Sunday night and the place was full with family crowd. Can’t expect much else from a Vegetarian Restaurant that doesn’t serve alcohol and specializes in Jain dishes, no? I’m not complaining or anything…just letting you know what to expect when you go there.
Again when it came to checking out the menu, they handed us only the Italian ones. On checking (and getting confused), we asked for the Lebanese menu which the waiters handed us (at their own leisurely pace). They should have ideally had a word and asked us which cuisine we would like to try etc, but moving on. We picked out the classic Nachos and Cheese and were confused which Hummus to order. There were 5-6 different options. We picked out Hummus Turki but the server (thankfully now more responsive than before) recommended the Hummus Peri Peri.
The food came soon enough.
Both dishes looked really good and we dug in. The nachos and cheese were alright. Nothing to write home about. I guess everytime I have nachos I compare them to the ones at Bombay Blues/Cream Centre. And because the bar is set so high, they almost never win. Also, this wasn’t as cheesy as it looked. So yes, I wouldn’t repeat the dish.
The hummus on the other hand was delectable. Although not spicy (I thought peri peri meant it would be spicy), it was almost creamy in texture. It was light yet filling, just the way hummus should be. This one I’d go in for again.
Both the starters were quite filling and I almost opted out of dinner but then decided to go in for a light pasta. Ordered the Aglio Olio and asked them to add mushrooms and olives because I like it that way. Not that you can really go wrong with a classic Aglio Olio but credit where due; it was kind of perfect. Along with dinner I had a peach Iced Tea and that too was lovely – not too sweet the way most places make it.
Although overall the food was good, I’m not so sure if I want to go back. Here’s why; the ambience although cute is nothing out of the ordinary. The review on the food is mixed and the prices are on the higher side – characteristic of places on the other side of the sea link. I guess I could however recommend it for a non-alcoholic, family dinner on a vegetarian day. Because God knows we all have to endure those sometimes. 😉