Tabula Beach got a Ploof makeover: the problem is that the original face, however faulty, was actually better pre-op. This is cosmetic surgery gone wrong; rip-off rhinoplasty with poor aftercare service. While it’s not only difficult to tell where the old ends and the new begins at Ploof At The Beach, everything from the staff’s hookah-smoking-while-we’re-waiting to the half-drunk, collapsing outdoor furniture seems like they’re on their last legs. With all this pointless change, even old school Chopsticks nearby – consistent but archaic – feels like it’s doing something right.
Sadly, the “beach” is not conducive to catching warm winter sun, unless it’s in a seemingly prohibited area that the waitstaff hesitantly let us sit at. The menu is long and ambitious: pages move like waves, and caricatures of lazy fishermen sit atop seafood specials. While there are no fresh juices (why?), several things catch our eye, including a sandwich selection that we remember fondly from the old Ploof (“now shut” we’re told, with zero longing). We order a mix of dishes, dipping across categories: tomato basil soup, arugula salad with warm pumpkin and goat cheese, butter grilled prawns, and a Californian sandwich.
The food comes promptly, salad first, as we request. However, this first plate sets the meal on a downward, irreversible slope. Multiple peeve boxes are checked: small portions, poor goat cheese and indistinct bits of pumpkin. The tomato-basil soup is a sorry dance partner: it is “can-like,” our companion reports, and only confused by too-many pieces of not-fresh baguette.
See & Sand
Main courses are a notch less disappointing, but do little to rectify the overall situation. The grilled prawns are the children of small prawns, and lacking the butter-garlic, Goan flavor we are hoping for. The sandwich goes very wrong: after asking to replace goat cheese with Emmental (we learnt from the salad), we see remnants carelessly scraped off, clumsily covered up by mushrooms that taste like chlorine.
We are further from the delicious sea than we have ever been, like in a creepy stranger’s pool where video-game versions of classic tunes blare through the speakers. Thankfully, our bill is not terrible: Rs. 2,500 for two – but it’s money spent that makes us long for the simplest things. For instance, the homemade rajma chawal we abandoned for this meal is suddenly looking very good.
Getting there: Ploof At The Beach, Khel Gaon Marg, Asiad Village Complex, call 9958027772, Rs 2,500 for a meal for two.
bpb reviews anonymously and pays for its own meals.
Note: We're informed that this cafe closes February 15 for renovations, and will re-open with a new menu, and be ready for customers, on March 1.
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