This New Year we decided to start with a cuisine very dear to me & available in very limited places across Dubai. Little did I know that my quest for Bengali food will begin my new Year in such massive disappointment!
Don Giovanni’s Kolkata left me confused, right from the location to the cuisine I should expect to the food & service quality. Locating this restaurant is a challenge. You need a huge drive & a voice in your head saying “Come on Shreyas, you can do this, you can find Giovannis, you need Bengali food today”. Even post reaching the destination, locating the restaurant took us about 10 minutes. We should have been warned with the signs, but we motored on…
Ambiance: The walls are decked up with Italian mafioso Movie posters & miniature cars on 1 side & pictures of Durga Puja, Howrah Bridge on another wall. At this point, I am still wanting to believe this is a Bengali restaurant. The absence of a Baby Chair made us run around the Little Critic & acted as a complete dampener for the dinner experience. The Menu was diverse (read confusing) from Italian to Chinese to Bengali to North Indian to Continental food, but we kept our head in for the Bengali experience.
Service: Non existential Bad. We were the only occupied table in the entire restaurant & for many minutes, the only people in the restaurant. There was literally no one to take the orders, ask in for repeats & even after receipt of the bill, I waited for 10 minutes to pay it walking to their office. Absolutely bad experience!
Fish Fry: Cream Dory tidbits fried up which lacked any seasoning on it. The Mustard dip on the side was the saving grace.
Chicken Kathi Roll (with egg): Chicken Kathi Rolls have fond associations for me with Kolkata, be it Nizams or Kusums at Park Street. Pan fried Kathi kebabs sauteed with onions to give that crunch & rolled up in a good egg covered Paratha. They are a meal in itself & a good happy one!
1 bite of kathi Roll at Giovannis & the raw green chillies just flared up my mouth. They didn’t have any kebabs but chicken pieces in some super hot, super spicy burn my tongue & sweat my forehead masala. Massive Disappointment!
Kosha Mangsho: Another signature Bengali dish that was done well (thankfully) by them. The onion rich gravy with cubes of boneless Mutton had the right amount of spice.
Luchi: Bengali version of Puris were served hot, fluffy & with minimal oil. Another good dish.
Chicken Fried Rice: I could taste boiled chicken, bits of egg & boiled unseasoned rice individually. I wonder what it takes to get a simple fried rice correct?
Nolen Gur Ice Cream: This was my favorite winter dessert in Kolkata. Nolen Gur or Date palm sugar is added in to their dessert to make winter versions of the Ice Creams/ Sandesh/ Rossogolla giving it a caramel toffee flavor. The flavor of Nolen Gur was perfect in the Ice Cream here but the Ice cream itself was very hard, icy & non creamy.
Pricing: 180 Dhs for the above meal. Super expensive considering the food quality.
Final Verdict: The entire experience was a disappointment & food quality along with service standards need a serious uplift. Till then & even after that, I won’t be coming back here for Bengali food.