Tucked away in the quaint and quiet little lane near Famous Studios at Mahalaxmi is Auriga, which has many avatars – on the ground level it masquerades as a lounge with a bar and an al fresco area, while on the first storey there is a pan-Asian restaurant.
The first thing to catch your attention when you enter Auriga is its futuristic spacecraft-ish design. The triangular and angular edges of the exterior conceal the dark, almost forbidding interiors of the lounge bar. However, the brightly lit dining area with wooden décor has a more welcoming look and the Buddha statuette, cane tablemats, chopsticks, etc., exude an Asian vibe.
Given its location in the corporate heartland of Mumbai, Auriga recently introduced a corporate lunch for professionals looking for a four-course lunch on the go. Priced at INR 600 per person, this meal is aimed at offering a quick bite at a pocket-friendly rate. We decided to see if working professionals would find a midday succor during this lunch hour.
GET, SET, GO
Starting us off on the corporate lunch was the Spinach Tofu Soup and Zesty Lemon and Cilantro Broth. Surprisingly, the Spinach Tofu Soup presented itself in a red incarnation with a spicy tomato base with some blanched spinach. The tiny tofu pieces balanced the tanginess of the tomatoes efficiently. The Lemon Cilantro Broth was all cilantro and little lemon, though it was tasty so we could not complain about it. The Vegetable Dumplings that came up next were a delight to see and eat. The paper-thin cover offered a crystal clear view into the delicious mixed veggies inside.
For the main course, we opted for the Burmese Khow Suey and requested for the curry to be spiced a little. The elaborate accompaniments were a visual delight; the thick curry was just the way we wanted it – sweet and slightly spicy, making it a perfect accessory for the rice (we skipped the noodles).
The Banana and Strawberry Melts that comprised dessert was slightly off the mark. Though it sounded exotic, the caramelized bananas crammed inside a thin crepe which was then deep-fried and served with some strawberry crush and vanilla ice-cream, tasted too pedestrian. The strawberries also got lost in translation.
We think that the idea of a swift corporate lunch is great especially when you are in between meetings in the area. For that quick service is pertinent, which is where we felt Auriga needs to pull its socks up. However, if a hearty Asian lunch with colleagues is what you want, then give Auriga a shot, because it is definitely value for money.
– Hrishikesh Thakkar