Latitude – Sector 18, NOIDA

Ed [30/11/2012]: This review has been superseded by a more recent review. Please click here to read it.

Latitude is labelled as a multi cuisine restaurant in the Mosaic Hotel, sector 18, NOIDA. We visited the place on Saturday night, with Manish and Priyanka Khullar – food loving and willing to experiment type of people.

The place is fairly well lit, a tad too much in places with a casual theme to their decor. Live music by Keith Dikson enlivens the atmosphere. I’ll say it again, the chap can sing! Well set tables and fairly attentive service complete your first impressions.

We started with beer and asked for Fosters. We would have preferred draught beer, which while present on the menu, wasn’t in stock? My perpetual question – Why do restaurants put things on the menu that they cannot keep in stock? Anyway, they promptly began pouring Kingfisher for us. On the error being pointed out, the beer was promptly replaced. This time around however, it took them nearly 10 minutes to get us 2 glasses of beer, which was an eternity considering the bar was 10 feet away and the restaurant was sparsely populated. Interestingly, the chap serving us didn’t know how to pour beer and I ended up with 2 inches of beer and 3 inches of head.

The buffet at Latitude has received a good bit of publicity and thats what we had planned for. Disappointingly the buffet was only available for lunch. Here’s where the good bit begins – the food, which I’ll admit, was totally unexpected in the quality of its presentation and flavor.

I’d love to meet the people who handle deserts and breads at the Mosaic. The chap definitely knows his stuff. I’ve tasted their baked and sweet creations at their ‘Lounge’ and at the ‘Flluid Bar and Lounge’ – outstanding stuff. The bread baskets they plonked on the tables were outstanding too. Fresh slices, buns and brioches served with little dollops of butter. Unlike most other places, they weren’t stingy with the complimentary portions and kept dishing it out – who can resist fresh bread and butter?

We ordered a Grilled Cottage Cheese Steak with Ratatouille Timbale and Tossed Salad, Pork Chops with smoked BBQ sauce and seasonal vegetables, Paneer Lababdar, Murg Handi Lazeez, Naans and Rotis. For desert, all of us shared a single portion of Tiramisu and what a portion that was, but we’ll come to that later.

The stars of the evening were the Pork Chops. This was accompanied by HP sauce, tabasco and a pepper mill. I did appreciate the steak knife, which was a nice touch and one, I must add, that most places don’t think of. Wonderfully presented, the chops were perfectly cooked, had a perfect trim of fat and were accompanied by asparagus, zuchhini, bell peppers, cauliflower, lemon and some piquant tomato sauce. The whole lot was splashed with a mixture of oil and soya – visually, it was stunning. Do you know what? It tasted good too – done just right, I’d go back for more anyday.

The cottage cheese steak was seared just right and the Ratatouille was good, though it certainly wasn’t a timbale. It tasted wonderful all in all. The Murg Handi Lazeez was chicken cooked in a creamy brown gravy and tasted quite good with tandoori rotis. The Paneer Lababdar came in a chunky tomato gravy with soft pieces of cottage cheese and was very good with the Naans.

The term ‘lababdar’ confuses me. Most places serve their own rendering of this dish. Anyone with some clarity on how it should actually be served?

Coming to the Tiramisu. This deserves a special mention – and since I can’t do justice to it in words, I’ve put a picture for you to see and drool. :-) 1 minute. That was all it lasted. Layers of sponge cake, drenched in syrup, co-existing with mascarpone cheese, topped with mangoes and kiwis and surrounded by a thin sheet of dark chocolate. How long do you think it could have lasted?

While I would have liked a few things like better sound absorption, well informed waiters and a little more elegance to the ambience, we had a good evening and at approximately INR 500 per head I think it was more than worth the money spent.

Sid Khullar

Sid Khullar is the founder of Chef at Large, a blog that began in 2007. He enjoys cooking, writing, travelling and technology in addition to being a practising Freemason. Health and wellness is a particularly passionate focus. Sid prefers the company of food and animals to most humans, and can be reached at sid.khullar@chefatlarge.in.