Let’s face it; we Indians have a tendency of pushing for bargains, often at the risk of coming across as shameless. My logic driven mind has an explanation for this phenomenon – a combination of being a ‘saving for the rainy day’ and lack of quality products. And although the latter doesn’t necessarily hold true anymore, the former is part of our psyche so much so it might as well be a genetic discrepancy.
Personally, I find nothing shameful in looking for true value, especially when it comes to restaurants. I am a big proponent for going local with ingredients and menu, but I have a hard time digesting the hefty price tag that comes along. This is primarily because of the costly real estate or because of the pretenses that need to be maintained to be categorized as a fine dining spot.
So, on the off chance I find real value in the meal at a fancy-ish restaurant, I am obviously overjoyed. In the recent past year, two places which have made me ecstatic with their value Grand Hyatt’s salad buffet and Imbiss. Fifty Five East at Grand Hyatt has a corporate lunch buffet which is priced at approximately Rs 2400 per person, which includes a widespread Asian menu, which is quite underwhelming. It is the salad menu which is a deal made in heaven – Rs 3000 only for two people. If you love good sushi without spending a fortune, this is the meal you have to try; apart from unlimited sushi (vegetarian included) the meal offers a DIY soup, extensive salads, even chaat.
I and the partner-in-crime headed to Fifty Five East for my birthday to satiate the sushi craving. I happily gobbled down more than two helping of nigiri and roll decorated with salmon, scallop, crabstick and octopus. On the side were a hearty bowl of soup with flat noodles, mushrooms, prawns and lamb and an assortment of salads. I don’t think it needs explaining the great value of this meal. I should also add a disclaimer that this menu isn’t meant for those who shy away from experimenting and need their staple carbohydrates in every meal.
Imbiss, on the other hand, is a well established eatery and has a place in the heart of every carnivore in the city. Known for its generous portion sizes and pocket-friendly prices, it is the quality of the produce that needs to be celebrated. The restaurant can’t be categorised gourmet fine dining; it is a fuss-free restaurant with a direct line to your stomach. The Baby Back Spare Ribs (509), German Style Hot Wings (Rs 339) and Chorizo Rice (Rs 269) are my favourites, each of these dishes is capable of feeding more than two hungry mouths and hence the great value. Another bias I have for Imbiss is the proximity of the Santa Cruz outlet to the homestead, making them perfect for comfort food binges!
Nothing could set either of these restaurants further apart than they already are, yet they invoke the same sense of elation after a satisfying meal without burning through the wallet. And that is the power of Value.