Restaurant Review: Lotus Cafe, JW Marriott, Juhu, Mumbai

Overall rating: 2.5/5 – Disappointed with the Food. Okay Service. No Value for Money for Vegetarians.

We just came back from the Sunday brunch at Lotus café which is located inside the beautiful JW Marriott. They have a luxurious buffet where they serve multiple cuisines. The palace like look and feel definitely makes you feel elated the moment you enter this café. It is huge in space, and it also has a beautiful view where you can see the garden, swimming pool and then the sea. Our overall experience was good, and we did spend our Sunday afternoon at a beautiful place (approximately three hours); however, the food does not meet the standards except the desserts which were amazing. Also, their hospitality is just okay, and I did not find it extraordinary or impeccable. Let’s see the review in detail.

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As I already mentioned, the buffet was huge, and it does overwhelm you. You actually need 15 minutes to walk around the entire place to see the different cuisines and dishes. Then you further take some time to decide from where you would like to start 🙂. Well, I already had a similar kind of experience at WestIn; hence, I was expecting this kind of variety in the buffet. All the dishes do look beautiful, and, of course, their presentation is quite good (again as expected). Also, the drinks are unlimited so you can order them as many number of times you want. Please note that I am referring to mocktails, and I am not sure whether they have the same policy for the cocktails as well. The buffet has tons of non-vegetarian items such as: Ham, Pork, Oysters etc., and this place is a heaven for non-vegetarian eaters. Sadly,70% of the buffet was non-vegetarian which was quite unfortunate for the vegetarians like us. Yes, I found very less vegetarian options at all the counters.

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The food did look good; however, it did not meet the expectations. First of all, every item had extremely less salt, and we had to put salt in every thing. There was not even the normal quantity of salt in the food items; hence, everything felt totally bland in the first bite.
We started with some salads, eggs, humus and pita bread. They have a huge variety of cheese , and you are free to taste all of them. For the first time, I tried egg benedict, and I liked it. Salads, pita bread and humus were very much okay where humus was missing the key ingredients such as Olive oil and Garlic. In the next round of starters, we tried Ratatouille, cream and mushroom, pasta, Spinach Lasagna, and mashed potatoes. There was a grill counter on one side, and I was looking forward to eat grilled Panner tikka; however, I was horrified to see that the entire counter was for the non-vegetarians where they were serving Pork, Meat, Ducks etc. In all honesty, I was angry, and I immediately called the manager. In a very courteous manner, I told him that your buffet is entirely for non-vegetarians, and vegetarian people like us have hardly anything to eat. He listened to me and did not argue because he knew that I was correct. He said that they always create a balance in all their buffets; however, this is a Sunday brunch which is quite special, and the non-vegetarian food always dominates here. In addition to this, he asked me that if you are looking for something in particular, I can always make for you. I told him that I would love to have Paneer Tikka, and after 20 minutes, he got it. I did like this gesture very much. Anyways, coming back to the food, Ratatouille was quite okay. I was expecting something different in the taste, but it turned out to be very normal. Cream and mushroom paste was quite nice. I did not like the pasta, and I make much better at home. Again, spinach lasagna and mashed potatoes were quite okay. Again, salt was missing in everything.

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Along with the food, we ordered Mint Sour and Peach ice tea in the mocktailS where both the items were quite normal. Again, nothing extraordinary. In the main course, we took Dal makhnai, Mattar kofta curry, and Paneer makhani where the last item was quite sweet. I did not understand the sweetness in the paneer curry, and I did not like it. Dal makhani was good, still it had the incomplete flavor. I believe butter which is a must in it was missing. Only the Mattar Kofta curry was good which we had with the Butter nan. Unfortunately, butter nan was very very chewy; hence, we just had half of it 🙂

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I know that after the appetizers and main course, we all look forward to the desserts which is the favorite part for most of us 🙂. There were near about 15-20 items in the dessert section, and they all looked so tempting, colorful and beautiful. On top of that, they all tasted great. I was extremely happy with the thought that the desserts cannot be discriminated based on veg and non-veg 🙂. There were pastries, cakes, rabri, kheer etc.; however, the most amazing and creative dessert for me was the strawberries marinated in red wine. This was absolutely fantastic. I enjoyed desserts very much, and each and every item was great.

To conclude, the food was not at all up to the mark, and I felt totally discriminated by looking at the number of vegetarian and non-vegetarian items. I believe they must work on the quality of the food. Still, the ambiance was quite nice, and we had a nice experience. Also, if you are coming on Sundays, you might happen to see some daily soaps stars as happened with us.

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