Earlier called “Jazz By The Bay” & “The Pizzeria”, this restaurant has now been renamed as “Pizza By The Bay” – located on Marine Drive just at the corner when you would turn towards Churchgate. This has been a family favourite for quite some time, so we decided it is worth the while to drive more than 75 minutes on a Saturday evening from home. I was just hoping rain would not start pouring, making the traffic all the more difficult, but luckily there were not even rain showers.
Previously, we used to enjoy the salad bar at noon time on the weekend – great stuff, but now that bar is gone. Somehow, I did not like the “white” colour everywhere – the earlier performance area was like a musical instrument (Jazz) and that’s where the salad bar was located. Now it had a modern French look, like the ones you see on a Paris sidewalk. Getting a table overlooking the sea is almost impossible (only a few tables get the view anyway), so we had to go inside the airconditioned area.
I know the food will be decent (it was), but the service was terrible. There were too many waiters, but no one was focused or getting directed towards serving the waiting customers. Exactly 10 minutes passed before a waiter attended to us, though many saw us taking up the table under the guidance of the girl from the entrance. So, what is the issue, I wondered – it is just the culture, I had to conclude. The waiters and the management know for sure that there is no lack of business – indeed, there was a steady stream of people coming in. When we reached at 7:40 PM, there were people waiting outside the restaurant. And, when we exited the restaurant at 9:10 PM, there was a bigger crowd of people waiting outside, trying to get a table. So, the issue is not demand, so why bother about service when the food is good anyway ?
I do not think it is a wise conclusion, but I am not in the restaurant business, so I do not really care. May be next time, we would choose another restaurant when we visit SoBo (South Bombay). In my opinion, service is as important as the food variety and quality, and ambience.
Well, we ordered some salads, pasta and pizza. My new favourite is the Oriental Spicy Mushroom Pizza – this is really spicy stuff and done very well. But my wife did not like the fact that the salads were a bit sweetened – the Broccolu Pinoli & Pasta Salad was a bit sweet, don’t know why. That’s not the way they do salads in other famous Italian restaurants in town.
Overall, the food was fine, but there were several drawbacks – for the prices they charge, the quantities were small, some 75% of what others provide ; they do not have much choice for starters – one has to eventually settle for the same stuff, the Bruschetta – and the drinks were exorbitantly priced. Of course, the service was nothing short of terrible – we had to keep gesturing many times before we could get a waiter, and the original waiter who took the order did not continue serving us. Not a professional establishment.
Give it a try, but I would not recommend if you do not have patience.
10th June 2012