Gondola, Pali Market
Gondola at Pali Naka is what some people consider to be synonymous with great Sizzlers and Steaks. Being regulars at Soul Fry which is right next to it, we had never given it a try. But after seeing their menu on Zomato and hundreds of pictures on Instagram we decided this place is a must try!!
Just like most of the hidden gems of Bandra, Gondola is also a meat lovers paradise!! There is so much beef, chicken and prawn on their menu I am sure they have a small farm at the back of their kitchen!!! Just like how a small boy’s face lights up when he’s given his first G.I Joe, my face lit up a thousand times looking at their menu. I WANTED EVERY F**KING THING!!!!! From their Steak Sizzlers to their Continental style dishes and even their Chinese food looked and sounded divine on their menu. Over our two visits this is what we ordered : Grilled Chicken with Pepper sauce Sizzler, Dragon Chicken Rice, Green Blast Chicken, Beef Chili Burger, Paneer Shashlik Sizzler, Shrimp Schezwan Fried Rice, Hong Kong Chicken with Sauce and a Mushroom Cocktail.
Now Gondola is known for their Sizzlers, and my god do they know how to load it !!! The Grilled chicken came with a variety of vegetables like Cauliflower, Green beans and Peas, Spinach and French fries. The Pepper sauce which is a classic pairing, had a great depth of flavor in terms of both “peppery-ness” and meat fragrance. The Foodie gobbled up this HUGE freaking sizzler in no time, not a single drop of sauce was even left ( as seen in the picture). Coming to Vegetarian section of the Paneer Shashlik Sizzler, huge chunks of soft “malai” paneer was served on skewers which was covered over what seemed like a forest of vegetables!!!! Served with the creamiest of mashed potatoes, this Sizzler was definitely a task for the Foodie to finish.
Coming to the Oriental food, which I single-handedly thulped and wiped clean of the plate.The all famous Dragon Chicken of Gondola was on the mark when it came to taste and balance of flavors. Not spicy, just right on the salt and the chicken pieces were aplenty in the small bowl of rice. Now I’m just saying small bowl, but Chefs at Gondola really stack that rice like the K2 !! Heaped like no tomorrow, each grain separated nicely the Shrimp friend rice also became an instant hit!!!! Tiny yet many shrimps were scattered all over rice, with chopped celery and garlic bits in the mix. The above 2 rice bowls are in my Top Three Best Fried Rice ever eaten yet!!!!
I love anything that is cooked in a green based sauce, let it be Crab Mallipuram, Jade Soup, Hariyali Chicken or even the Sindhi SaiBhajji. The Green Blast Chicken, was exactly what the name suggested. The sauce had an amazing pepper blast, one could sense the scallions being blended into the sauce and the morsels of chicken were juicy and tender. Not only did it go really well with the Dragon rice, but the colors of both the dishes on the plate were also very appealing to the eyes. The Hong Kong style Chicken had a good hit of both sweet and spice, but something that really got me liking this sauce was the fact that they used a lot of raw celery which not only added the crunch to the dish but also another dimension of flavor to the sauce.
The Beef Chili Burger and Mushroom cocktail for some reason did not have any sort of liking in our book. The Burger bun as well as the beef tasted like rancid oil, the beef itself was dry, no lettuce or mayonnaise in it made this ‘rancid’ burger taste even worse!! The mushroom was just boiled mushroom topped off with Cocktail sauce. Our server told us that it would be mushrooms topped with cocktail sauce and it was exactly what we got. Please avoid!Gondola has become our to go place now for good Chinese food and massive sizzlers. Will give their burgers another for sure, they also have a fixed lunch at 425 rupees only with one each stater, soup, main and starch to choose from. Sounds like a bloody steal for office goers in that area. We will be back to Gondola again very soon, keep a watch out for our pictures on Facebook and Instagram.
I had only heard about Gondolas when someone mentioned that they were known for the Beef Burgers, almost 6 years ago. 5 years ago I finally spotted it next to Soul Fry in Bandra. And after 8 years of me living in Bombay, I finally set foot on Gondola. Now if you are familiar with Bandra. It is a place full of all kinds of eateries. Old and new. From a very very unassuming Parsi joint like Snack Shack to our very very modern and fine Indigo Deli, Pali Naka itself has a lot of different types of cuisines covered. What makes Gondolas different is its approach when it comes to ambiance and decor. It has an old school charm to it. It feels like you’re eating at a club or something. To be honest entering Gondolas felt like a fresh breath of air. Sometimes it gets exhausting trying to appreciate quirky decor. I dig simplicity 🙂
The manager is nice and friendly, and seemed like someone who took pride in what he did. I wouldn’t get on his bad side though as he also looked like someone who wouldn’t take constructive feed backs and reviews (if given) very nicely. He was pretty helpful. Being an indecisive foodie I was heavily relying on his suggestions. All I was looking for was a nice classic sizzler, with perfectly cooked chicken, beautiful grilled greens, spinach, and some fries. And yup they delivered it. In the form of a beautiful Grilled Chicken Sizzler in Pepper Sauce.
Now if you open the menu it is huge! You wouldn’t know what to order. Well that is why we are here 🙂 I scanned the menu and foodie reviews in and out, and decided to compile a list of recommended dishes from Gondy’s ( yes we are on pet name basis now 😛 ) Feel free to try something other than this, and if it’s good you can contribute to this list as well 🙂
Starters: Dragon Chicken, Chicken Lolly in Schezwan Sauce, Fried Chicken, Spicy Chicken, Hot and Sour Soup, Wanton Soup.
Sizzlers: Steak Oyster sauce Sizzler, Paneer and Vegetable Shashlik, Grilled Chicken with Mushroom Sauce, Gondola’s Special Sizzler, Boneless Chicken in Pepper sauce Sizzler.
Main Course: Chicken Hong Kong, Green Blast Chicken, Beef Chili Roast, Vegetables in Red Hot Sauce, Prawn in Singapore Sauce (Soy Chili and Ginger)
Dessert: Caramel Custard.
Decor: 4 (The songs they play are fantastic!!!)