Hornby's Pavilion, ITC Grand Central, Lower Parel, Mumbai

There's something about buffets that has started turning me off. You plan for them - almost fast for an entire day ahead of it. You drool at the sight of food once you get there. You heap up your plate for the first helping. And after the first few bites, you suddenly lose your appetite. And then you're simply gorging either for paisa vasool or peer pressure ("Abe tu to itne mein hi khatam ho gaya!") In the end you've paid a very high premium (sometimes a thousand or so per head) for a meal you didn't quite enjoy and which is going to be on your conscience for the next two days (calories!!)

I've had quite a few breakfast buffets at Hornby's Pavilion, ITC Grand Central. At Cleartrip we have this "tradition" (though the higher-ups are desperately trying to "de-tradition" it!) of going out for the breakfast buffet at the Grand Central after a big, early morning release. Add to that a couple of times we've rogered someone on a Sunday morning on the pretext of some treat or the other.

So, the other day, while going home, when we stopped at the ITC Grand Central on an impulse for dinner, I was pretty sure I didn't want to go in for the Rs 875 + taxes dinner buffet.

Instead we ordered for a jalapeƱo, capsicum, olives, bell peppers 12" pizza (Rs 395) and a vegetarian lasagna (Rs 425). The pizza, although not bad, was nothing to talk home about. It was decent. But the lasagna, was tops! It had Mediterranean vegetables, layers of soft pasta, interspersed with spinach and mozzarella. Now don't ask me what Mediterranean veggies are - that's what the menu said - I saw pieces of pumpkin there too! The taste was awesome. The spinach and med-veggies were giving it a lovely flavour. Just the right amount of cheese, tomatoes, and oregano as well. Most Italian fares that I've had, have an overdose of one of these three ingredients.

I had a look at the dessert buffet, but priced at Rs 600 + taxes, I didn't find it appealing enough.

The food was good, but for a five star hotel, I found the service slightly bad. The place was too crowded, and probably they were not equipped to handle the load.

Whatever said, all in all, a thousand bucks well spent.

Google Map for the ITC Grand Central, Mumbai

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