Indi’Go’ deli

Indigo (the restaurant) was my favourite place to dine at as I became a teenager. They served exotic Italian food (in an age when Little Italy and Trattoria were the only Italian restaurants), Hrithik Roshan (the then love of my life) ate there and it was ‘different’. My idea of success in life was the day I could eat at Indigo just like that (don’t curse me for low ambition, currently Nobu, London is the aim)

A Deli, is a place which sells cured meats, exotic cheeses and more by weight. On the side, it offers a dine-in experience mostly made up of sandwiches and salads (thanks Wikipedia). In all honesty, its an informal yet delicious dining experience. The Indigo Deli isn’t cheap but isn’t as hoitytoity as the Colaba restaurant and proves wonderful for Indigo fangirls like me. I get to see or buy my favorite cheeses, I get to feel the bustle while enjoying good food and well, its a nice ‘New Yorkish’ experience. Or was.

Monday evening, however, was a dampener. We walked in early, to get a table in their dining section. Weย  managed to get a table in the deli area because it was quite empty, but I asked for a table in the dining section. I was told the section was closed. That’s it . No reason. The Bawa guessed it could open at a later time and he asked why it was closed.
‘It only opens at 7.’

My watch said it was 6.56 pm, but before I could say anything, I was told, the section was only by reservation only.

‘Can I reserve a table now?’

‘Its booked up ‘

Wow. What a way! The staff is so well versed with the seating chart that she doesn’t even want to check before telling me that the seating was full. Now, if this was a Saturday or a Friday, I’d believe her, but it was a Monday. The Bawa pulls a lawyer and waits a while before saying that he just called their landline and was told that there was a table.

The lady, in all her earnestness says that that was because the section opened at 7.30. Wow! The time changed and she knew it without anyone telling her. Talk about telepathy.

Was there a need to lie? By the time the manager came (upon our calling of course), I decided I did not want toย  eat there anymore. The manager was sweet, well behaved and extremely apologetic. She did try to cover up for the goof up and I give her points for that, but the damage was done. Probably, with my fatku jeans and crumpled shirt the waitress had thought I wasn’t worth a table. If I was sporting a Louis vuitton bag, I would get better treatment, I am sure.

Because in truth eating at Indigo (the restaurant), is often like being in Goa during the X’mas season. Unless you’re well dressed and look like you deserve a table, no bhao. I don’t mind that because well, Indigo is quite formal. But the reason I thought the Akerkars started a Deli was to cater to a crowd less formal and hence there would be no snootiness. But today, I was mildly shocked and massively annoyed.

If you lie to me blatantly and point fingers and loudly bitch about me, I’m taking my business elsewhere. You deserve my money if you can be nice to me.

Serving great food alone isn’t enough. Being kind while doing so is what brings a customer back. With their lies and more lies, Indigo Deli lost itself a customer. But more importantly my evening was almost ruined. Thank God we walked out!

PS: Sherine, I know you wanted to eat there… I apologise on their behalf.

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16 Responses

  1. Not to worry at all after all we did get excellent service at California Pizza Kitchen. That dude was the exact opposite to the above mentioned folk. So worth it ๐Ÿ™‚

  2. That’s just sad. Indigo was one of my favourite places too, but after reading this post, I don’t think I’ll be going back (I also stopped going to Goa 5 years ago :-). And I’m sure the rest of my friends will agree.

    In the end, it’s poor quality staff that ruins a place. Nowadays restaurants seem to be full of managers that never knew the Bombay of old where money was never visible….I remember dinners at the Oberoi’s back in the 90s, when the biggest spenders were the most inconspicuous…Louis vuitton bag or not.

    • Precisely… Whatever happened to the lovely warmth that the restaurant staff eluded irrespective of the degree to which you flaunt your wealth? I remember going to the sea lounge at Taj while Dad held meetings… I remember having the little money Dad gave me to enjoy cakes there and the staff would treat me like a princess, knowing fully well that I was going t be spending less than half of what their richest customer would. But they made my day… I miss those days, I do…

  3. Good this should be viraled!

    Better pay attention to hospitality!!

    • i have put the post out here, to make sure other diners are warned. because lets face it even though restaurants ‘reserve the right to admission’, lying about it and behaving in this fashion is just unpleasant…

  4. Shocking! An outlet like Indigo Deli does this. No wonder you guys walked off. Disgusting stuff from their side.

  5. Hi Shakti,

    I’ve had exactly the same experience as you. Twice. the first time I used all my charm to push for a table in the dining section as we were a bunch of friends meeting after a while. As for the second i just gave up. Really don’t feel like going there anymore.

    I’ve actually had better experiences at the Colaba Deli.

    regards
    gauri

    • I think in general a deli having too much attitude is just against the concept of a deli. and while the restaurant can get away with it, i think as a customer, not respect but basic decency is the least i could ask for… Thats why the post ๐Ÿ™‚
      the colaba deli is decent but i’d hate to go all the way across there to be disappointed by a rude waiting staff. ๐Ÿ™‚

  6. Whoa, and this seems to be a recurring thing. I stopped going there for very similar reasons too. I love their food, but I can’t be bothered to be dressed to the nines everytime there’s half a chance I might go there.

    Oh and yeah, the snobs at the desk outside don’t bother to check anything and would rather just say “45 minutes waiting” to everyone. I left because of that once, and then got a call from them less than 10 minutes later. Maybe they’d lose less business if they could get staff that’s less lazy ๐Ÿ˜

  7. Hospitality industry is a very tricky one, where you gotta maintain fine balance between being hospitable and doing what’s profitable.

    Often though in the light of the green backs…being hospitable really takes a back seat with some…

    I was put up at Gordon House by my client when I was here a fortnight ago, went to the Deli, nice chicken burger they had. Do I intend to return, no particular reason to, do they care…no particular reason to ๐Ÿ˜› and that’s where…it has become transactional

  8. I am talking about my experience at the Deli at Palladium on 24th April night which happened to be my b’day.. Well, this “waiting” thing quite surprised me too. I saw myself 19th on the waiting list. Surprisingly, I also got a call from them at the time we wanted to dine. While booking the table, I had requested that it was my b’day and the guy at the reception started to laugh. Of course, my sis-in-law snapped back at him for doing so. I don’t understand why they create such a fuss about giving a table as when we were there we clearly saw quite a few empty tables.
    While dining there, the waiter told us that they would not be able to give all the pieces of ravioli we had ordered as it had got over i.e only 5 pieces would be served and we would not be charged or was it that we would be charged less. Imagine my surprise when I checked the bill at home that the entire amount of that dish was charged to us. It was my mistake that I had not checked the bill at the deli itself as my 1 yr old was sleepy and cranky. My husband hadn’t done it as he somehow always “trusts”what the people serving would say. He says “Give them some credit, for God’s sake and that I am too finicky”. It was my b’day night and I really didn’t want to argue with him over a bill. But reading the experiences of everyone , I have my doubts if I will ever go back. Of course, no other complaints regarding service etc.

  9. Thanks for sharing your experience. I had a very similar experience. I called the place to reserve a table for tonight and I am told that the place is completely booked for the evening. I gave the lady various time slots and the answer was the same, it’s booked. I would rather go to some other place which is not so unaccommodating.

  10. I agree with everything thats written on this page.
    after having taken several blows in the past few years at the expense of these restaurants i quite understand what we all feel. I have a simple policy nowadays. These blighters only value one thing : the money in your pocket.
    so now i follow this simple policy :
    when i am not satisfied i refuse to pay. i simply sit there. i look at the staff. and i dont budge. i dont make any attempt to leave. i simply wait for them to respond.
    and its been my experience that this is one language they all understand. the akerkars and their ilk, the staff of the restaurants.
    it has always worked and went down well with the staff.

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