Thanks to a certain quirk of fate, I landed up having the buffet at Citrus on three consecutive days this weekend -- Friday lunch, Saturday dinner and Sunday brunch. I had a pretty good time, and put on almost 2 kg of weight, so I guess they are doing some things right, probably a lot of things. So let me recount the experience, maybe I'll mix up which dish was served on which day, or maybe I'll not even try to remember, but it's all about the same place!
Following Julie Andrew's example and starting at the very beginning, I must say that I am completely confused whether of not they take reservations. Sometimes they say yes, sometimes no. But none of these 3 times did I have to wait for a table. Unlike an earlier occasion, when they did take a reservation but made us wait 15 minutes at the bar and then gave us the lousiest table, right next to their billing counter where all the waiters would gather and chat. In fact on Friday I was very happy because I got my coveted table overlooking the waterfall -- not possible on the other days because that space was taken up by live counters. And oh yes, I wish the hostess (the one particular hostess who was there Friday and Sunday and the earlier occasion) would stop carrying the burden of the world upon her shoulders and smile once in a while.
So now seated, let's check out the buffet. The grills were mostly good, chicken and seafood satays, I was looking forward to the tenderloin stick that they had served once but alas. The lamb kebab was a mite tasteless; they should have spiced it up a bit, like a Galouti. And while Sundays range of grills was spectacular, my rating of the individual items would range from divine (pork chops and hamburgers) to OK (chicken satay) to pedestrian (bacon, pork sausages).
One gripe: sauces and accompaniments are not placed on the table or the buffet. You do need green chutney for the kebabs, mustard for the sausages, oregano for the pizza. Catching a waiter's eye every time is not so easy, and the food is cold by the time the sauce appears.
The Chicken dumpling soup on Friday was good, deliciously spiced though perhaps just a wee bit strong on lemon grass. The Shrimp Tomyum soup on Saturday, although of the same South-east Asian genre, did manage to be quite different (although quite as tasty), and the shrimp quality was very good. Sunday I skipped the soup in favour of a Dirty Martini, which was ok, it's a difficult drink to mess up.
Salads are usually my best friend (they appease my conscience while I overeat), unfortunately the salads at Citrus just could not tickle my fancy. Maybe it's the look, maybe it's the placement between the cold cuts and the cheeses, maybe I'm looking for something exotic. But having said that, I must also mention the shrimp and string bean salad on Sunday; it was very good. And the sushi placed next to it was good in taste but nothing much to look at. The chaat on Saturday night was pretty good, spicy enough and not too 5-star-ish, though it took ages to get hot Kanda Bhajia. And while on chaat I may as well mention the thin crust pepperoni pizza - superb! But note to self - do not insist too much on small or thin, they tend to mess up a little if it's out of the ordinary, poor chap tried to make the pizza extra-thin but landed up burning it a bit.
After all that is there space for main course? I enjoyed the Pakoda Kadhi on Friday and again on Sunday (was it left over bhajjia from Saturday night? - Just kidding). And one place I have to take my hat off to them is the mutton preparations. The Mutton Belli Ram, the Mutton Rarha, and the Sunday one whose name I've forgotten, were all excellent. And the lamb stew with appams? Out of this world! I think the secret is to use excellent quality of lamb and then cook it to perfection. Whatever it is, they've surely mastered it.
So on to the Desserts, and here I must say that I felt a bit let down. The spread is pretty decent, but the overall impression one gets is that everything is just variants of everything else. And several of the items seem to be the mandatory type - Tiramisu, CrÃ¨me Brule, black forest cake, 2 plebian cut fruits, halwa. But by this time I'm so full and happy that I'm more than willing to forgive, maybe I'm so stuffed that everything appears unappetizing?
This has turned out to be a pretty long review, but then, there's been a lot of food involved. Haven't even mentioned the ambiance, decor etc. Bottom line? I already said that I added 2 kg to mine! Make a few allowances for the service, be adventurous (Wasabi CrÃ¨me Brule!), recall that the hole in the pocket is smaller than if you had been at the Taj, and enjoy the good bits of which there are plenty. Yes, I'll be back -- as Shakespeare said, "Thrice to mine, and thrice to thine, and thrice again to make up Nine"!