Disclaimer : It appears as though the restaurant is run by a couple of staff that essentially don't want to bother staying open. We have no idea whether the owners actually know about this, or this is a recent phenomenon, or we just visited on an INCREDIBLY off day. Our visit was on a Friday.
Things we like about Sesto Senso:
- Memories of Allora
- The location
- The ambience and the heaps of books everywhere
- No corkage
Things we don't like about Sesto Senso:
- Everything else
We called well in advance, at about 5:30 PM and tried to place a dinner reservation. We had walked by a month earlier at about 8:30 PM and the staff told us their kitchen was already closed (post Mirissa debacle, I did sort of wonder if it was just closed to us because our group was more chocolate puff than vanilla puff). Here's how the phone conversation went:
Kinita:Hellos! Can I have a 9 PM dinner reservation please?
Sesto Uncle: No, can't. Kitchen close then maybe.
K: So can I have an 8:30 reservation
SU: No kitchen close 8 PM
K : But you said 8:30
SU : No
K: Ok 8 PM reservation please
SU : Better you come 7 PM
K: No can't
SU: Ok 7
K: What? No 8 PM
SU: *sighs* Ok
Fast forward a couple of hours later, we get a call at 7:20 PM asking whether we're coming or not. We say yes. They sigh again. So we turn up at 8 PM on the dot, sporting a bottle of prosecco and grins of enthusiasm for a solid carby Italiano meal.
The restaurant is empty.
We waft around, look at the specials board, look at the artwork and the jewellery in cases. The waiter/manager finally scuttles out, laughs manicly
when we ask for recommendations, and finally takes our order – one Marinara (Rs. 1280) and one Lasagna Bolognese (Rs. 1280). Pretty dang straightforward. We also ask for an ice bucket for our prosecco, a request which is thankfully not met with unnerving guffaws.
It is instead met with a plastic box of sorts, which is filled with water and a couple of stray cubes, and doesn't do much in the way of chilling our bottle. It goes a long way in ruining the dining aesthetic though, so there's that.
After a leisurely 20 minutes within which we explored all the cool books and comics lying around and regaled each other with reading passages from Marquez in Italian, our food arrived. It's one of the few times my photography made anything look better than what it actually was in real life.
Meet the Marinara. A dry collection of noodles plopped together with about 6 bits of prawn (not 6 prawns, 6 cut up bits of prawns), it featured lots of sadness but no sauce. We excavated the wilderness of the spaghetti for a while in search of seafood or flavour, then finally tossed a few spoons of parmesan/sawdust on top and ate that instead.
The lasagna was even bleaker, a few sheets of pasta stuck together not with layers of bolognese but with despair. There was nothing between the layers at all. There were a few lumps of bolognese on top, but it was impossible to discern any real taste apart from the bitterness of bad decisions.
There was a solitary slice of tomato on the side, which we ate. It was edible, which is more than we can say for the rest of the meal.
We finished neither dish, but ordered some Nutella pancakes because we're brave and also don't learn from our mistakes.
The crêpes were actually okay to be fair, nothing to write home about, but blissful in its mediocrity. They came to Rs. 580, which is ridiculous, but what were we expecting?
Overall it was a truly horrific experience. The service was non-existent, there were some staff (I presume) who wafted in and out and looked at us curiously, and everyone seemed really fatigued by our presence. Eventually we paid up and hustled out of there, tearing with laughter and pain (it was difficult to tell through the pangs of hunger).
WAIT! Much like a Marvel movie, the credits are not the end.
15 minutes later, as we strolled down the Fort, feet traipsing over the cobblestones and enjoying the balmy March air, we get a call. It's one of the Sesto Uncles.
SU: HALLO We billed you wrong
SU: I made wrong bill! You owe us Rs 100! Come back!
SU: Are you coming?
K : No, can't.
SU: Ah. Ok Bye. *sighs*