Here it is. The most charming, friendly, happy bakery-café of Mumbai.I ate here thrice before taking off on my trip to Paris and Singapore (from where I write this). If you haven’t been here, go check it out.
Tucked into the lane which meanders past “Trishna” in Kala Ghoda, The all-white, high-ceilinged, wi-fied, pretty-as-a-picture space with wooden tables, white chairs, window seats, industrial lamps is European in sensibility too. FOOD
Looking for homestyle French fare? Home into the well made French onion soup and the meltingly cheesy Croque-monsieur and Quiche Lorraine withthe perfect pastry and custardy soft filling. The bakery section turns out okayish Raisin rolls, Financiers, Palmiers. Try the salads ( Marguerite’s sunshine salad) deliciously soft, Banana bread, dig deep into the creamy Banoffee pie for the caramel base (My gourmet buddy Safdar Bandukwala loved it).
Try the Rawas on a rich Carrot ’n’ Tomato Stew, even the Roast Chicken, though dryish, is worth trying. Ditto for the Flourless Chocolate Cake’s crusty exterior and luscious gooey inside .
Too nosiy, no wine or alcohol. The sparse, menu serves up breakfast options which includes mushy and runny Scrambled Eggs and leathery and gluten-free Red Millet Pancakes served with an Apple Cinnamon Mash and Fresh Cream, both of which disappoint. Not the greatest French onion soup. Mushy . Lamb stew.
Three young owners (who also own the rockingly popular Woodside Inn) and Marguerite de Lastour, the French developer take a bow.Charming, well-priced (average meal per person Rs 500), open through the day.So what if all thedishes are not the greatest? Or there is no wine to pair with the French fare? One thing is certain. it is a spot of sunshine in the Fort area. An open-through-the day welcome one.
■ Yeshwant Chambers, Ground Floor, Military Square Lane, Near Trishna, Kala Ghoda, Fort
RATING FOOD 3.5 SERVICE 3.5 DÉCOR 3.5
OPEN 8.30 am to 11pm
INDIA SHINES IN SINGAPORE
Stop press. As I write this, i can’t stop smiling…and applauding. India is shining at the most prestigious Oscar of Food awards “Asias 50 best restaurants 2013”in Singapore.
Shining as India’s best restaurant at rank number 7 of Asia’s 50 Best Restaurants, is ITC ‘s Dum Pukht, Bukhara (number 26) represented by two of our most brilliant female chefs, Manisha Bhasin and Madhu Krishnan
Its a brilliantly balanced list, with India’s best Japanese Wasabi by Morimoto in Mumbai (no. 20,) grand corporate chef Hemnat Oberoi is here. Modern Indian restaurants get their share of recognition (Varq’s Chef Amit chaudhari) “Indian Accents” Chef Manish Mehrotra are here) We miss Rahul Akerkar (Indigo at no. 28) as we do Chef Ananda Solomon for his well-deservd award for the coastal cuisine Karavalli in Bangalore(no. 44).
Kolkatta born Gaggan Anand’s restaurant Gaggan (Bangkok) our Srilankan neighbour Dharshan Munidasa ‘s “Nihonbashi” make a mark. AD Singh of Olive, Anjan Chatterjee of “Oh Calcutta” receive their share of applause as “chefs favourites”.
The dapper and dynamic Charles Reed, Sue Woodward and her team of theprestigious “Worlds 50 best restaurants” have flown in from London to mastermind the events. Happily. They see India as an important culinary destination. And Mumbai takes centrestage.Jai ho!
P.S I write this from the Changi airport, excited to board Singapore Airlines which is surely one of the most expensive airlines (my wallet is still groaning) but oooh! la! la! (having flown to paris and back) the Michelin starred chefs food (“Book a cook) flat beds and what superlative service…My compliments to Giamming Toh