Café by the Beach is going to go down in Bombay restaurant history, as the restaurant with possibly the best view since the erstwhile Café Naaz. The chilly breeze and some nice sound from the ocean is reminiscent of the choicest Goan shacks, but go forewarned: there is no alcohol here.
To make the most of the ambience, we suggest you get a seaside table, which requires a minimum billing of 500 rupees, which is not much more than the bill would be even otherwise. The mocktails are excellent, like the Genoese Peel (Rs. 195) we tasted, which was the most savoury bitter concoction we have consumed in quite some time.
The food is promising, though inconsistent. The Roast Chicken (Rs. 295) and Smoked Chicken Sandwiches (Rs. 295), for example were perfectly prepared, with good ingredients, and a sharp dressing. This was in contrast with the Mushroom Wrap (Rs. 195), which tasted much like well seasoned rubber. The mushroom tragedy continued through the Chicken and Mushroom Lasagne, which was much too bitter and small to be enjoyed (Rs. 395).
The service was inefficient, be it in terms of speed or knowledge of the dishes. Our waiter told us the mushrooms were all of the button variety, while they were actually a mix, like the Captain corrected him. They did, however, serve us with a smile, which is always welcome.
It could be difficult to read under the dim lights, barely ambient, but very beautiful. This luminescent aura apart, one can notice how the palm trees would provide complete shade, making this place an interesting bet even for the daytime, one we would dare to venture to even in the light of the impending summer. There is a dim buzz of conversation, but it doesn’t spiral out of control.
The desserts were not disappointing, though we probably expected better because of the positive reinforcement from the beach. The Tiramisu (Rs. 195) was lacking in the fine texture one would expect it to possess. Some relief and closure was provided by the Chocolate Brulee, (Rs. 195) a interesting version of the Crème Brulee.
We would come back a million times for the view, but order with caution. And possibly carry a hip flask in our bags.
Average meal for two: Rs. 1000
Cafe by the Beach: H2O Water Sports,
Charni Road on Marine Drive,
Open from: 1 PM – 3 PM, 7:30 PM to Midnight.