Tag Archives: Bandra

Is South Bombay a restaurant petri dish?

It was once said of Manhattan, “You can go out to eat every night, and still not end up at the same place twice”. It may not be much of an exaggeration, if at all it is one, to say the same for Bandra. The suburb is home to many food joints of repute, and restaurants open and shut here much like the doors of fate on their owners.

It is a bigger gamble to open a restaurant in Bandra, simply because of the competition. There are all sorts of places to eat here, and an innumerable number of eateries in each category. If one were to pick a place to simply grab a bite on Linking Road, one would have to choose between the sandwichwalla outside National College, Subway, McDonald’s, KFC, Theobroma, the famous frankie shop and more. Places to drink around Linking Road alone include Escobar, Cafe Mangii, Elbo Room, Janata, Soul Fry, Bonobo and Firangi Paani. If you frequent Bandra, you might have even thought of one or two yourself, in addition to this list. These places are all different in terms of ambience, across sections of price and still attract crowds. Andheri too, has similar characteristics.

Even though the real estate is expensive in South Bombay, there isn’t much competition. It is more viable to open a unique place here, so that the choice deprived locals come, get a sense of the place and help make it a brand. That is what Bandra makes it difficult to do, make your restaurant one that is memorable and unique. And since the restaurant business is one of word of mouth, before you know it, a place can be successful with frequent visitors.

Take for example this list of restaurants. All of them opened in South Bombay first, got noticed and built a  following. Now, they have branches in Bandra and/or Andheri. The list includes: Suzette, Moshe’s, Woodside Inn, Theobroma, Basilico, 5 Spice.

Can you think of any restaurant that opened in South Bombay after a suburban branch? Do let us know!

Sarvesh Talreja

Tagged , , , , , , , ,

A head to head Theobroma shootout

Theobroma is one of the nicest joints in town when one is looking for comfort. Their range of breads, brownies, desserts, cakes, etcetera probably have ‘comfort’ as a secret ingredient. They moved from being present on only the tip of the city to being present in Bandra as well.

The Bandra outlet has more space, a more eclectic mix of people visiting, and yet, it retains the Theobroma characteristic of good food served slow. One can’t help but wince at the lack of parking amenities at both locations.

While the name translates to ‘Food for the Gods’, their chariots will have to be left in the skies, or in the hands of the trusty valets of the second location’s parking lot.

Anyway, being at the Colaba Theobroma after it has been redone is slightly sickening. In comparison to their earlier warm wooden tones and orange light, it now appears to be more like Red Riding Hood’s bedroom, with whitewashed walls, and childishly reassuring hues of aqua. If you walk in to the Colaba outlet during a meal, be prepared to fight for your right. Not to a seat, but to walk along the counters and pick a dish without crashing into someone.

Sure, the place is cramped, but we wouldn’t complain simply because we love the food too much, like the Chicken Mayo Wrap here:

Chicken Mayo Roll

What we prefer about the Bandra branch, however, is that apart from the two-levelled setting, there is more space. There is space near the dessert counter, and near the packaged sandwich section. One can browse around more at leisure and pick their meal. The service is significantly better than at the Colaba outpost, where sometimes the waiters look at you as if you are actually speaking in Greek.

The food is the same, but the quantity for some dishes is more at the Bandra branch. While we happened to call for Chicken Rarebit sandwiches at each branch, the one at Bandra came with vegetables as a side. The size of the bread was decidedly bigger. The same order at Colaba yields a smaller piece of bread and fries that are much off colour.

It is odd that a restaurant that made its name in town chooses to be partial towards the suburban branch, even though it clearly generates more revenue.

Theobroma @ Colaba:
Shop No 24, Cusrow Baug,
Electric House, Colaba.

Theobroma @ Bandra:
Link Square Mall, 33rd Road,
Off Linking Road, Bandra West.

Sarvesh Talreja

Tagged , , , ,

Saltwater Cafe: A Review

Saltwater Cafe is rather simple to find if you know Bandra. And by know Bandra, I mean were born and raised there. Now that the townie in me is done ranting, let’s talk of how marvellous it is. It stakes its claim as a great place to eat. Apart from a huge breakfast menu (pity it isn’t all day), they serve most things you would expect from an all day deli, be it salads with interesting meats, classic European mains, sandwiches or burgers.

When you walk in here, you will be greeted with a clean ambience of wood gently complementing the space created by the white surfaces. The place is designed to thrive in the sunlight that enters through its windows, but never seems to glare.

We were bowled over by their breakfast menu, which seemed to have most of our favourites on it. Eggs Benedict? Check! A choice of bagels? Check! Omelettes? Oh, absolutely! We decided to go with a portion each of Eggs Benedict (with ham, they also offer a choice of Norweigan Salmon) and a Spanish Omelette. A watermelon juice to wash it down appeared to be a good idea.

The delicious Eggs Benedict

They offer the newspapers of the day, something not common, though much appreciated. It is this sort of characteristic detail that makes one sit up and take notice. Water was served to us promptly and without being asked for, and the waiters were competitive and friendly. They were able to make suggestions without any hesitation, and that appeared very well-versed with their offerings.

The Eggs Benedict was perfect. The eggs oozed of yellow goodness, and the ham was just enough. A little more would have been nice, but it seemed to be a perfect estimate. The Spanish Omlette was fluffy and delightful, with the ingredients working like clockwork. The watermelon juice, which we split into two, was fresh and tasty. We could taste the goodness of the poor sacrificed fruit in every sip we took.

We would never hesitate to come here for any meal of the day. A great staff with fine food is a good combination, and we want it around  for a long, long time.

Average meal for two: Rs. 1000, though our breakfast did cost less.

Saltwater Cafe: 87, Chapel Road,
Rose Minar Annexe, Bandra (W).

Timings: 8 AM to midnight.

– Sarvesh Talreja 

Tagged , , , ,