Wednesday 9 December 2015

Grandmama's Cafe, Dadar East, Mumbai

That's Central Railways na?
That's too far..
Too boring...
Too middle-class..
Not hip and happening...

Just some responses I always get when I ask my friends or colleagues to meet anywhere near Dadar. *Sigh*. While this is not a post on stereotyping (let's keep things happy here :D), it is a sad truth that Dadar is not considered 'hip/happening' by many people. I have special memories of this place because I have spent almost close to a decade here, and yes, while it is a predominantly middle class area,it is a vibrant area, but yes sure it does not have as 'hip' bars or discotheques or even many gourmet food destinations as say,Bandra or Andheri. And that is why I am so happy that something absolutely gorgeous has made an entrant here, something that has 'hip,happening,cool,artistic' written in bold all over it. Yup, The Grandmama's Cafe!

It was a chance encounter the other day,I was rushing for some office work and my colleague was running a little late. I had another meeting at about 3 PM which meant,I was going to miss lunch if he did not turn up soon. Lo and behold, I thought about lunch, looked up and saw what at first,seemed like a figment of my imagination. What is that? A castle? A little replica of White House? It was just a beautiful,serene cafe sitting in the middle of Dadar east, barely 4 minutes walk from the railway station, looking like it just popped out of Doctor Who's traveling phonebooth, as if belonging to another era altogether! Did I just magically transport myself to some Italian village or some French village? 

So I had to enter. And the surprise continues. Done up like nothing else I have seen (not in Dadar anyway). Seemed like I had walked into some British cottage, or some premium interior designer's warm den. Something along those lines. So inviting, so beautiful, so gorgeous. I just want to settle here. Long story short, this is one place everyone gotta visit to just gape open-mouthed at for at least 5 minutes :D Massive Interior Design Inspiration ♥

I just had a vegetable burger in the morning (absolutely lip-smacking) since I had to run to another meeting but I was so impressed with the quality of the food and the ever smiling service that I came back the very next evening with my sister & mom to sample some more delicacies and envelope ourselves in the warmth of Grandmamas :) It is not just the design that is so thoughtfully done, the menu is also well put together. There are sandwiches & burgers, pasta & pizza, tea & coffee, cookies & pastries, even salads & hummus & khichdi! There is something for everyone, something for every time we feel hungry. And everything we tried has been absolutely top notch. 

Loaded Barbecue sandwich is delish to the hilt. Melt-in-the-mouth Cottage Cheese & Jalapenos (and some greens) in Barbecue Sauce, (ask for Multigrain Bread), Yumm! The way they serve the burgers and sandwiches is another piece of art. There are these little bicycles that come loaded with ketchup. And the accompanying fries are just perfect, one of the best ever! Not excessively salty, not unnecessarily oily. My mom does not like fries at all and yet she finished half of them here,these little crunchy pieces of devil :) 

Summer Vegetable Lasagna is a must have, the biggest proof of which is-my mom does not like Italian food much, but she couldn't get enough of this dish :) So many vegetables, soft pasta sheets, without cheese overpowering anything, full of flavors, full-bodied, warm, perfectly seasoned too. Pure love ♥ 

Bibiji ki Aachaari Khichdi is another gem that must be tried. A cafe serving Khichdi? Forget that question, just let this ultimate Indian comfort food caress you. What I would do to have this Khichdi everyday for breakfast,lunch and dinner! Let those little hints of spices (Achaar/pickles) play hide and seek with palette while the Khichdi itself transports us back to childhood days with our grandmoms lovingly preparing this healthy desi specialty :)

If you are in the mood for tea, coffee, smoothies-I would recommend Belgian Chocolate Shake (Thick,Filling!), Brownie Shake (Delicious,crumbly,a meal in itself!) or Mandarin Orange & Jasmine Green Tea (I have always believed that Green Tea tastes like poison but we need it for good health,so..this is one of the best ones I tasted).

This is a new place and has gained a lot of traction in a very small period thanks to being so unexpected (in a place like Dadar :D), so I am sure that some people might have some problems with service (I heard some of my friends say so), but at least both the times I went there, I (and my family) was greeted with impeccable service. Absolutely polite and helpful service, a smile omnipresent, they even gave us recommendations based on our personal preferences and hunger level (every dish is perfect for just 1 person,so yes it is cafe quantity,not a buffet place unlimited quantity level :P).Prices seem fair considering the quality of the food and the ambiance. We spent just about 1300 for our evening sojourn. 3 happy tummies, fair enough :) (Oh,don't forget to admire the treasure chest they bring the bill in :D) 

Also, Grandmama gives us free wi-fi. And for book lovers like me, there is this cozy couch with an adjacent bookshelf to help pass our time. And that feeling of being in a time capsule does not melt away,as barely 20 feet away the hustle and bustle of Mumbai life is on turbo mode, while inside it is like chilling out in a small village in France or Italy or Britain. Who can put a price on this? :)

All in all, I am absolutely in love with Grandmama's cafe and cannot wait to go back to sample everything else on the menu. Must. Visit. Soon. ♥♥♥♥♥

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