The old must give way to the new. It's the rule of the land and so it has happened with an old popular college bastion of Mocha.
What's come up in its place is Salt Water Cafe run by the Impressario Group.
It's older brother in Bandra is a well known and much loved haunt for many. It was with high hopes that I visited this one never having had a chance to visit the original.
As soon as one walks into the place things seem familiar yet changed. In a good way though. The layout is exactly as I remember from the Mocha days but with a lot more 00wood and hence sense of warmth thrown in. There are three dining areas, out side where the non ac section used to be, inside and a further mezzanine floor inside. Which means this place is sure to become extremely busy and full once it catches on.
We were seated out side on a pleasant Sunday afternoon and the diffused sunlight coming in through the semi-frosted window panes felt good on what was an extremely lazy lunch.
I must mention though that while the staff was attentive and not hovering around between courses, their energy when they did come to the table was off the scale and not in a good way, constantly trying to up sell you and get you to order more. Dial it down please, I'm sure I know how to order and I would rather not waste. Other than the up sell though the staff was excellent.
To start off our party of four ordered a portion of each soup in the classic Indian one by two style. I must say both the tomato and mushroom soups were great, with the mushroom having a wonderfully earthy taste and a nice textural contrast with the barley element.
For appetizers we sampled the warm three mushroom salad which was really nice and was bouncing with flavor. The second appetizer of marinated vegetables with grilled haloumi was a cold platter with the haloumi as the star. Not too sure if I would order the marinated vegetables again though, might try something else next time. The mushroom salad on the other hand is great if you love the fungi.
Our main course started off with a nicely flavored (and portioned I must add) Spinach and Broccoli Risotto with Blue Cheese. Definitely my favorite savory dish of the day and one I recommend you to try out. The rice was nicely al dente, the cream was present but not cloyingly so. All in all a great experience.
This was quickly followed up by a Grilled Veg Ravioli with Oregano Butter and Roasted almonds. While the flavour was bang on and something I would definitely recommend ordering again, there was just a bit too much grease on the plate, a slightly lighter hand would make it even better. However as far as pure flavor goes the Roasted Almonds played well with the Grilled Veg stuffing and was a delight to have
How can any meal ever be complete without a desert is what my better half often tells me and so too was the tale here. To satisfy our sweet tooth we decided to indulge in a Hazelnut Mousse with Melon Sorbet and Almond Crumble. The Hazelnut Mousse was light and airy, while the Melon Sorbet cut through the richness beautifully and was our favorite item on the menu that day for sure, the Almond crumble could have been a tad better, but that's nitpicking an otherwise fabulous dish.
This is a place, I would definitely come again and again too, for no other reason I suppose than to enjoy the decor and the languid pace that the areas has at times with some great food thrown into the mix.
Total Damages : Rs 2781 for Four People.
The Bambaiya Veggie conducts reviews anonymously and pays for its own meals.
82, Nagin Mahal, Veer Nariman Road, Opposite Gaylords, Churchgate, Mumbai
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