Celebrations in our family usually call for visiting some place different and that was true this time around too.
After hearing a lot about it from friends and family we decided to try out Zen Cafe At Lower Parel.
Ensconced inside a furniture shop with a cosy lay out on top Zen Cafe was a haven of peace in a city where getting away can be a difficult task.
The space is only veg which was a huge plus for my family.
Being a large group we ordered a ton of food. Lets dive into it to see what I thought about it.
To start off with we ordered the Nachos which were nice and crisp with a good amount of oozy cheese on top. Now personal preference is that it is drowning in the stuff but sadly that wasn't there. The salsa they gave along with it though was pretty good and made the dish one I would order again.
We then moved on to the tomato soup (jain) in which they have nicely sidestepped the Indian tendency to call for one by two in the form of an option which says two small bowls. Apt in my opinion.
The soup itself was flavourful without being too sour. There was a nice and tasty creaminess to it too.
The humus Platter was a nice dish to have which Thankfully came with a large portion of crispy dipping bread instead of the standard lavash which everyone is serving these days. The humus was creamy and rich without being too oily. But the real treat was when you break the surface to find delightfully nice layers of feta cheese and pesto inside. It's like a party in your mouth when you have it with the flavours going together quite well
For the Jain people in the group we proceeded to order for the Paneer Kathi roll which was a satisfying large portion. The roll itself was spicy and tangy with the Paneer nicely grilled. Something which my old grandmothers enjoyed.
The next item to catch our attention was the Grilled Veg Quesidilla, which came with a satisfying crunch of grilled Zucchini, Bell Peppers and Onions inside the two tortillas. The cheese was nice and stringy and a very nice flavour overall. The salsa served along with it had a nice amount of freshness to it. The chipotle seasoning wasnt too prevalent for me though. A very nice dish overall.
Wanting to try out the salads also we decided to give their Caesar Salad a try. In the traditional way this was just Romaine Lettuce with Croutons and Parmesan dressed with a creamy dressing. There is a reason though this is one of the most popular salads out there. Because it tastes divine when done right. Its done right here for sure. The dressing was nice and creamy yet tart and brought everything together really well.
Before moving on to more food we decided to give ourselves some liquid refreshment in the form of a few drinks.
The Watermelon Caprioshk Mocktail was my personal favourite especially considering its in season. Fresh and bright with the mint leaves nicely complementing the fruit. It was a true fruity punch of freshness
The Cucumber flavour of the Caprioshk while not bad at all didn't quite match up in terms of flavour to it. While Watermelon is in season definitely opt for it. Other choices included the Lemon and Orange ones.
In our family we love our chocolate (probably why we are all a but on the chubbier side heh) keeping in theme with this we then decided to try the Chocolate Brownie Shake and Iced Nutella Shakes.
The Chocolate brownie shake was nice, though nothing too memorable. Creamy and nice to sip on, but in the face of a better alternative like the Nutella shake something I wouldn't order on a repeat trip.
The Nutella shake was yummy, with a nice hit of the Hazelnut spread in the glass and a definite flavour soaking through the shake. Brought me instantly to memories of spreading the stuff on toast and gorging it down with a cup of coffee.
My father decided to order the Espresso Smartini too which was delightfully silky and had a nice big punch of espresso flavour too it. Always a plus when you want to have a cold caffeine surge.
Our Liquid thirst nicely satiated it was time to get back to stuffing out faces.
The items on our radar were the Pizzas on offer. We decided to opt for Pizza Meditrano, which came with Black Olives, Capers and Sun Dried Tomatoes. On a thin and crispy base with a generous amount of bubbly cheese on top the star of this dish for me was the Sun Dried tomatoes. Crisp yet packed with flavour this is definitely a pizza I would visit for again.
Trying something a bit off beat we decided to go for the Pizza Al Pesto which kept it simple with only Tomatoes and cheese as toppings. Crisp and fresh again it was nice with the tomatoes counteracting the pesto flavour nicely. Though the pesto could definitely have had a bigger hit of garlic. As a side note my mother asked and the pesto is cheese free.
Next to arrive was the falafel wrap which was a nicely different was to serve Falafels. The humus served beside it was nice. The wrap itself was meaty and had a nice thick patty inside. Delicious.
The last mains to come our way was the Lasagna. With golden bubbling cheese on top and a very nice layering with the veggies inside it was a delight to have. My memory is failing my slightly (Must be early onset old age :P ) however I can't quite remember what veggies were there inside.
To round off the meal we ordered the Chocolate Hazelnut Ganache which sadly disappointed everyone in our group. A tad too bitter and not enough hazelnut flavour to boot. Not something I would order again.
The damages for the meal were a tad more than expected at approximately Rs. 5100/- even after a 10% discount scheme they had for HDFC bank credit cards. Per head it came up to around 650 bucks.
Though I wholeheartedly recommend you go check them out and be prepared to come out smiling after having the food.
Bambaiya Veggie reviews anonymously and pays for its meals.
KSL House, Raghuvanshi Mills, Lower Parel, Mumbai