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Cultural fix

Prithvi Café may be the only other eatery that one can think of in this segment, but Café at NCPA, another hangout for theatre junkies, is a far cry from the former.

india Updated: Feb 10, 2012 17:19 IST
Shweta Mehta

Prithvi Café may be the only other eatery that one can think of in this segment, but Café at NCPA, another hangout for theatre junkies, is a far cry from the former. With well-manicured grass, sleek furnishings and open-air kitchen, NCPA’s newest café sees patrons ranging from culture vultures, looking for a quick meal between and after shows, to south Mumbai’s youngsters sipping coffee.

And the coffee here too, throws up a few surprises. Apart from the regular fare, there are a couple of unusual ones, from which we picked out the Maple Burst (Rs 190), described on the menu as a double ristretto shot of maple syrup, dusting of chilli topped with cream. It’s not bad, but ‘gimmick’ would sum up the effort better. On the other hand, our Plum and Mint Lemonade (Rs 90) was fizzy, refreshing and tangy with real plum pieces.

The sandwich menu throws up some interesting choices, from which we selected the Open Roast Beef sandwich with Straw Potatoes, caramelised onion and blue cheese (Rs 315). The combination doesn’t taste as good as it sounds. And the straw potatoes that look more like a messy smattering of ‘sev’ on an already-inconvenient baguette, stick out like a sore thumb.

The Pahadi Murgh Tikka (Rs 165), are a part of the impressive tandoor menu. It was well-marinated, and apart from a few bits, well-cooked too. Its quantity suffices, but the same cannot be said for the Three Mushroom Dim Sums (Rs 190), which are a measly four in number, good to taste, but too delicate to even be picked up.

The Chicken Khao Suey (Rs 350) is an instant favourite. A filling meal for one, the rich broth-and-noodle combination comes with a range of add-ons like fried onion or garlic, crispy noodles, coriander and spring onions. A few peanuts would’ve helped though. We ended up sorely disappointed with our dessert, the Gianduja ice cream (Rs 220), a house preparation with chocolate, coffee and Cointreau flavours. Two large scoops of flaky chocolate ice cream reached us, without a hint of the other two core ingredients.

The staff is polite, although their lack of notepad during orders and confirming the meal twice, minutes later, baffled us. Then again, our asking for a warm beverage and being served the drink in a heated glass was a thoughtful gesture. We’d definitely come back for the interesting smoothies and affordable mini meals.

What: Cafe At NCPA where: NCPA, Nariman Point

Call: 66223737

What’s on the menu: Sandwiches, mini meals, smoothies, tandoori fare

Drinking: No

Smoking: Yes

We like: Tandoor menu, Venue

We don’t like: Ice cream, Gimmicky dishes

Rating: ***