Rahul and Malini Akerkar have opened their second branch of Indigo Deli in Mumbai. The second outlet of the New York-style delicatessen, which first opened in Colaba in 2005, opened its doors to the public at the Palladium. Apart from Indigo, the couple also runs Indigo Café, which opened in Lokhandwala, Andheri, in 2008. It is the same as Indigo Deli, but without the retail arm.
The new Indigo Deli is double the size of the one at Colaba, with seating for 106. Designed by Sameep Padora, it has the familiar wooden, copper and black tones, with the same stoned floor as the Colaba deli, but with a variety of seating options. Patrons can sit in the courtyard outside or on the black leather settee-style seating. It also has an unusual wooden slatted-style ceiling, and is more spacious.
There is an open kitchen and a huge line of counters displaying gourmet cheeses, desserts, salads and meats. “We have upgraded all of our cheeses and imported some very high-end gourmet store-level cheeses from France,” Malini explains.
This branch has a larger retail space, selling Le Creuset cookery, New York aprons, wine coolers, retro coffee machines, Italian oils, bottled truffles, together with 54 of Indigo Deli’s own branded jams, chutneys and vinaigrettes.
The menu features all the most popular dishes from Indigo Deli and Café such as the Reuben Sandwich and homemade Indigo Deli ice creams. But some of the new creations on offer include Eggs Divinity (Swiss potato rosti, over-creamed spinach, truffles and scrambled egg).Twenty single origin coffees, 15 varieties of teas, and over 150 labels of Indian and foreign wine are displayed for sale.
The deli serves breakfast, lunch and dinner. “What I like about this spot is that although we are in a mall, it feels like we have our own independent spot. I like that as I am rather mall phobic. I also like the fact that we have the outside area and you don’t even have to enter the mall to come here,” Malini says.
Explaining why they chose the Palladium, she adds, “There are lots of businesses and new residential blocks in Lower Parel and Worli. This will also attract people from Bandra and Malabar Hill.
“We plan to replicate Indigo Deli across Mumbai,” she adds. “We would like to find a space in Bandra next. But each will have its own specials on the menu,” she sums up.
Explaining the thought behind Indigo Deli, Rahul says. “It was to offer the same kind of food we served at Indigo but make it more accessible because a lot of people feel intimidated by it. This gourmet café is cosy and approachable.”
They hadn’t opened a second outlet until now as they had opened Tote, Indigo Café, and the private catering section, Moveable Feast, he says.They have no plans to replicate Indigo. “We would not open another Indigo in Mumbai, but… perhaps in Delhi,” Rahul signs off.
Indigo Deli is now open daily from 9am to 1.30am. At the First Floor, Palladium, Phoenix Mills Compound, Lower Parel. Call 2498 6262.