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Not inspiring enough

india Updated: May 06, 2011 13:49 IST
Shweta Mehta
Shweta Mehta
Hindustan Times
Highlight Story

What: Cocoa Café
Where: C’est La Vie 164, Hill Road (next to Holy Family Hospital) Bandra (West)
Call: 26422361
What’s on the menu: Sandwiches, salads, and Continental cuisine
Drinking: Yes
Smoking: Yes

Most eateries in Bandra tend to do better than average business. And it may be more because of the location than the quality of food they serve. The same formula, it seems, will do the trick for Cocoa Café.

The 50-odd seater is outdoors, but surrounded by walls on all sides, and even covered from the top. Its name and walls pay tribute to iconic designer Coco Chanel, and pictures from a 2009 film based on her are splashed across the cheery yellow walls.

The menu handed to us was extensive. The all-day breakfast is certain to find many takers. A choice of salads, starters, sandwiches, wraps and main course ensure there’s something for everyone here. It must be pointed though, that for its target segment, the prices might be a tad steep.

We started with the Classic Caesar salad (Rs 285) and Fish and Chips (Rs 285). The salad portion was not very large, but the lettuce was generously coated with a dollop of dressing. It came with maple roasted bacon strips and croutons in the form of two thin, crisp slices of bread. The fish and chips didn’t live up to expectations. The chips were perfect, and the green pepper mayo delicious, but the fish was not fresh, and was too oily for our liking.

The Oreo milkshake wasn’t available, so we settled for the Chocolate Milkshake (Rs 100) instead. But the thin, watery drink served to us seemed devoid of any milk, and was a big disappointment.

For main course, we selected the Seafood Risotto with Grilled Peppers (Rs 385) and Chicken Scarmoza (Rs 385). The risotto was the driest we’ve ever tasted. It was undercooked and virtually tasteless. The chicken, though, fared better. Its almond, prune and scarmoza mozzarella stuffing went nicely with the well-grilled chicken and creamy mashed potatoes served on the side.

Dessert managed to salvage the meal for us, albeit only slightly. The Alberobello Mascarpone Crème (R 250) was heavenly. The cream cheese layer was sinful and blended well with the blueberries that garnished it. Sadly, it was not only its steep price that let us down but also the meal that preceded it, in general.

Cocoa Café’s dishes are presented well, and the owners have all the right ideas, but attention to the basics and competitive pricing are what can do the trick for them.

What we like
The place, it is nice looking

What we don’t like
The quality of the food
The prices