Where: Cafe Verandah,
Elegant Marbles, Raghuvanshi Mills,
Lower Parel, Mumbai.
Mumbai – 400053
Here’s an irksome reality. When the description of a place reads as a “greenhouse in a shadowy mill where you can stop for sunlight and tea and sandwiches,” it sounds like nothing short of an Enid Blyton novel. You venture in expecting a cosy corner serving comfort food. Then the rude reality hits.
You’re in a marble store, where everything around you screams of the fine royal furnishing stone – from the awkward benches to the row of different-coloured marble pillars that seem to be yelling ‘buy me’ and even audio visuals on the counter above the open kitchen which keep bombarding you with images of ornate marble flooring. Till you don’t spot the waiter walking up to you with the menu, you might feel you will pick up a piece of polished stone.
The bistro loses instantly on the cold, stone-like ambience. Now for the menu. Café Verandah is a tea bar, which boasts of a delectable spread of marshmallows and cookies along with sandwiches, salad, appetisers and deserts. We ordered a roasted corn bisque (Rs 145), which was completely bland without any seasoning. We had to garnish it ourselves to make it easy on the palate. Next, we called for a grilled vegetable pesto sandwich in focaccia (the baguette, whole and white bread options were unavailable) (Rs 195). The veggies were insipid and tasted old. Also, the food arrived cold, making us feel that the preparation may not have been fresh, inspite od them having an open kitchen.
In order to allow the ill-tasting food to go down, we placed the best order of the day. A pot of strawberry fused tea (Rs 125). The rich, aromatic flavour mixed with a drop of honey was divine. Since the marshmallows and cookies were out of stock, we made do with a hard-as-the-surrounding-marble slice of cold NYC baked-cheese cake (Rs 175).
What we like
The rich tea assortment
What we don’t like
The cold, uninviting ambience
The sandwich and salad spread