Comfort food with a bit of local flavour: Pint & Plate restaurant review
This isn’t a place worth travelling to, but if you’re in the neighbourhood, stop by for a coffee, dessert or sandwich.mumbai Updated: Apr 21, 2018 09:30 IST
- RATING: ***
- WHERE: 106, Dhun Abad, Bhulabai Desai Road, Kemps Corner
- WHEN: 8.30 am to 11.30 pm
- COST: Rs 1,500 for two without alcohol
- CALL: 2368-3655
A long, brightly lit, wood-panelled corridor opens up to a warren of rooms. To the left is an alcove with a bread counter and a pastry display. On the right is a softly lit, bar-like area with a high table and chairs, and booths. One wall has a huge TV screen. Past the pastry counter is the main dining area with large glass windows that look out on to bright green plastic foliage.
Plate & Pint is a cosy space combining old-world charm and casualness in a way only an old South Mumbai building can. And though it’s in one of the toniest parts of the city, this isn’t your usual south Mumbai café/bistro. The food is unfashionably straightforward. While other restaurateurs vie to introduce new ingredients, flavours and concepts there’s almost nothing unfamiliar or bold on this menu.
From the starters, we try the peri peri fish – fish fingers coated in a lovely thick crust, crispy and piquant. Our fears that the Indian Chinese-style chicken chilli tacos would be fiercely pungent turn out to be unfounded. The filling that occasionally spills out of the mini tacos is on the sweeter side with just a hint of chilli.
For the most part, the café attracts families and young couples, though at some point a bunch of garrulous young boys make their presence felt. They are joined soon after by a bunch of equally garrulous young girls. “They’ve just finished their exams,” my companion tells me, recognising one of the boys from her son’s class. It noisy for a while as they linger over their desserts, but once they exit the quiet hum of conversation returns.
By this time our mains arrive; it’s a relief to find someone still doing a tenderloin burger and we’re quite happy with it. The meat is well done, as most Indians prefer, but the bread is a little dry. Nonetheless, it’s still juicy and meaty and is big enough to appease a ravenous teen.
Our pumpkin and goat cheese risotto, however, is sent back mostly untouched. The problem is not that it’s overcooked, but that it’s too sweet. There’s not enough cheese to provide a salty balance or even herbs like sage to add a touch of astringency.
And this is where they do two things right. Chef-partner Monaz Irani comes out immediately to find out why we didn’t like the risotto, and we aren’t billed for it either.
Our meal ends on a happier note. The molten Belgian chocolate fondant with a light crust that opens up to a centre of thick, dark, slightly bitter chocolate is perfect. The bowl is licked clean.
Plate & Pint is the ideal neighbourhood café; it’s not a place to make the effort to travel to but if you’re close by, its good enough for a quick coffee, dessert or sandwich.
(HT pays for all meals and reviews anonymously)