Cafe By The Beach
Girgaum Chowpatty Mumbai
Meal for two:?Rs 1,300
For a city with such a long coastline, Mumbai has little to do with the sea. Few beaches or water sports. No bright, white Marina.
Which is why Cafe on the Beach scores. Set under a cluster of palm trees at the edge of the sea on a stretch of sand in Chowpatty, this little eatery enjoys the ultimate Mumbai location. And while the water is more grey than blue, and the sand is far from satiny, it’s still a lovely place to relax on a seagully February afternoon.
After being shut for a spell, the Cafe has returned with a smaller, snackier menu. But it still seems a bit befuddled. The valets are confused about where to park. There’s just one harassed waiter on duty....
Still, once we’ve paid a Rs 100 entry charge—which entitles us to a motorboat ride—we settle down while the children mess about in the sand. They pronounce the Peach Iced Tea (Rs 180) and Strawberry Milkshake (Rs 275) ‘yummy’. The Waffles with Berry Compote and Whipped Cream (Rs 275) and the Waffles with Hazelnut and Chocolate Drizzle (Rs 275) too find favour.
We are equally pleased with our refreshing Watermelon Mojito (Rs 225) and bright, peppy Cous Cous and Orange Salad (Rs 275). The Caesar Salad with Smoked Chicken (Rs 375), though, is disappointingly limp and ordinary.
The Charred Onion and Mustard Chicken Hot Dog (Rs 300) is generously large and juicy—though I found the mustard a trifle overpowering. The Ham and Yellow Cheddar Sandwich (Rs 380) packs a nice punch. The Grilled Mushroom, Olive and Emmenthal Sandwich (Rs 300) is delicious and distinctive. But the Smoked Chicken, Sundried Tomato and Mozzarella Sandwich (Rs 375), though highly recommended by the waiter, is pretty generic.
Overall, the food and location are enjoyable. A little attention to detail—using a better screen to ensure that guests don’t end up staring at trash cans, quicker service, valets who know where to park—is all that’s needed.