We walk into the pretty pastel-shaded café and instantly feel happier. And, it isn’t just because we finally have some respite from the burning heat outside. The Pantry has a certain charm to it — with its white chairs, window seats, pastel blue industrial lamps, wooden tables and doll-house pots and pans hanging on the wall. We’re instantly won over.
The all-day breakfast options seem irresistible. We ask for their Red Millet Pancakes (Rs 175), which are served with an apple cinnamon mash and some fresh cream. The pancakes have been introduced on the menu to provide a gluten-free option. A perfect combination of crisp on the edges and soft in the centre, the pancakes are delicious. If you like yours sweet, their soft shower of castor sugar isn’t going to be enough. Ask for some maple syrup, add a drizzle, et voila! The Baked Country Eggs (Rs 145) were too runny and sadly seasoned for our liking. If sunny side up is your thing you’ll urely love the dish.
We also sampled a couple of their ‘Vitamin Boosts’ — a Pomegranate and Sweet Lime Juice (Rs 125) and a Custard Apple Shake with Nutmeg (Rs 145). The management claims that none of the drinks had any added sugar, which worked well for the juice but not so much for the custard apple shake, which was bland and tasted of nothing but nutmeg. Their Iced Coffee (Rs 95) was strong but watery — not as good as the one served at Moshe’s, felt a fellow diner.
The menu was a combination of things co-owner Abhishek Honawar had tasted in New York (and was dying to bring to Mumbai) and French foods menu consultant Marguerite de Lastours wanted to introduce. The Financier, an almond cake, was typically French claimed the petite de Lastours. While the sandwiches Sammy, Champion and breakfast special Monte Cristo were all very American. We picked the Champion (Rs 265), an incredibly satisfying roasted chicken breast, arugula and mayonnaise sandwich served with a green leafy salad and tomato relish. Their homemade mustard was divine (we really hope they plan to sell it by the bottle).
Next up were the mains. There wasn’t too much to choose from. Apart from the salads, vegetarians could get either the Cauliflower-nutmeg Soup or the Lasagne. Non-veggies had the option of a fish and chicken dishes. We ordered the Seasonable Vegetable Lasagne (Rs 295) and a Rawas on a rich Carrot and Tomato Stew (Rs 345). The stew was interesting although a tad too salty. It did great justice to the lightly flavoured fish. The lasagne had just the right amount of cheese.
The management is keen on sourcing produce locally. Cheese is from Pondicherry, coffee from Coorg. Unfortunately, they’re still hunting for the best locally produced deli meat. Until then, you’ll be treated to Belgian delicatessen meat. Considering its location it’s safe to suggest that the café, which offers free wi-fi to its patrons, is likely to become a great haunt for pre-office breakfasts or quick lunch meetings. Although they had the music on quite loud, our request to lower the volume was instantly gratified. Sadly, it was annoying to constantly swat at flies; hope they find a way to get rid of those soon. The pantry: Yeshwant Chambers, Ground Floor, Military Square Lane, Near Trishna, Kala Ghoda
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