It’s a hot day outside, and the sound of the infernal yellow compactor digging up one of Bandra’s busiest roads isn’t making life easier. Just a few steps away from the warzone (take one look at 29th Road at Pali Naka, and you’ll see what we mean) however, is an oasis of food that’s guaranteed to drive those beads of sweat away. We got a sneak preview of Bandra’s first Indigo Deli, slated to open on Wednesday, and came away impressed.
The first thing that hits you when you enter the restaurant, is how much brighter it is than the dim-lit Da Vinci, which previously occupied the same space. Circular, interconnected booths, called ‘pods’, form the unusual seating arrangement, flanked by the by-now-familiar copper and wood décor that’s common to all of the deli’s branches. Throw in a brightly-lit open kitchen, some mood lighting, and shelves lined with items of purchase, and it all seems rather cosy.
Director Malini Akerkar tells us that the menu will include their signature home-style American comfort food, with welcome additions like 15 daily specials that will range from smoothies and salads to risotto and crêpes, in vegetarian and non-vegetarian options.
We tried the rather unfortunately-named Eggs on the Beach (Rs 425), intrigued by the spin on a favourite — Eggs Benedict — and came away licking our lips. Two perfectly poached eggs sat smugly on a bed of crab cakes, with crispy bacon on the side. Delicious, this might just be our new favourite all-day breakfast item in the suburb. The tangy mustard offset the saltiness of the crab and bacon, while the eggs melted in our mouths. Score.
Next up — Onion Rings (Rs 225) that we dunked in copious quantities of another Indigo deli favourite — the honey mustard. Flaked with potato crumbs, the rings are a crunchy accompaniment to the moist main course.
Speaking of moist — the Charred Asparagus, Peppers and Feta Wrap (Rs 425) deserves a mention. Oozing with a delicious tomato and jalapeno chutney that smothers the feta cheese and peppers, it had us abandon all pretensions of prim and proper eating. Pick up the wrap with your hands and dig into it. You’ll be rewarded with a smooth combination of flavours and chutney on your tongue. Yumm.
We finished up with Apple Pie with homemade ice cream (Rs 285). Although we tried it with market-purchased vanilla ice cream (they were still setting up store), it still tasted great, although we wouldn’t mind a hint more of tart and a little less sugar.
As we prepared to leave, Akerkar told us a bit more about the goodies that will soon line the shelves of the restaurant. Expect to see loads of seasonal jams, jellies, five different types of mustard, five kinds of bread, baguettes, breadsticks, marinated salads, dips and lots more, in their bid to make it “Bandra’s one-stop destination for gourmet food and ingredients.” Now if only the digging would stop.
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