Barely two minutes after we took a table at Bandra’s Good Luck Café, a smiling young waiter dressed in bright yellow came up to us asking us what we’d have. “A plate of emu kheema please,” we said. He merely nodded and walked away; as if it was something served in India for generations.
Introduced a few weeks ago, emu kheema seems to have become quite a hit with the crowd at the cafe. When we asked the waiter if anyone else ordered it, he replied, “All the time.” While my partner-in-crime (no, eating emu isn’t illegal) was a bit daunted by the fact that we were about to eat a bird that could very easily be seen at a zoo, we took some comfort in knowing that others had already taken the plunge.
The plate arrived with a tiny portion of kheema served with onion slices, quarters of lime and coriander for decoration. The kheema, prepared with peas, was perfectly spiced and the meat was cooked well. Eaten with pav, a dash of lime and a bite of onion, the kheema was pretty good.
The emu meat didn’t seem to have a very distinctive taste. The kheema could well have been made of mutton, for all we knew. For the price (Rs 100, almost 50 per cent more than the mutton kheema they served), the portion was small and we had to order a second round to fill our tummies.
A flyer kept on our table promoted the café’s emu meat providers, which claimed that the meat was 98 per cent fat free (strange, because if you had asked our stomachs a day later, they would have definitely disagreed). A look at the company’s website, which also lets you order fresh-frozen emu meat online, tells us that they are the only licensed emu slaughterhouse in India. They also serve the halal meat in large quantities — just in case you wanted to serve a different bird at your party.
Leaving Good Luck without a chai would have been unthinkable. But the little paper cup they served the chai in left us a tad disappointed. Paper cup chai, revamped interiors and the lingering taste of the newly introduced emu kheema — Good Luck is anything but the traditional Irani café it used to be.
At: 106, Opp Mehboob Studios, Bandra (W), Hill Road, Bandra (West)
For: Rs 100