For most students who’ve attended (and bunked) lectures at Ruia, Podar or Welingkar’s Institute, in Matunga, Ram Ashraya, Sharda Bhavan, Café Madras, DP’s and Café Gulshan offered appetising, pocket-friendly snacking options. This writer recalls having survived on Butter Idli and Mysore Sada Dosa from some of these eateries for months on end. So, when we glanced at the menu of Café Greens and Beans that sprung up in place of the iconic Mahabhoj, it made for a bittersweet predicament. For one, we missed the old signage and food but also wished it was around in those days when pasta craving meant a trek to Oven Fresh in Shivaji Park.
The café is co-run by a Ruiaite, and the owner of Mahabhoj. On the day we dropped by, we found the café quiet (sans the buzz of students due to the Diwali break) and bathed in the November sun. The menu offers a mix of salads, Italian and Mexican food and even desserts. Cooking classes are also conducted at their premises, we were told.
With used Vodka bottles transformed into lights above us, we ordered for Virgin Watermelon and Strawberry Mojito (`120, special for the day) and a Penne Marinara (`250). Our Mojito arrived first, fresh and springy. The pasta arrived soon, looking yum, though the plating wasn’t top-notch, with splotches of sauce all around the plate. The buttery, mildly spicy pasta was wolfed down in minutes. It’s when our bad run began. Our next order was a Dieter’s Pizza (`195); the menu boasted of pesto, onions, olives and paneer tikka (instead of cheese) to cut down the calories that are a part of this dish.
What arrived was a slightly charred pizza with a white base (shouldn’t it be whole wheat for diet?) and hardly any veggies. The Mozzarella Baked Potato (`150) could also have done with more cheese.
Café Greens and Beans can easily draw in the crowds for its different menu and comfy interiors, yet they will need to up the ante in the consistency department.
AT Lila Niwas, ground floor, LN Road, Matunga (CR).
Café Greens and beans didn’t know we were there. The GUIDE reviews anonymously and pays for meals.