There is no idea more romantic than sitting with a cup of freshly brewed rose tea or a Cappuccino indulging in a well-stuffed sandwich on a comfortable suede armchair placed in an airy room with high ceilings, beside a misty window that overlooks a quaint street with wet tar patches strewn with leaves and vibrant red flowers from a Gulmohur tree on a wet monsoon evening.
To savour this after a hectic day at work, in the heart of Mumbai’s favourite neighbourhoods is icing on the cake, or should we say a dollop of cream in coffee. Located on a quiet lane, a 10-minute walk from bustling Carter Road, Temperance Deli, the latest addition to Bandra’s food repertoire actually brings to life that same idea.
We landed at the deli on an overcast Wednesday evening, and the first three words that crossed our minds were peaceful, charming and spacious. After marvelling at the space, the white walls, the colourful cabinets and the bookshelf, we settled at a corner table on royal purple armchairs next to a pretty window. Soaking in the ambience, we got down to placing our order from the limited menu that is on offer at the deli, currently.
We started off with a Cream of Broccoli soup (` 125) that was served in a fresh carved out brun pav. A bite into the light soup with little bits of soft centre of the brun blew us away. There was nothing pretentious about the dish; it was comforting, hearty, simple and beautifully executed, something that would hit the right spot on a winter afternoon or in our case, a cloudy evening.
Next up, were the Mixed Bean Salad (` 140) and the Chicken Temperance Panini (` 190). The salad, with a generous portion of beans mixed with brown onion, roast garlic and spinach, topped with mustard and chive dressing, is a healthy option for vegetarians.
We liked the crunch of the beans and the flavours in the dish but it could do with more dressing. The Temperance Chicken Sandwich was a good pick: the bread was grilled to perfection, inside was a thick layer of good quality cheese, well-seasoned chicken chunks, a layer of chicken bacon, tomatoes and onion. All the textures were combined well by the pesto. We’d, however, like a little less pesto in our sandwich because of the overpowering nature of the pine nuts, basil and garlic that go into the sauce.
The next two dishes were the Grilled Cottage Cheese Patty in Creamy Mushroom Sauce served with Baked Potatoes (` 275) and the Cajun Chicken in Brown Sauce (` 295). The Cajun Chicken Sauce had oodles of flavour and it had a perfect consistency that beautifully coated the chicken. The chicken fillets, however, were dry and chewy. The grilled cottage cheese on the other hand, was beautifully seasoned, cooked to perfection, while the mushroom sauce that it was served with was to die for. We were salivating at the thought of the sauce coating a fillet of grilled Basa.
For dessert, the Tres Leche (` 125) that we ordered was nice and moist; it came topped with heavy cream and little pieces of hard caramel candy. We only wished that cut pieces of apples and pear that came along with Tres Leche were poached.