Enjoy cakes fresh out of the oven at Parkbench
There’s a new Parkbench along Bandra’s Carter Road, and this one, we predict, is likely to see a lot of visitors. Claiming to bake fresh every hour, the quaint patisserie and boulangerie couldn’t be more welcoming. Even if the aroma of freshly baked goodies doesn’t entice you to visit the Parkbench again, their warm and friendly attendant certainly will.
(Above) Brown Bread and (below) Lemon Tea Cake at Parkbench Bakery. Pics/Shadab Khan
When we stop by, a few days after the bakery has opened its doors to customers, a couple is already placing their order, trying hard to curb their little boy’s enthusiasm. Apologising to us for the wait, the attendant is indulgent with his young customer, allowing him to pick a mini puff from the tray that’s just been brought in from their bakery, right behind the shop.
Extending the courtesy to us, he suggests we taste a bite-sized Lemon Tea Cake. It’s a great marketing tactic, because we end up buying (and devouring) a square (Rs 50) of the soft, deliciously lemony light cake. And as if to make up for running out of the Grape Tea Cake, something he says we must try next time, he offers us a delightfully appetising Chicken Tikka Mini Puff (Rs 20 for three pieces).
Between us, my baker friend and I practically ransack the place. The only thing that leaves us unsatisfied is the New York Baked Cheesecake (Rs 120), which has its lacklustre flavour and coconutty base to blame. The Walnut Brownie (Rs 100 for a square), nice and crusty on the outside and gooey on the inside, has a generous dose of nuts — but we find more almonds than walnuts. Topped with a layer of frosting, the brownie also has a light sprinkling of pista.
The Mini Garlic Buns (Rs 20 for three), tiny rolls of super soft, mouthwatering goodness, were dotted with pieces of roasted garlic and didn’t need any accompaniments. We also take home a loaf of piping hot five-seed Multigrain Bread (Rs 70). We’ve been told to let the loaf rest a bit before we break bread. Topped with nothing but cracked wheat (where are the other seeds?), the loaf is soft and light brown on the inside. Multigrain it might be, but we suspect it isn’t particularly healthy. The oil stains on the brown paper bag that carried the bread are tell-tale signs that its delicious softness comes from a high fat content.
Service: Extremely polite, outgoing
Ambience: Small but friendly
Food: Worthy of repeats
At: Parkbench, Gangangiri, Off Carter Road, Bandra West