This little cafe in Bandra is a fusion of food and fashion in Mumbai
A little cafe that has sprung up inside a boutique on Altamount Road will serve salads, sandwiches, juices and coffees through the month
The set-up at Melange
It'sâÂÂÂÂnot often that we come across a fusion of food and fashion in the city, so when we hear that Melange, a quaint clothing boutique on Altamount Road, is hosting a pop-up all through April, we decide to trudge all the way there on a sticky afternoon to see what all the fuss is about.
The menu is curated by Sage & Saffron, Masque co-owner Aditi Dugar's gourmet catering service. However, with its modest offering of sandwiches, salads and juices, the pop-up menu has none of the flashiness of Masque. There is also a selection of coffees, courtesy Koinonia Coffee Roasters, which has lately gained a lot of popularity among connoisseurs.
A slight young woman approaches us, smiles and hands us the menu for the week. There are few options to choose from — two juices, a salad, two sandwiches and two smorgasbords (open face sandwiches).
Baby Spinach with Radish, Cherry Tomatoes and Olive Soil Salad
We opt for a Caramelized Beetroot, Hazelnut Relish with Feta Sandwich (Rs 300), Pork Belly with Pineapple and Reduced Pork Sauce Smorgasbord (Rs 300), and a Baby Spinach with Radish, Cherry Tomatoes and Olive Soil Salad (Rs 400). The woman disappears into the tiny alcove that is the kitchen, and helps a staffer prepare our order.
Caramelized Beetroot, Hazelnut Relish with Feta Sandwich
The duo works quietly. In fact, the store's awfully quiet, as is expected from a chic boutique that caters to well-heeled women. This silence, coupled with the fear of sending food flying onto expensive silk tunics, is why — despite there being tables set for diners — we place our order to go. While we're waiting, we rifle through the summery cottons that hang inside the boutique. We sip on a fresh juice (Rs 250), a refreshing mix of sweet lime, apple and pomegranate, when the food arrives, neatly packed.
Pork Belly with Pineapple and Reduced Pork Sauce Smorgasbord
Overall, the grub didn't wow us. The bread in the sandwich is burned around the edges, and we can only taste the beets, with none of the caramelised goodness it promises. The salad comes with a lip-puckering, balsamic vinegar-heavy dressing, which breathes some much needed life into what is otherwise mostly greens with a few bits of cucumber, cherry tomatoes and slivers of radish thrown in.
Our disappointment, however, goes away with a single bite of the smorgasbord, topped with melt-in-the-mouth pork belly chunks, and bits of pineapple and feta. But while this meaty
delight may have helped us forget everything else we tried and disliked, it's not enough to stop us from realising that the trip was, after all, not worth the trouble.
TILL: May 1, 11 am to 7 pm
AT: Melange, 33, Altamount Road.