A month-old eatery in Bandra serves up deliciously meaty offerings in the hope of becoming a mecca for non-vegetarians
The outdoor section is bright and lively
If you're a carnivore living in Mumbai, you may have realised that very few establishments in the city cater almost exclusively to your kind. Which is why, when you're flipping through the menu at the month-old Bistro at Coffee Break, your jaw will drop in wonder at the amount of meaty dishes on offer. Before we've even placed our order, the place ticks off the first box on our list for its variety.
Located at Bandra Reclamation, this new eatery replaces Uba Tuba, which served Mexican cuisine. However, Bistro at Coffee Break retains some its essence through its food (which also includes American and Italian fare) and the cheerful wooden community table that greets you as soon as you enter the well-lit space. The rest of the interiors, too, are done up in wooden accents, reminding you of a bistro you might find by the beach.
It's a sunny afternoon, and although the temperature outside feels like a skin-melting 36°C, the outdoor section, thanks to its awning, is very pleasant. Our drinks arrive - a Frappe Caramel (Rs 165) and a Mango Smoothie (Rs 135). While the former is made perfectly, the latter fails owing to its stingy use of mango, giving us a drink that's less tropical paradise and more back-to-school. That said, we love that neither drink is heavy on the sugar, a crime that's committed far more often than we can count. Tick number two.
Deep Fried Oreos
Soon, the waiter brings in our Loaded Nachos (Rs 220), making us abandon our conversation about the awfulness of Indian summers. However, the contents are not as delightful as they look, simply because of one thing gone wrong. The sharpness and tang that should have offset the cooling effect of the sour cream and guacamole is missing, and we realise this is because the accompanying cheese 'sauce' is actually a watery liquid that has settled at the bottom of the dish.
Our disappointment lasts only a minute, because that's when the Juicy Lucy (Rs 350) is set on our table. This burger is a winner through and through. It should be noted here that all the burgers on the menu are available in two variations: chicken and buffalo meat. Our Lucy is made up of the latter, and she lives up to her name. The mince making up the double patties is cooked to perfection, the tenderness making it fall apart at the lightest touch. Yet another box gets checked off.
Although we're close to stuffed by now, our greediness tempts us into ordering another dish, quirkily named Pasta in Sunlight of Sicily (Rs 355 with chicken). Although the base sauce is similar to an arrabiata, we like the addition of olives, capers and sun-dried tomatoes, all of which add punchy bursts of flavour to the dish.
Bursting at the seams, we forge ahead, convincing ourselves we have space for dessert. Feeling brave, we pick the Deep Fried Oreos (Rs 130), which is exactly what you think it is: batter-coated cookies dunked in hot oil, then served with a drizzle of condensed milk. While we're on the fence about this heart attack on a plate, our dining companion devours it in under five minutes.
Our meat craving satisfied, we walk out into the dusty heat, feeling content. We know we're coming back.
AT: Pearl Haven, Chapel Road, Bandra (W).
TIME: 11 am to 12 am