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Restaurant review: South Mumbai gets a chic library cafe and bar

Pore over paperbacks, a pun-happy menu and potent concoctions at Churchgate's new restaurant

Mockingbird
Food: Tasty
Service: Helpful
Ambiance: Cheery

Barely a week old, Mockingbird Cafe Bar was packed when we walked in on a balmy Saturday night, post 9.30 pm. Sitting pretty adjacent to Indian Summer (they share a wall and an owner) in Churchgate, the spacious and brightly-lit all-day restaurant features a two-level seating (with an attic) and a reading room stacked with Salman Rushdie, William Dalrymple and Ben Elton (from the owner, Deepak Purohit’s personal collection). Awaiting a table, we took a seat at the well-stocked bar and glanced through the drinks menu. Cheered by the puns (read: Cocktail Of Two Cities and Gone With The Wine), we picked Bridget Jones Daiquiri (Rs 375). Served in a generous-sized jar, the potent and lip-smacking concoction was infused with white rum, Maraschino liqueur and grapefruit juice.

Dhansak Marinated Roast Chicken With Salad and Charred Potato
Dhansak Marinated Roast Chicken With Salad and Charred Potato

A Belgian delight
Soon, the attentive staff ushered us to a high chair table and we pored over the eats menu, featuring everything from baked beans and batata poha (breakfast options) to fusion varieties in soups, salads, steamed baos, sandwiches, burgers, pizzas, pastas and mains.

We began with Fried Potato And Cheese With Andalouse Sauce (Rs 235). A Belgian specialty of mayo, tomato paste and peppers, the sauce took the crunchy yet non-greasy potato-cheese balls to another level.

Fried Potato And Cheese With Andalouse Sauce. Pics/Sameer Markande
Fried Potato And Cheese With Andalouse Sauce. Pics/Sameer Markande

Unfortunately, the baos weren’t available for the day. So, we settled for Open Cheese Baguette With Spicy Lamb Balls ('230). Perfectly baked and cheesy, the two pieces of baguettes, topped with richly spiced, marinated meat, were melt-in-the-mouth. We washed it down with A Midsummer’s Night Beam ('375), a classic bourbon and ice cocktail, with a hint of orange zest.

Relish a meal with the view of a herb garden grown on the eatery’s patio
Relish a meal with the view of a herb garden grown on the eatery’s patio

Do the dhansak
Piqued by choices like Pav Bhaji In A Thai Twist and Mixed Seafood Fideua (a paella-like dish) from the mains section, we ordered Dhansak Marinated Roast Chicken With Salad and Charred Potato (Rs 410). Evenly coated with the Parsi specialty masala, the succulent meat packed in spicy flavours. The potatoes added to the taste. However, we would have preferred the bawa-style onion-tomato kachumber ins-tead of the leafy salad on the side. Nevertheless, with reasonable prices (considering the competition in the vicinity) and a smartly-planned menu, the restaurant makes for a great spot to curl up with a book or enjoy a fun night out.

Timings: 9.30 am to 11.30 pm
At: Parekh Mahal, 80, Veer Nariman Road, Churchgate.
Call: 60226023
Mockingbird Cafe Bar didn’t know we were there. the guide reviews anonymously and pays for its meals

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