We set high standards when we decided to order from the new takeaway joint in Parel, Union Cafe. There’s no reason, after all, why takeaways (this one doesn’t come that cheap, either) should not be as hot, with all the gastronomical goodness as intact as any dish that walks up to you at a restaurant.
That, Union Café got just right — the delivery person walked in with our order and, just this one time, we didn’t mind our almost-scalded fingers.
First up was the Classic Caesar (Rs 155). This, we thought, lacked in generosity when it came to the ‘sun-kissed’ tomatoes. True, the Romaine leaves were ample, as were the olives, but it lacked the punch and we were left thinking of that last great Caesar we had somewhere else. If you cannot get a classic right, can you get the rest, we wondered.
The Spaghetti Pisano (pasta with olives, bell peppers jalapenos, tomatoes, garlic and chilli flakes; Rs 245) looked promising with spaghetti cooked al dente just the way it should be. A fellow snacker thought the café had gone overboard with the garlic and olive oil. But, if you like your garlic, you’ll love the garlic on the top, hidden in between the spaghetti strands, and lying at the bottom with the jalapenos and bell peppers. Use the two long (read generous) portions of crunchy garlic bread to scrape the last bits off.
We loved how each layer of the Non-Veg Lasagne (Rs 230) did its job — the cheese and pasta on the top was crisp and topped with a tomato-based sauce. The chicken underneath was not seasoned so it could get its flavour from the cheese and pasta sheet. The white sauce in the lasagne ensured that it was creamy.
We couldn’t, however, be that lavish with praise when it came to the Mince Magic Pizza (a 13-inch, thin crust topped with chicken mince, green chillies and onions; Rs 355).
The chicken was fresh but the pizza was not spicy (which it promises to be, and who doesn’t like their promises to be kept?). The Super Six pizza (a 13-inch, thin crust topped with onions, bell peppers, mushrooms, black olives, corn and broccoli; Rs 310) was just right — the broccoli scattered on top was crunchy, the vegetables fresh and the first bite had us munching and nodding approvingly.
We noticed how Union Cafe only offers one size in pizzas — 13 inches — and only in thin crust, but we are not complaining. Bigger and thinner (this, only in pizzas) is always, always better.