Bandra has no dearth of cafés and bakeries. So when we hear about yet another café that served fresh breads, cakes and salads — we aren’t particularly excited. But then someone mentioned whisky cakes. And then come the cronuts. In a few week’s time they will also have Sushi Rolls and Khow Suey. We are intrigued. Tart Café, the brainchild of Aashiayana Shroff who also owns the classy Vong Wong restaurant in town.
The café is still in the soft launch phase and the sit-out area is being readied when we walk in one evening. Everything looks fresh and ready to be devoured. The managers at the counter John and Ata, help us choose.
We begin with the Skinny Salad (R220) How ironic, we wonder, that we start our meal at a café that specialises in cakes and bakes, with a diet salad. We also order a Crunchy Thai Chicken Salad (R220). The portions are generous. The Skinny Salad has mild olive oil dressing and the lettuce, the Chinese cabbage and the greens are fresh, crisp and surprisingly tasty for a diet salad. The Chicken Salad has no such aspirations though. Peanuts sauce and coconut base with crunchy chicken surrounded by healthy greens, this salad is mildly spicy and the perfect partner for a glass of wine.
There is no wine being served here of course, so we order a Whisky Cake (R70) instead along with a Profiterole (R70). The Whisky Cake is slightly dry but the taste of the alcohol is unmistakable. We love this as also the soft and creamy Profiterole which has dollops of soft chocolate.
But the high for us is the Cronut (R60) a donut filled with soft custard inside. Dig into it and the custard oozes out. Yummy! John insists we try out two other specialties — the Banana loaf (R100) and the multi-vegetable bread (R70 plus taxes). The loaf is soft, moist and if you like bananas, great to eat. But the big surprise is the vegetable sliced bread. I am no great fan of multigrain stuff, healthy as it may be, but this one is so smooth textured and tastes so fresh that I finish two slices in no time next morning, without adding even a little butter or jam on top.
Tart café has just opened and they are yet to launch their full menu. In fact, they are yet to print a menu card. The open air sit out area too is a few days away from opening. It’s early days yet but if they manage to maintain the quality of their sandwiches, cakes, breads and salads in the days to come, Tart could be very serious competition for some of their more illustrious neighbours.
At: Tart Café, 33rd Road, Near Mini Punjab, Pali Village, Bandra West
Call: 65284457, 26558761