Waiting at a restaurant is boring, unless you can eavesdrop on other tables’ conversations. It was somewhat like that when I walked into Colaba Social, which stands right opposite Starbucks on the Taj Mahal hotel premise.
While I sipped on a Spiced Guava mocktail (R140), which had a vibrant ginger aftertaste, the excitement on the table next to mine intrigued me. Four girls pored their heads into what looked like a rolled newspaper, but was actually the menu. “This place is not as expensive as I thought, ya,” a skinny girl commented, to which another added, “We won’t have to share the desserts now.”
Colaba Social has a distressed ambiance
To my left, two corporate guys hid behind their laptops screens, and shared notes — mostly numbers, large denominations, too — and sipped from a tall glasses of iced-teas.
The staff was sprightly, asking customers where they had come from, what they liked in their order, and their purpose of visit.
In walked my partner-in-crime for the day, and while she updated me on a sprained ankle, estranged boyfriend and notice period, I couldn’t help but notice the distressed ambiance. Unpainted bricks adorned the walls while yellow zero-watt bulbs dimly lit the space. In the corner at the entrance was an upside down ceiling fan, which managed to do its job just right.
As a writer, one is attracted to words. So, we ordered dishes that had been given witty names — Enthu Cutlet (R160), Salad Burger with tenderloin beef — what an oxymoron, Taco Soup (R90) and a Ham, Cheese and Beer Soup (R120).
The first dish, a thin, vegetarian cutlet stuffed in pita bread, was well marinated and tasty. But the spicy coconut dip it came with was a let down. The overpowering coconut oil, and the bland mix failed to pack in a punch we craved.
Salad Burgerwith Beef patty makes the dish a healthy pick
The salad, on the other hand, was a heavyweight champion. It was dressed to impress. A sunny-side up cloaked the beef patty, surrounded by greens and tomatoes. The knife sunk into the tenderloin, which was cooked to make us drool. The crusty covering and the perfectly-cooked meat lifted our spirits. The Taco soup made up for the not-so-enthu vegetarian starter, and came with nachos and sour cream on the side. The Mexican flavours of beans, bell peppers and onion had its chilli content in place.
The Ham, Cheese and Beer Soup was warm and comforting, but too heavy to consume by one person. The sour beer, and the sweet ham and the cheesy liquid blended beautifully.
Our Strawberry Iced-Tea came in a plastic bathtub. The server warned us, “Drink it, but you cannot have a bath in it.” A little too sweet, the drink wasn’t as exciting as its presentation.
The food was filling and well-priced. The non-veg items were better tastewise than the vegetarian fare. Lastly, we ordered a Banofee Cronut (R 180). Not any amount of guilt nor those unfitting jeans could stop us from devouring this sweet miracle. The warm cake, oozed with toffee caramel while the vanilla scoop was topped with cashew nuts and chocolate sauce. Need we say more!
At: Glen Rose building, opposite Starbucks, Apollo Bunder
Price: R1,500 for two without alcohol