Dine at a farm-style cafe in Alibaug

16 March,2023 10:43 AM IST |  Mumbai  |  Sammohinee Ghosh

Only a ferry-ride away, a farm-style cafe in the coastal town of Alibaug offers moreish bites and sedate sights

Turkish lamb

Picture the triumph of finding the balance between leisure and busy-ness. With a dozen deadlines - and, hundred errands - watching over us, rest requires planning. In her search for the perfect plan that squeezes into a packed schedule, this writer has often wished for Hermione Granger*s time-turner - a smart necklace that allowed her to repeat class hours in the third book. We could have stretched time, dabbled into diverse experiences and whatnot.

Kerala prawns and paratha

So, when a new outpost factors in temporal challenges for city folks, we are naturally interested. Kiki*s in Alibaug sets the tone for idyllic meals, accounting for the minutes it can take to reach from Mumbai. Yes, minutes! We hopped on a speed boat and reached the café in 20 minutes. Once a homestay, the space recently reopened as a restaurant and event venue to tap into a burgeoning interest among Mumbaikars in eating out.

Basque cheesecake

Dotted with areca palms and pink bougainvillea, a rustic vine arch welcomes us. Long wooden tables with rattan chairs figure in the expanse. As we amble around, sipping lemonade, we catch sight of a pool in the back. The relaxed setting had just about started making our tummy grumble, when our first dish - arugula, pear, parmesan (Rs 475) - appeared. It*s mushy and pulpy. The nutty taste accentuated by the mild piquancy of sliced pears cleanses our palate. The addition of parmesan lends a gritty texture to the salad, which eggs us on to more servings. We notice that the all-day menu sports a mix of cuisines. Chef and founder Nitin Mongia reveals that they decided on the preparations based on what was being ordered from their catering service. "We wanted people to come for both comfort and experiential eating." Think of comfort and their Monkey Bread (Rs 325) - diners need to tear into this with bare fingers - delights us next. It*s good old brioche, made in house, swelling up with the richness of butter, garlic and cheese. A combination the food gods swear by.

Arugula, pear, parmesan

Our main dishes focused on meat - how else does one celebrate weekend getaways?! The Turkish lamb (Rs 525) was full of flavours. Dunk the chunky lamb pieces in cream cheese and the sweetness of onions, the tang of berbere butter come alive in each mouthful. The meat is rightly seasoned and doesn*t make us feel bloated. Pulled in by the greenery and the cooing of birds, we didn*t expect that the next dish would actually be the highlight of our day trip. A plate of Kerala prawns (RS 575) served with a flaky paratha has us in the first bite. The thickness of coconut complements the juicy prawns. And the crunch of paratha, holds our bite from melting away.

Happy and full, we begin planning another visit to the site. We think of nearby attractions the experience can be paired with, but the dessert quells doubt. Their Basque cheesecake (RS 375) is light and luscious. We realise that another ride across the sea, crossing gulls, could be worth just the food here.

TIME 8.30 am to 10.30 pm; all days
AT Ccaza Ccomodore, Mhatre Phata, Dhokawade II, Alibaug.
CALL 7304476546

Also in Alibaug

. Coco*s Awas
AT Shirgaonkar Complex, Ranjanpada.
CALL 7249894160

. Fountain Sizzlers
AT Mandwa Jetty road, Kolgaun.
CALL 9152017000

. Fulora
AT Alibaug Rewas road,
PNP Nagar. CALL 2141223473

. Bohemyan Blue
AT Mumbai-Rewas main road, Zirad.
CALL 7798266600

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