What you need to know about Veronica’s, Bandra’s newest artisanal sandwich shop

28 March,2023 02:30 PM IST |  Mumbai  |  Suprita Mitter

A fitting tribute to the chic suburb, the fare at Veronica’s is fun, vibrant, and delicious to taste

Pass the pastrami sandwich. Pics/Anurag Ahire


For those of you who have seen the much-discussed 2022 American movie, The Menu, remember the climax when chef Julian Slowik - played by Ralph Fiennes - makes a simple yet sumptuous and hearty cheeseburger? That*s the feeling that strikes us while tucking into one of the gourmet sandwiches at Veronica*s, Bandra*s newest artisanal sandwich shop. While the story of the film largely revolves around a young couple who travels to a remote island to eat at an exclusive restaurant and are met with some shocking surprises, it also talks about the soul-satisfying joy that simple, well-crafted meals can bring, sans the gimmicks that often accompany fine-dining experiences.

The Italian job sandwich

When we arrive at Veronica*s, located on the eponymous Veronica Street, a narrow by-lane in Ranwar village, we are welcomed by snaking queues. It is 6.30 pm on a Saturday, and we are told that the wait time for a table is 45 minutes. Since the space inside the new eatery, the erstwhile St Jude Bakery, is a tad cramped, we decide to wait outside.

We snatch a glimpse of a fun Bandra Bulletin pin board that has post-its with job opportunities, notes about upcoming workshops and a bunch of freelancers offering their services. One post-it by a popular Mumbai-based politician eggs the (local) politically-inclined to connect with him. It*s a nice touch that may work towards making the place the neighbourhood café for work and hangout fun. For that, the 28-seater needs more space. There*s also a small section from where you can pick up select goodies from The Bombay Sweet Shop as well as packs of coffee beans.

The graffitied exterior of the café

While the façade and the front sections display brightly painted graffiti walls, the dine-in space is a contrast with a large community-style wooden table and cushioned benches washed in muted colours. Smaller tables are placed around a yellow sandwich and coffee bar. You can hang by this bar that serves kombuchas on tap, and artisanal coffee and offers a display of their bakery goodies, while you wait for a table. But we noticed that too many people eye this spot. There are no table reservations, and hence crowds and queues emerge within and outside the cafe. We hope this is addressed over time.

The stars on the menu are the thick, loaded, slurpy, messy, sandwiches. The owners (Hunger Inc. - that also runs The Bombay Canteen, O* Pedro and The Bombay Sweet Shop) place a hat-tip to late chef Floyd Cardoz, investor and mentor at Hunger Inc. Cardoz who grew up in the *hood loved his bread. In an attempt to eat clean, we request for our sandwiches to be made in gluten-free bread (it will cost an additional Rs 100). The food arrives quickly. The first pick is the Italian job sandwich (Rs 700) that includes mortadella, smoked ham, and buffalo mozzarella. It was reminiscent of those mom-made happy ham sandwiches that she would pack into our school lunchbox.

Zen with green tea, Kashmiri lavender and lemongrass

The sandwiches are big and bold, and make for satisfying meals. The pass the pastrami sandwich (Rs 775), with charred smoky buff, crunchy cucumber, dill pickle and stone-ground mustard, is an ode to the sandwiches you*d find in tiny bakeries in Bandra*s bylanes. Since our mission was to make healthier eating choices, we also order a Burra Burra bowl (Rs 650), a refreshing break for the palate, with tomatoes, greens, basil, a house salad mix, and a generous dollop of burrata, all topped with crispy quinoa. While we are absolutely stuffed, we did notice the big Floyd - pillowy soft milk buns filled with fried chicken that was ordered at the table beside ours. This goodie is chef Shahzad Hussain*s (executive chef for the group) dedication to chef Cardoz.

We wash down our house-made fries with the kombuchas on tap by Bombay Duck Brewery. We prefer the refreshing Zen (Rs 275) with green tea, Kashmiri lavender and lemongrass over the flower power (Rs 275) which had green tea, rose and stinging nettle. There are Austrian, Argentinian, French, South African and Indian wines on the menu too; some with unpronuncable names and are listed under a section called Pour Gibberish. The wines are also listed as per moods like, ‘I*m on a date* and ‘I*ve had a long day.*

Patrons at the cafe

Most of the desserts were sold out when we got there. There*s an elaborate breakfast menu featuring Turkish eggs and breakfast momos, inspired by the Chinese breakfasts at Kolkata*s Tiretta Bazaar; choriz babka, gluten-free buckwheat loaf, truffle mushroom puffs, Ferrero Rocher pain au chocolat, pork sausage rolls, and a lot more. We*ll save those for our next visit.

At Waroda Road, off Hill Road, Ranwar, Bandra West.
Time 8 am to 11 pm
Call 9372981697
Cost Rs 1,600 for an average meal for2 (without alcohol); Rs 2,500 (with alcohol)

4/4 Exceptional, 3/4 Excellent, 2/4 very Good, 1/4 Good, 0.5/4 Average. Veronica*s didn*t know we were there. The Guide reviews anonymously and pays for meals

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