A full-house matinee show at Navi Mumbai's Matinee Diner

Apr 23, 2014, 09:52 IST | Sonali J Hudar

Navi Mumbai's newest addition, Matinee Diner, is a sure shot hit and has a promising array of coffees and dishes to tuck into, which beckon encores

The challenge of being a reviewer is to know a good time to eat (attack) the restaurant and see if it’s worth it’s salt. But with a place named Matinee Diner, things were clear from the start. On a Sunday afternoon, we walked into the Navi Mumbai joint that has an impressive coffee menu. It covers coffees from Germany, Cuba, Portugal, Mexico, Ireland and America with, of course, Indian options. They also offer Mexican and Indian main courses, though the choice is limited.

Mexican Chicken Steak was a good bite when the hotness of the chicken was counterbalanced by the beans

Matinee Diner is a cosy 18-seat restaurant with film and music paraphernalia displayed on the walls. Banking on the vintage appeal, there were posters, LPs, dial-telephone, an old film camera and a typewriter as part of the décor.

After going through the menu, our mind was made up for — Mint Lemonade (`45), Mojito (`100), Mighty Leaf Tea in strawberry flavour (`130), Tomato Basil Soup (`100), Cheesy White Pasta (`180), Chicken Hangover (`320), Chicken Steak Sizzler (`390), Mexican Chicken Grill (`210) and Affogato (`115).

Both the tangy drinks — Mojito and the Mint Lemonade — were refreshing given the heat. As our strawberry-scented tea arrived, the smell was appetising and had its appeal both with and without sugar. The Tomato Basil Soup was a clear favourite for the flavour of fresh basil tempted us into seconds though we resisted. The first of the main courses that arrived was the Mexican Chicken Grill. The skewered chicken steak was spicy but the side, i.e. the beans helped in coping with the chilli steak.

(Left) The Mighty Leaf Tea works well with and without sugar as the strawberry flavour accentuates the subtle flavours of the drink, (right) The Tomato Basil Soup, despite the heat, makes one want to have more.

The Cheesy White Pasta had just the right combination of cream and cheese, making us mark the dish as a comfort food. By the time the curiously named dish — Chicken Hangover (chicken cooked in fruity wine) was served, we were intensely piqued. The wine’s flavour was mild and despite the obvious garlic and ginger seasoning, the protein was bland. As per the servers, the sizzlers are a must at the diner so after much ado in the kitchen, the star of
the meal arrived. Chicken steaks soaked in salsa and served with tossed vegetables, mashed potatoes, corn in creamy sauce and rice were simply delicious to the last bite.

The walls sport several LPs exuding a retro vibe

Satisfied and stuffed, the last item on the list was, of course, coffee. We opted for the Affogato — a single dose of Espresso combined with two scoops of ice cream in a Cappuccino cup. This arrived with a topping of chocolate sauce and chocolate chips and made a tongue-teasing combination of bitter coffee and sweet ice cream. If we had gigantic appetites, we would have sampled more of the fare, but putting a stop there, we promised to visit again or at least order a takeaway.

AT Shop 53, Plot 1A, Sector 46A, Shreeji Heights, Seawoods, Navi Mumbai. Call 9699530222

Matinee Diner didn’t know we were there. the guide reviews anonymously and pays for its meals

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