Chai pe charcha

Updated: Jul 04, 2019, 08:01 IST | Suman Mahfuz Quazi

The scenic ambience of iconic racecourse eatery Gallops makes it the perfect spot to enjoy a cuppa. We dropped in for a taste, and here's how it went

Chai pe charcha
Jasmine Singh. Pics /Atul Kamble

Cut away from the clangour of the streets, the verdant racecourse in Mahalakshmi is engulfed in soothing placidity. Inside it, the iconic Gallops — which re-opened in May after being shut for 10 days, having reached a settlement with the Turf Club, putting an end to a long legal battle — overlooks a picturesque setting. It must be a privilege for the time-strapped Mumbaikar to enjoy a hot cuppa inside the grandiose restaurant.

Gallops

Bearing that in mind, the establishment has now launched a high-tea menu, which was perhaps purported by the urge to try something new. Recalling the city's growth that is entwined with the eatery's lifetime, co-owner Jasmine Singh explains, "This place was like a small shed when we got here 32 years ago. My partner, Rahul Malik and I have worked over the years to make it what it is. But we were very clear about retaining its old-school pastiche. Our food is reminiscent of colonial-era fare and we don't wish to change that. For example, our dishes come in huge portions and are lathered in sauce. In fact, Rahul and my children often tease us and say, 'Let there be sauce.' But that is our style and I think our guests wouldn't be very happy, were we to change it."

Grilled vegetable sandwich and Bocconcini tomato sandwich
Grilled vegetable sandwich and Bocconcini tomato sandwich

So, why the new menu? Singh explains that while the city is replete with restaurants serving wholesome meals, apart from cafés, there aren't many spaces where you can head to between lunch and dinner. The traditional essence is present in their high-tea spread, too, which comes in vegetarian, non-vegetarian and mixed selections (Rs 799 for unlimited food and a pot of tea/other beverage and Rs 999 if you opt for champagne). With buttery scones, spongy carrot cakes, perfectly baked cookies, and savoury goodies like curry puffs, cheese straws, Arabic falafel and a choice of sandwiches, with a special, creamy egg variant that's brimming with the humble flavours from the British Raj era, this is an experience that takes us to the past.

Strawberries and cream tea
Strawberries and cream tea

At Gallops ,Royal Western India Turf Club, Mahalakshmi.
Time 3 pm to 6.30 pm
Call 23071448

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