Mumbai Food: Iconic Hyderabad bakery opens branch in Bandra
A legendary bakery from Hyderabad opens a cutesy cafe in Mumbai, but we wonder if it is enough to make customers look beyond their bestselling biscuits
Karachi Bakery has quite a fascinating history. Founded in Hyderabad in 1953 by a Sindhi refugee who came to India during Partition, the bakery has spawned several branches, including one in Dubai. Which brings us to Karachi Bakery & Cafe, which sprung up in Bandra recently, quite close to where an outpost of their bakery used to be. On a weeknight, we set out to see what surprises it had in store.
Chicken and mushroom quiche
Located off Linking Road in Bandra, the space is easy to spot. Moreover, the glass facade reveals pretty interiors — vintage plates hang on rustic brick walls, and warm yellow lights illuminate the space. Potted plants liven up the space, while floor-to-ceiling shelves to hold the bakery's greatest treasures — the biscuits.
Moroccan chicken multigrain roll
And the biscuits come in flavours you didn't even know the bakery made — kesar pista, almond biscotti, chocolate oatmeal — you name it. Behind the counter, you will find dozens of open boxes, with staff ready to dole out samples to anyone who may want to tuck into some crumbly goodness. They don't disappoint. The almond biscotti is deliciously nutty, while the classic Osmania biscuits instantly transport us to our childhood. We're now curious to try out the grub that lines the glass counters. As it's nearing 9 pm when we visit, we find they have run out of a lot of items. "Ma'am, the sandwiches and rolls are made here every day," says a female staffer helpfully, as we peruse the goodies. But when we ask if something could be made for us then, we are politely told it won't be possible.
Vintage plates on a wall
We pick two quiches and two rolls, and settle down at the table that lines a wall at the entrance. Unfortunately, the food manages to bring us down from the high that the biscuits provided. The mushroom and broccoli quiche (Rs 100) is tasteless and dry — like eating chalk — while the chicken and mushroom version (Rs 110) fares only a little better. The rolls make us realise that all may not be lost, after all. The Moroccan chicken multigrain roll (Rs 120) carries the gentle heat of paprika and other spices, while the stir fry veggies in BBQ sauce roll (Rs 120) counterbalances this with its sweet, smoky flavours. Try the rolls early in the day, when they're made fresh.
German chocolate cake
At the end of it, it's the desserts that help us climb out of the hole that the snacks put us in. The German chocolate cake (Rs 160) is a take on a classic layered chocolate cake from the United States, which is topped with a coconut-pecan frosting. This version reverses the recipe, slathering chocolate ganache between layers of moist coconut cake.
Salted caramel baked yoghurt
The well-balanced salted caramel baked yoghurt (Rs 120), too, has us licking our spoons. By the time we leave, we have our verdict. Karachi Bakery & Café comes across as a glorified Monginis outlet in a neighbourhood that is home to some stellar eateries. Until they up their game, skip the savoury goods, and stick to the biscuits and desserts.
The interiors are warm and inviting. Pics/Shraddha Uchil
TIME: 10 am to 11 pm
AT: Corner View CHS, 15th and 33rd Road, Bandra West.
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