Mumbai Food: Pizza, burgers named after movies, TV shows at this cafe
A new cafe themed on pop culture may be a visual treat but fails the fandom with its pricey, bland fare
We're instantly intrigued by the images of coloured burgers topped with motifs from superhero fiction, posted by a new café in Kemps Corner whose opening we spotted while on an errand. We share the image with a friend, an avid comics fan, who aptly responds, "What the hell is that?" And that's the sort of bait it takes to convince someone from Central Mumbai to come to town.
The badges around the menu
We make a trip to the newly opened Pop Culture Cafe (PCC) on a Saturday afternoon. On entering the space we feel it is a true reflection of the city's real estate crunch. With keychains and baubles put up for sale, there are four high stools — good luck if you're vertically challenged like us — and a ledge that can accommodate about three people. If you plan on bringing a big group of friends and if you love them all, invite only one and let them breathe.
The menu includes pasta, pizza, burgers, shakes and waffles — all vegetarian and named after popular movies and TV shows.
Keychains available for sale
So, we pick the Hulk smaash pasta (Rs 250), the Hogwartz pizza (Rs 350), and a watermelon cooler (Rs 170). While we try to make conversation, the soundtrack of The Dark Knight by Hans Zimmer plays in the background. And even though we are fans, the vibe is a bit too weird. While we grumble about how there is no room for a quiet bite, let alone privacy, the food is literally handed over to us from the counter a few inches behind our backs.
Hulk smaash pasta
The cooler tastes more like a party punch with no trace of watermelon. One glance at the four-cheese pizza is enough to tell you it's unappetising; one bite, and you are convinced it is. You can only taste the mozarella and cheddar, and you'll be able to find a similar and tasteful variant at local food chains for a two-digit amount. Our last hope is the pasta. While we click a picture of the dish blended in pesto sauce with mozzarella sprinkles, the staff places a piggy bank shaped like the clenched fist of the Hulk next to it (resembling our fists at the moment). Our friend has the first go, and we nervously watch him drop his spoon in disappointment. It's bland, as is the presentation. He's kind to sum up the experience as average, but we sure as hell want our money back.
Even though the place might appeal to the die-hard fan, it doesn't do justice to its price point. And it is also situated in a building that houses a popular coffee chain, a brewery and a Neapolitan restaurant. If you happen to get lost in the narrow alleyways in search of PCC and land up at any one of these, you can thank your stars.
AT Pop Culture Cafe, Kwality House, Kemps Corner.
TIME 12 pm to 11 pm
Pop Culture Cafe didn't know we were there. The Guide reviews anonymously and pays for meals
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