Mumbai Food: This charming creperie in Bandra is cutesy and pocket-friendly
A charming new creperie in Bandra has a lesson for other eateries in the area - keep it simple
Chicken bacon mushroom. Pics/Dhara Vora Sabhnani
Some of the best cafe experiences we have had in India are in Puducherry. They involve peaceful spaces set in restored homes with character. The food champions local produce and isn't too heavy on the pocket, but just about enough to perch them above a basic bracket.
Cafe Condi on Bandra's quaint Waroda Road offers a similar affair. It's been started by 33-year-old Ernest Condillac, who works in the shipping industry, and Rishad Ginwalla, who heads the kitchen. "I grew up in Egypt and we had this beautiful crêperie near my home where I would hang out with my friends for lunch or to just chit-chat. So I thought of opening one here. Except for the ham and salmon, which is imported, everything is locally sourced from within a 200m radius. We even get a few veggies from my mother's farm in Pune," Condillac tells us.
It was all yellow
We visit on a Sunday evening, and the cutesy handwritten menu board and a pleasant welcome warms us up to the space in a jiffy. It's a small, yellow-lit space (which might get loud if all sections are filled) with a mezzanine level that offers cosy seating with a random selection of books and simple board games. We place our orders and get ourselves comfortable upstairs. Morcheeba's relaxing songs add to the setting. The mood is set for the evening.
Banana walnut salted caramel
Parched, we call for beverages — fresh watermelon and muskmelon juice (Rs 100 each). We start with the savoury crepes, pesto bocconcini made with buckwheat (Rs 300), smoked salmon (Rs 400) and chicken bacon mushroom (Rs 350). The service is quick, and it being a small space, mouth-watering aromas fill up the room as they work in the kitchen, much like it would be in someone's home.
Pesto bocconcini grilled vegetables
First, we try the smoked salmon. The dose of lemon cream cheese sauce both on top and inside the crepe makes it the perfect light meal with just the right amount of creamy indulgence. The buckwheat crêpe is crisp yet not dry, just the way we like it, and holds the generous stuffing of fresh pesto sauce, bell peppers, zucchini and chunks of bocconcini. The chicken bacon mushroom crêpe is also perfect, with a creamy sauce that indulgently envelops the spinach in filling. For dessert, if you prefer extra-sweet options, call for a banana walnut salted caramel crepe, which is gooey and sweet with a kick of salt. A sprinkle of walnuts adds a solid crunch.
Though just over a month old, Café Condi gets everything right and could help fellow Bandra eateries learn an important lesson — keep it simple, silly. We can't wait to drop by for their breakfast menu, which they plan to launch next month.
TIME: 11 am to 11 pm
AT: 14-A, Waroda Road, Ranwar, Bandra West.
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