Mumbai food: This new cafe in Bandra romanticises savouries
The duo behind Love and Cheesecake set up Poetry, a café that gives savouries their due
The atmosphere in this café, a week before its launch, is admirable — multiple conversations about unfinished furniture, lighting and kitchen equipment are conducted simultaneously even as the carpenter’s saw provides the background buzz.
When we walk into Poetry, the newest offering by Ruchyeta Bhatia and chef Amit Sharma of Love and Cheesecake, like a romantic verse, many lines are left to our internal ponderings.
A case in point is a centre counter, which will run vertically flanked by casual seating on either side on the ground floor.
With this Bandra café, Ruchyeta Bhatia and chef Amit Sharma promise a fare different from their earlier dessert parlour. Pic/Shadab Khan
A structure from the wall will suspend copper rods to hold three layers of baskets to be filled with seven varieties of breads. While the piece is expected a day later, we easily picture the smell of freshly baked breads, from panninis and foccacia to bagels and brioches, tempting customers, amid the steaming pots of Peruvian coffee sourced from Hong Kong.
A worker scrapes the floor, the servers ready the cutlery, and labourers apply a transparent film on the glass door. There is a method to the launch madness, Bhatia, co-founder of Love and Cheesecake, tells us: “The owner must keep calm.”
Choux a la Crème comes in two flavours, raspberry and caramel
The mezzanine floor of the 1,000 square feet café, in Bandra (West), has an open kitchen as well as a seating area. Done up in grey walls, except one wall adorned by a wallpaper with a watercolour effect of pink, turquoise and blue, the 33-seater will join the line of Monkey Bar, Fatty Bao and Theobroma on July 8.
More than cheesecake
The menu offers cold-pressed juices, smoothies, salads, sandwiches and desserts that are “different from Love and Cheesecake”. The team has been testing its savoury fare at corporate caterings for the past three-and-a-half years.
Our tasting sojourn begins with Wingman (Rs 200), a cold pressed juice comprising celery, kale, apple, cucumber, ginger and orange. But it is the Fresh Start (Rs 230) that demands our attention. Between the sweetness of apples and sharp taste of capsicum, the carrot plays a great matchmaker.
Poached Eggs and Avocado on a croissant
But, the drizzle outside has turned into a downpour and it’s really soup that we are craving. We are tempted by the warmth of the broccoli soup (Rs 140) with its creamy texture made irresistible with a pinch of pepper. Still attempting to be healthy, our next stop is the quinoa and crunchy vegetables salad (Rs 315). But it falls a bit flat. We prefer the chopped black kale salad (Rs 315) for its crunchy chopped almond, pungent aged gouda cheese, grated parmesan, and zesty anchovy dressing. No guilt yet.
Runny or slimy? With six dishes on the menu, the variety of egg dishes on offer here is great. Try the poached eggs and Avocado on a croissant (Rs 310) and the classic Croque Madam (Rs 415). We’ll call this a draw, for, the Avocado Croissant, with its spicy salsa and buttery flake is a fiery dish, while the fried eggs on the classic croque madame slides down the toast, seducing our tastebuds.
Poetry aims to be the next-door café, ready to serve you from 8 am to midnight. PIC/Shadab Khan
The team recognises its sweet strength and the Hazelnut Brioche French toast (Rs 230) is a sweet breakfast option served with caramelised bananas and hazelnuts. The warm maple syrup seals the deal for us. Pair this with their hot chocolate (Rs 160).
Diplomatic Mousse is stuffed with a toffee filling, and almond sponge
When it is time for dessert, Sharma pulls up a chair and joins us. He asks the server to bring him his knife and meticulously cuts a piece of the Strawberry Mojito (Rs 150). He points to the layers. Between the lemon almond sponge, is a layer of confit — a strawberry jelly made of fruit preserve — mint lemon mousse and lemon cream on a almond shortcrust pastry. Theory done, we move on to pop in a bite. The shortcrust pastry crumbles in the mouth, and the lemon curd fills the crevices with a zing, the dry jelly playing its chewy part.
“Our dessert concept involves textures and layers, with one base element,” says Sharma, whose idea is best explained in the Diplomatic Mousse (Rs 150), which looks like a mirror glazed bubble. Poetry aims to be the next-door café, ready to serve you from 8 am to midnight. And if you were wondering where to work next, the space will offer WiFi as well as a printer to allow you to walk in more often, at your convenience.
Poetry by Love and Cheesecake
At: Shop no 6, Pali Darshan, junction of 16th and 33rd Road, Bandra West
When: 8 AM to 12 AM