Sip of your soul

Updated: Feb 20, 2020, 10:45 IST | Karishma Kuenzang | Mumbai

Delhi's famed wine and coffee bar comes to Bandra, offering the city a spacious all-day cafe that makes wine more accessible, with comfort food to nibble on

Zucchini steak with pumpkin risotto
Zucchini steak with pumpkin risotto

Make a plan. Set a goal. Work towards it, but every now and then look around; Drink it in 'cause this is it," a quote from an American TV series has long resonated with us. And when we walk into the soon-to-open Perch, Bandra's all-day cafe, wine and coffee bar, we feel this could be a place where you can do all of that — set up meetings, meet deadlines, ideate and even set up a date (the Delhi outlet is a hot spot for first dates). But this feeling has less to do with its convenient location than the airy, spacious spot they have, full of daylight streaming in and green with plants tucked away in every nook.

Sunchoke and potato skins with sunchoke sour cream
Sunchoke and potato skins with sunchoke sour cream

With a lavish coffee bar, which also has a take-away counter that leads into an al fresco section which will later welcome pets, comfy sofas, neat sit-down options for working lunches, and community tables where the table and chair can be converted into a high table option, there is something for every kind of patron. This could help achieve the goal of offering Mumbaikars the luxury of space and an airy vibe, suggests Vaibhav Singh, partner at Perch, as we chat about the idea.

Sangria braised tenderloin with smoked cauliflower pureeSangria braised tenderloin with smoked cauliflower puree

"When we started Perch in Delhi's Khan Market, everyone told me it's a place that would fit into Mumbai. So, this [the move] was inevitable. However, this branch isn't similar to the Delhi outlet, where people step in for a quick bite. Here, we want people to come, spend time and catch up over wine or coffee," adds Singh, as we are served their signature coffee sangria ('475) which can best be described as a bittersweet symphony with the ingredients coming together to give you a real treat. They have a handpicked range here. "We want to make wine more accessible; the biggest problem with it is that people have made it out to be so fancy that it's almost intimidating. Also, we want people to focus on coffee and be aware of what bean and style of roasting works for them," he elaborates.

Sunchoke and potato skins with sunchoke sour cream;
Sunchoke and potato skins with sunchoke sour cream;

Their menu has nibbles you can munch on thro­u­gh the day. "We've stayed away from 'grub' though the menu has fried stuff, but we use cream, butter and Parmesan moderately. We want to show the comfort level through the plating, and so it isn't OTT, and comprises familiar food, which can't be made at home. Our ingredients are the star," shares executive chef Kartikeyan Ratan, as she serves us a perfect example of that — a jar of olives from a section dedicated to in-house pickled and fermented goodies. The flavours in the combination used to pickle the olive gets a double thumbs up. A green olive in citrus oil has a zesty kick, and there's a lemony one in a lemon rosemary oil. The Kalamata olive in chilli oil packs some heat, while the black olive in red wine brine is boozy. There's also a sweet jalapeno in white wine vinegar.

Crab cakes with curry sablé and jalapeño jam. Pics/Bipin Kokate
Crab cakes with curry sablé and jalapeño jam. Pics/Bipin Kokate

Next up, the grilled grapes and cherry bocconcini with arugula vinaigrette ('175) complements their sangria perfectly. The lightly charred grapes have a smoky spice, thanks to the basil and Thai chilli, which, when paired with bits of cherry boconccini and arugula vinaigrette, form a well-balanced dish, with an addictive pungency to it. The sunchoke and potato skins with sunchoke sour cream ('250) is a smart take on the chip and dip as it makes use of the local sunchoke efficiently.

Kartikeyan Ratan (left) and Vaibhav Singh
Kartikeyan Ratan (left) and Vaibhav Singh

The melt-in-your-mouth crab cakes with curry sablé ('450) uses a Madras curry powder that gives the dish a whole new dimension when you have it with their sweet and tangy in-house jalapeno and mango. Their cornmeal-fried calamari ('350) uses fried capers that work well with the sour cream dip and spicy red pepper soft cheese variant. The zucchini steak with pumpkin risotto ('675) is picturesque, fresh and light as it uses hummus, while the sangria braised tenderloin with smoked cauliflower purée ('475) has a touch of red wine that lingers. We'll be back the next time we need a quiet place to work. Or read a book.

Perch

Opens February 23, 8 am to 1 am
At Perch, ground floor, 12, Union Park, Pali Hill, Bandra West.
Call 9321375915

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