This south Mumbai eatery at Cuff Parade caters to your cravings for middle-east food
If you're craving Middle Eastern and Mediterranean fare, let all roads lead to this eatery in SoBo's Cuffe Parade
Our cab pulls up outside Bayroute in Cuffe Parade and through the heavy door, we are transported into a tavern with large cloth lamps that resemble hot air balloons, glass-blown light fixtures, beige sandstone walls and mirrors that make us stop and stare. Natural light floods the space through the windows adorned with heavy curtain drapes. We point our cell phone camera in every direction wondering how similar it is to a set from Aladdin.
The restaurant, which serves Mediterranean and Middle Eastern fare from Egypt, Turkey, Lebanon and Greece, is dished out by chef Ajay Thakur. Before we order drinks, we call for hummus. A city food consultant we have with us for company suggests that the iconic dish is the true test of good Middle Eastern fare. So, we pick the baharatli hummus (Rs 475).
The chick pea mash comes with a shot ofspicy Tunisian chilli pepper that is flaming orange in colour. The pine nuts and olive oil drizzle, too, is a well-rounded upliftment. Next, we try the quwarmah Kuwaiti (Rs 595), a Turkish pide or flatbread folded like a long boat that comes with well-marinated ingredients and is donned with caramel golden fried onions, fresh pomegranate rubies and herbs. This we pair with drink like an Egyptian (Rs 375) and Turkish express (Rs 450). The first beverage has the sweetness of ganna and a punch of dark rum along with the tangy-sweet twist of lime juice and honey. The latter, which is supposed to have a whiskey base, tastes like coffee and cream instead. So, we send it back and are told that they forgot the booze. When we try it again it's a truly indulgent drink spiked with a well-smoked whiskey.
The mains had its own share of hits and misses. We tried Koshari (Rs 645), the national dish of Egypt made with pasta, lentils and rice, in Dubai at a street festival a few years ago. That version was local with the vendor having picked up the recipe from his mother. The one at our table tastes of tomato gravy and pasta. It's a let down.
Arni arnaki (Rs 1,395), our non-veg pick, is a portion of za'atar-butter-braised lamb shanks served with roasted veggies, caramelised onion and a pine nut pilaf. Here, the winner is the pomegranate grape jus: a thick, molasses-like juice that perfectly balances the fall-of-the-bone meat.
For dessert, we pick the mint chocolate and Greek yogurt popsicles (Rs 525). As we bite and lick the sweet treat, we're convinced the restaurant, which also has an outlet in Powai, is a go-to spot for the right dose of
TIME 12 pm to 1.30 am
AT Bayroute, Minoo Manor Building, 7, Captain Prakash Pethe Marg, Badhwar Park, Cuffe Parade.
Bayroute didn't know we were there. The Guide reviews anonymously and pays for meals
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