Turner Road's Pot Pourri is back with some great twists to its menu
The redux version of Bandra's once popular café offers great VFM fare
Pot Pourri is an old-time favourite from Turner Road that completes the trio of Mumbai's ultra-popular '90s restaurant brands, along with Bombay Brasserie and Copper Chimney. Taking over a decade to migrate from the hipster-cool neighbourhood of Bandra to the city's restaurant-infested eastern suburb of Chembur, the eatery is back with a bang.
Pulled pork burger
While it is tough to draw parallels with its erstwhile easy-breezy, curbside, all-day café avatar, given its new second-floor, evenings-only 'mall restaurant' status -- along with its flea market chic and accentuated décor -- two major Pot Pourri mainstays are thankfully still in place. We're talking about the stellar food and its affordable price, something we were hoping would remain the same.
After an aborted first attempt to check it out for lunch, where we ended up coming face-to-face with a closed door and a suitably apologetic security guard, we recently troop in for an early dinner. Seated at one the many semi-circular booths, under an art piece depicting the space's renovation process, we take in the many selfie-worthy spots that this humongous restaurant has to offer. The wall adorned with large typewriter-like keys seems to be the most popular, while the yellow bicycle installation comes in a close second.
Despite the place being almost empty for a good half an hour into our visit, we find the service to be a tad sluggish, with our first order of a pulled pork burger ('350) being bungled. But when it does arrive, its taste more than makes up for the unnecessary tardiness. Packed with yummy shreds of hickory-smoked pork, topped with a perfectly runny fried egg, all ensconced in a toasted sesame bun, it is all the things a good burger should be, making for some messy satisfaction. We chase it with a zesty virgin mandarin mojito ('100), the reasonable price not being the only thing great about it.
Orange creme brulee
Our half portion of French onion soup with chicken ('120) is a comforting foil to the unseasonal wet weather and a near spot-on
rendition of the classic, complete with a gruyère cheese toast floating atop it. Despite being suitably crispy, the beer batter fried calamari ('270) leaves a bitter taste in our mouths, quite literally, and is the only downer.
The generously portioned slow roast lamb shoulder ('590), which our server informs us had been cooked for close to four hours, is an absolute cracker of a dish with juicy, falling-off-the-bone lamb accompanied by creamy mashed potatoes, veggies and a luscious red wine jus. A perfect contrast to the meaty excesses, the delicate ravioli funghi ('350), doused in a smoky scamorza-parmesan cream sauce, is Italian vegetarian comfort food at its best.
Spying the orange crème brûlée ('180) served at the table next to ours, we order one for ourselves and are at once taken in by its caramelised glassy top that holds within it a silken, orange-infused set custard that explodes with citrusy goodness in every bite.
We can't think of a better end to a meal that worked for us on so many levels, and one that we'd be happy to trudge up two flights of stationary escalators and brave inclement weather for. Anytime!
Time 4 pm to 1 am
At Second floor, Cubic Mall, Vasant Vihar Complex, Chembur East.
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