The flagship eatery by an iconic dairy near a city landmark, offers a vast, smartly-priced vegetarian menu that is already a hit among tourists and foodies alike
Peri peri paneer burger
It’s noon when we finally check out a café that piqued our attention the last time we had headed to the Gateway of India. Our destination is Nandini Café Moo, a flagship eatery by Karnataka Milk Federation’s Nandini Dairy in Mumbai that opened earlier this year. It’s a two-storied airy, kerbside restaurant dressed in simple white exteriors and covered with doodles inspired by fast food.
Farm fresh pizza
Despite it being a weekday, the space is abuzz with patrons, and milkshakes seem to be the popular pick. A departure from the typical ice cream parlours by established dairy companies in the city like Amul and Gokul, their exhaustive all-vegetarian fast food menu includes pizza, burgers, sandwiches, pasta and rolls. We start with the peri peri paneer burger (Rs 210).
Tandoori paneer roll
Within five minutes, it arrives at our table that lines a glass wall giving us a view of the adjoining street. Served with a tiny portion of fries on the side, the burger, unlike its name, is hardly spicy. Sandwiched between grilled flat buns is a thin layer of lettuce, tomato and onions and a contrastingly chunky paneer patty. It fails the spice test, but it is a tasty bite for its juiciness, thanks to the paneer and overall crunch factor.
Nandini caramel bite
Next, we call for the farm special pizza (Rs 300), which is a thin crusted package of mozzarella cheese and generous portions of veggies. It is a stretchy, cheesy and messy affair, much like what’s available across Mumbai’s famed khau gallis. Moo loaded fries (Rs 195) that follows, is the first downer. With a thin layer of mozzarella cheese to separate it from the fries, and loads of capsicum tossed all over in a haphazard manner, the dish lacks balance and tastes as three disjointed items. Our last snack, tandoori paneer roll (Rs 200), makes amends, and ends up being our favourite, thanks to the right balance of sauces that complemented the paneer.
The seating on the café’s mezzanine level
For dessert, the staffer tending to our table, suggests we try their natural ice creams (fruit) that are the café’s bestsellers, and include fruit pulp. Intrigued, we pick the seetafal ice cream (Rs 85) while our companion orders the premium hazelnut mocha milkshake (Rs 225).
The mocha arrives first in a tall glass topped with thick cream. A perfect balance of milky, sweet and bitter, it is a winner. The ice cream, however, disappoints because we can barely taste the custard apple, while the cream consistency isn’t what we would expect from this dairy-backed café.
For an on-the-go snack, we pick their in-house chocolates — an energy bar, wholesome nuts (Rs 9) and Nandini caramel bites (Rs 5). The shelf adjacent to the counter displays cookies, biscuits, ghee and more chocolate varieties for sale. The café’s formulaic menu and smart pricing will ensure it’s a sweet ending for most visitors.
Nandini Cafe Moo
At: Pheroze Building, Chhatrapati Shivaji Maharaj Marg, opposite Dhanraj Mahal, Apollo Bunder, Colaba. Time Daily; 10 am to 11 pm