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Food Review: This new all-day coffee house in Bandra introduces different Asian coffees to Mumbaikars

Updated on: 20 April,2024 09:15 AM IST  |  Mumbai
Devanshi Doshi |

A new all-day coffee house in Bandra introduces coffees from different countries of the continent. We drop by on a weekend to check out what’s brewing

Food Review: This new all-day coffee house in Bandra introduces different Asian coffees to Mumbaikars

Taro boba and blueberry matcha; (right) The coconut malai cold brew is for black coffee fans. Pics/Devanshi Doshi

There is a growing interest in Oriental and Pan Asian culture in Mumbai. And one of the areas where it is noticeably visible is the food and drink sector. Apart from restaurants that feature traditional dishes from the region, there is also a rise in country cuisine-specific eateries, like Japanese, Korean, Indonesian, and Vietnamese. Adding to the list of influences is Mokai, a unique café in Bandra, that seeks to introduce Asian iterations to Mumbai’s coffee aficionados.

Banana chocolate breadBanana chocolate bread

We reach the jam-packed venue on a Sunday afternoon, which happens to be the first weekend since the all-day café opened. A vibrant duplex, that houses the café, stands out in a narrow gully on Chapel Road. The founder, Karreena Bulchandani, is hopping from one table to another, taking and serving orders, alongside two women staff members. The male staff members are behind the counter, actively brewing coffees, cooking and heating up breads. When Bulchandani spots us standing at the door, she quickly approaches us, “We are completely packed. We were not expecting such an overwhelming response!” As there are no empty tables, and wouldn’t be for at least another hour, we park ourselves at a community table in the centre of the space.

The space has private and common tablesThe space has private and common tables

The main menu has many varieties of regular cappuccinos, espressos, mochas and vegan coffees. But we’re here for their special menu that boasts of coffees inspired from seven countries in Asia. The first one is coconut malai cold brew from Malaysia (R330), which becomes our natural choice given the soaring temperatures of Mumbai. We expect something along the lines of a coconut punch, but this drink is nothing like that; neither in taste nor in appearance. Tiny pieces of coconut fill the bottom of the glass and a dollop of honey slips down from the straw when we lift it up to stir. And despite the seemingly generous amount of honey, the dark brown-tinted drink tastes like a bitter shot of espresso. We need more helpings of honey to truly savour it. Meant strictly for black coffee fans, people who prefer milkier and sweeter coffee should skip this one.

The exteriors of the café is painted by local artists of the cityThe exteriors of the café is painted by local artists of the city

Next up is taro boba from 

Taiwan (Rs 250). The bubble tea, we learn, is made from the Taiwanese root vegetable, taro. It comes with blueberry popping pearls and makes for a refreshing summer sipper. Lastly, we order the Japanese blueberry matcha (R300). This is clearly a popular pick, given that most customers around us had ordered it. The matcha, Bulchandani informs us, while serving us the drink, is imported from Japan. While they also offer a hot version of this drink, we opt for the iced variation. The hot matcha comes with a cute bear crafted on the foam. If you enjoy artsy, aesthetic-looking drinks, this is as pretty as it gets. The cold coffee, on the other hand, is a simple green drink with a layer of blueberry syrup settled at the bottom of the glass. The first sip is a burst of blueberries but there’s very little matcha. The next sip is a contrast. We realise that we sucked up all the blueberry syrup in one go, and request for some more, which is served without a fuss. Pro tip: mix your drink well before trying it.

Coffee done, we must leave on a sweet note with a slice of banana chocolate bread (R160). While this Asian café will draw in fans initially, time will tell how much this experimental, novel menu will continue to pique the attention of the Mumbai coffee drinker.

At St Sebastian Colony, 
Chapel Road, Bandra West.
Time 7 am to 8 pm
Call 9820062166

Also check out

1.  Noa by The Nutcracker
At Kamal Vishranti Kutir opposite St Theresa School, 24th Road, Plot 104, D, Bandra West.

2. Café by The St. Regis Mumbai
At Ground floor, Palladium Mall, Lower Parel. 

3. Stand by Coffee
At Thadani Marg, opposite Baskin Robbins, B Wing, Worli.

4. Em’s Cafe 
At Lily Cottage, Girgaon Chowpatty. 

4/4 Exceptional, 3/4 Excellent, 2/4 very Good, 1/4 Good,  Average. Mokai didn’t know we were there. The Guide reviews anonymously and pays for meals

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