Food Review: Café By The Beach, Girgaon Chowpatty

Since the time Café By The Beach has opened I have been hearing how beautiful the décor is but the food just doesn’t match up. So when they planned to launch a new menu I was keen on checking it out. As expected, my friend and I were mesmerised by the tasteful setup and dim lighting. There are deck chairs for couples seeking privacy and more of the ocean for company. Lounge music adds to the perfect ambience. In short, it’s a place where no girl would say no if the guy decides to pop the question.

Moving on to the menu which was dominated by sandwiches, salads and wraps, now has an interesting list of starters, pastas, and main course. Since the café doesn’t have a license to cook (pun intended), food comes from their kitchen located at a close distance.
Our evening started with mocktails (too bad that they don’t serve alcohol because the setting is perfect for a glass of wine), I tried a green apple margarita which thankfully wasn’t too sweet. Along came our first starter, nachos – crispy tortillas served with salsa, sour cream, and guacamole. The quantity was good enough for four people. But if you prefer quality over quantity I would say you refrain from ordering it. Next came peppered chicken crostini – thin toasted bread topped with chicken, horseradish cream, and pomegranate. The topping tasted more like the filling inside a chicken mayo sandwich but I am not complaining since the taste was familiar and likeable. We tried the bruschetta next which was a complete disappointment. It had a topping of ricotta cheese and cherry tomatoes cut into half. I wish they would’ve been more creative with them or at-least crushed the tomatoes and added some basil to it.
Not so satisfied with the starters we moved on to the pastas and tried chicken ravioli with roasted artichoke and beetroot gnocchi with dill cream sauce. The ravioli was the hands-down winner because of the roasted artichoke and tangy tomato based sauce. Can’t say the same about the gnocchi though, it was too sticky and wasn’t blended in the sauce properly. Having had better gnocchi for lunch on the same day (thanks to our Asst. Editor, Tanya) I preferred sticking to the ravioli. From the main course section we tasted stuffed chicken with chocolate jus, mustard crusted fish and boxty pancakes with caramelised tomato compote. The stuffed chicken had a very distinct sauce with subtle flavor of chocolate. The Boxty pancakes were more like aloo parantha without any dough. They were too heavy and unappetising. The fish (basa) was good with light mustard flavor and was served with mashed potatoes. I wish that the dishes tasted as well as they were presented.
Surprisingly, the dessert menu is very sparse. We ordered a mango sundae but one look and we knew we’d have to set out on a mango hunt to make this dessert worthwhile. After quite the search all we got was a layer of four thinly sliced mango pieces at the base of a very tall glass, topped with a very tall serving of cream which was garnished with another layer of four thinly sliced mango pieces. Think they should rename it to Cream Sundae! I’d suggest that they get more creative with desserts while the mango season is still here.
So while we totally recommend the place for its romantic quotient its best that you order some coolers and just lounge around.

Kharcha: Rs. 1500 for two

On the burp scale: 2/5

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