Saturday Lunch at Cafe Zoe

Today’s lunch at Cafe Zoe reminded me of those lazy Sunday lunches at the club ever so long ago. Now don’t get me wrong – Cafe Zoe hardly resembles the club least of all the children’s section to which we were relegated most of our lives thanks to the children being below 18 years. At that time I remember being pretty resentful of the fact that we had to eat in a far corner of the club even though the food was the same as was served elsewhere. But we had a Sunday tradition and one that stood us in good stead – the weekly lunch where all we did was really talk. Over a simple Chinese meal or perhaps Fish and Chips, we would sometimes discover the most amazing things. For instance I once almost choked over a noodle when my 8 year old very seriously gave me a scientific explanation of why I didn’t have a son. She told me that she found out through a Roald Dahl book ( and you thought they were for kids uh??) how to ensure you had a son………. I also remember the time when we had the girls gob smacked with Hubby Dear’s tale of Aja the Spy. With a few inputs from me collaborating events in their grandfather’s life, the children really believed that their grandpa was secretly on the payroll of RAW.


Gradually our Sunday lunches died out as do many family traditions – largely because of school commitments and finally because the birds flew the coop. With Saturday soon becoming a day for catching up on odd jobs, we developed a different routine – bank work, art gallery hopping and then a quiet lunch at one or the other club. However, today I decided that I’ve had enough of clubs and tentatively suggested a change of scene –  tentative because very often my dining suggestions turn up dud. This is because Hubby Dear is a creature of habit and is totally unwilling to experiment. But since I had been to Cafe Zoe earlier, I thought I’d be able to swing it this time……………

So after our usual errands ( skipping the art gallery ) we made our way to Lower Parel. The heart of the city which is changing by the minute is a warren of small roads with cars going both ways through a street meant for just one, and a hodge podge of broken down mills now converted into office space and fancy eating joints. Cafe Zoe is one of those.

Despite being the newest kid on the block ( Mathurdas Compound has three eateries) it has attained notoriety by recently being visited by Inspector Dhoble the Bogie Man of  the Nocturnal Bipeds of Mumbai.(party animalis) As late as last week his nightly visit made hundreds of people run out of the cafe in fear while Dhoble just said that he was doing his job…..checking to see if the number of people was in keeping with the statutory requirement.

This afternoon there was a menacing cop van with a piddly cop waving his outdated AK47 ( or whatever) which we found was the security accompanying the diplomats who were dining inside the cafe. So we went in and were told that since we didn’t have a reservation, we’d have to sit upstairs which we did. Though there were enough waiters running around, the service here is laid back to the point of being indifferent but the ambience and buzz more than made up for this. Our DIY greek salad was good, the bread basket ok, the Beef Steak overdone and chewy . At one time I almost had a Peter Seller’s moment while cutting the steak and imagined it flying off to the next table; luckily it held. The Creme Brulee  which came highly recommended was runny and ok. but luckily Hubby Dear enjoyed his tomato based fettucine .  I could see what really won his taste buds were the double fried crisp fries with a yummy Cajun Mayo sauce to dip into.

Over all I’d say the dining experience was ok. The ambiance was  great and the place lively with a happy and happening buzz. But considering how tense I get recommending a place and wondering whether or not it will live up to expectations, I’d rather go to the club. As Hubby dear says Good or bad it is consistent and you don’t get much of a surprise.

A meal for the two of us with absolutely no alcohol or soda ( just a bottle of  bottled water) a veg salad, a veg main dish, a non veg main dish, a serving of fries and a dessert set us back all of Rs. 1800. Would you say this is worth it? Check out for yourself.

As for me, I am waiting for Anna Shetty to return next month so that we can go to this place ourselves to check it out once more and give Cafe Zoe the final verdict.

Unishta

A granny who always sees the humour in life and tries to do things differently. When others make cupcakes, this granny makes banana fritters. When she’s not busy chasing her grandchildren who love making her run around, she indulges in her passions of reading, writing, meeting friends and watching movies. And somewhere between all this she enjoys travelling and cooking!

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