The Fine Dining Revival
Thanks to the year-long textile strike in 1982, organised by Trade Unionist Dr. Datta Samant, Mumbai’s textile neighbourhood of Lalbag and Parel lay eerily silent. Once upon a time, it was a vibrant area with mills working three shifts, providing a livelihood to several workers. For several years, it languished in obscurity and legality while it turned into n urban wasteland.
Several dormant mills followed this example and the area once again began to buzz with lifestyle stores taking advantage of the huge spaces available. Along with retail activity, several new eateries opened their doors in this neighbourhood. It has now become synonymous with fine dining.
Cafe Zoe for an International feel
One of the earliest restaurants to be established here is Cafe ZOE . Situated in the rear end ( it depends which way you come otherwise it is the front end!) of Mathuradas Mills Compound, it is a minimalistic restaurant with exposed red brick, steel girders and industrial piping. This place was always a dump before it was spruced up. You can actually see huge black and white photos of the place as it was before it became the place it now is.
The darkness of the restaurant hits you as you enter from the bright sunshine outside. But if you come in here at nighttime, you will be amazed at how happening it is.
Maintaining the minimalist structure of the godown it used to be, Zoe is starkly decorated in steel , and basic wood work. On one side are casual seating arrangements of plump overstuffed sofas upholstered in very 1960’s design fabric. Interestingly, well worn old fashioned cabin trunks serve as a centre table.
The verdict: Great food and great value for money.