Your best bets for a buzzy lunch in suburban Mumbai
Sunday brunch destinations are far & wide and known to all, with favourite joints repeatedly frequented. But sometimes it’s the weekdays that need a little mid-day boost. A tough day at work is best tackled with good food and a beer on the side. So tell us what you’re suffering from and we’ll lead you to a restaurant that will have the antidote to your ‘situation’.
No matter what the predicament (A, B or D), you ought to find some inspiration here to curb those mid-week blues.
A] You work in Juhu and feel like you need a few minutes to escape the tantrums of your celeb boss. Hurry over to Harry’s!
B] You work in Khar and are crumbling under impossible targets or monstrous deadlines. Run away to Mexico or imagine that you have at Sancho’s.
C] You work in Bandra, where the office is your home and your home is the office. Well then, you just gotta step out for a taste of the recently opened Sassy Spoon!
D] You work in the stuffy concrete jungle called Andheri East. The commute is ordeal enough to warrant a break as soon as you’ve reached office. Bet-ty on Pop Tate's, Sakinaka to re-energize yourself.
Image Credit – Zomato.com
Harry’s Bar + Café, Juhu
If you work in Juhu, you really have little to complain about. Even so, it’s possible you just need a breather to escape your celeb boss for a while. We’ve found you your alcove.
This recently opened bar + café is the big daddy version of the demo outlet that got really popular in Powai. While I doubt the Juhu outlet can replicate the madness that goes on at the stuffy Powai one, it definitely has much better food, a REAL menu and far more elbow room going for it. The dim lighting will give you the obscurity that you need when you’re, well, in hiding.
Get yourself a beer, wine or even a cranberry mojito if you need a stronger ‘lift me up’. Order the soft Vietnamese Spring Rolls stuffed with crunchy shredded veggies and Harry’s Fish & Chips that might seem crunchy on the outside, but wait till your teeth sink into that delish fish. Avoid the Kung Pao Style Rice bowl unless you want to carry garlic on your breath; go for the deliciously hot Nasi Biryani instead or the Spaghetti with 3 kindsa cheese. You don’t expect this kind of food at a bar, a perception that will afford you added joy! But whatever you do, don’t miss the sinful and theatrical Drunken Volcano Cake. Not very often that you get to say your dessert’s on fire and be happy-high about it.
Image Credit: Arun Agarwala
Image Source: sundaybrunch.co.in/experiences/109-sanchos-khar
Sancho’s Restaurant, Khar
This jovial and relaxed Mexican joint is bound to make you wonder what all the fuss is about. Life is not about numbers and deadlines but about gathering some pals (or making new ones at the bar) and just diving into good food and wine. Every visit to this high-ceiling eatery has left us overwhelmed with goodness and laughter. More than just a temporary escape, this could well become your happy place. So head here to forget your worries.
If you find yourself in a bit of a queue, opt to wait at the bar and order yourself a Margarita. While the cautious might go for beer, what’s Mexican food without a little Tequila, right? There’s hardly anything on the menu that has the ability to disappoint, so don’t be afraid to experiment. But if you're aching for something familiar then don't miss the Fiesta Nachos, Prawn Taquitos and the Epazote Mushroom Quesadillas. Although, mind you, the quantity is not loner-friendly. Mexican food is meant to be shared, so take a colleague along. End the meal on a high with the Churros for dessert. The way these melt in your mouth makes you wonder why San Churro doesn't just borrow the recipe.
Now after all this eating and drinking, it’s doubtful you’ll be very useful at the office. Good news is you cannot possibly have any room left for dinner after lunching at Sancho's. So call your boss and make an excuse to head home for a nap. You'll be up just in time to power through that excel sheet in the night.
Image Credit: followthebeatenpath.wordpress.com
The Sassy Spoon, Bandra
Recently opened in the corner that once housed Mocha, this restaurant offers the perfect excuse to get out of the comfort of your home to find a new kind of comfort in the pleasures of kitsch decor, an inspired menu and seriously gourmet food. While it doesn’t have the vintage air of the Nariman Point branch, there are no compromises made on the food. Busy on most nights, don’t be surprised if you catch a glimpse of chef Irfan Pabaney, going about his business even as he sports a bandana and sneakers to go with his chef whites. I, for one, was reminded of Jon Favreau from the movie Chef determined to take patrons on a culinary journey of gastronomical proportions.
Food is, in all honesty, serious business. And you are reminded of that here with the effortless obsession that's gone into the detailing and finesse of every dish that you order. Although in the chef's words, "Great food never tastes like it's trying too hard." I visited the restaurant for dinner with family and we quite enjoyed the Flatbread, Baked Fish and Grilled Prawns. The Brown Rice Paella was an interesting experience but what seemed incredibly refreshing was the Spaghetti with lemon buerre noisette. Finally something beyond the regular pasta sauces and sinfully yum. Be it meat, the spaghetti or a salad, there’s a unique twist to it all that makes it remarkably memorable for your taste buds.
The lunch menu differs slightly from the dinner menu to keep it light for the working professional, so you might naturally lean towards a salad or a sandwich. I suggest you sass up your tasteful lunch with a hand-crafted Martini or Sangria so you're ready to attack the tasks at hand with renewed vigour.
Image Credit: Zomato
Pop Tate’s, Sakinaka
When you had nothing in the city, you had Pop Tate’s. By now, Versova might be done frequenting this place, it’s still a jewel in the crown of restaurants when it comes to Andheri East. There’s nothing better to get over your traffic and pollution woes, which have become the bane of this locality, than with a hearty buzzed-out meal at Pop Tate’s. Quirky phone booth on the side, funny table mats and random memorabilia mark this dimly lit joint, an ideal place to catch up over a match or music videos on VH1.
Grab a beer or pick a classic Reggie Cocktail to accompany one of the best mashed potatoes in town. For a lean main course, you could go for their burgers & pastas or just make do with the starters (Veg Bombastic is an interesting one here). But for me, their signature offering is their sizzlers, particularly the Mushroom in Afrikano sauce, which they even deliver to your home or office. Overall, the food has a certain mass appeal with it's rich and saucy flavours but you won't need to restrain yourself from digging in when you consider the hike back to work.
Hopefully, we’ve given you some courage to head out and treat yourself to a buzzy lunch. Do tell us if it helped you look forward to the rest of your work-day instead of dreading it or perhaps even get a fresh perspective to life. If not, then please help your fellow readers by sharing better alternatives.
And if you've been to any of the places above for lunch, we look forward to hearing your experience in the comments.
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