Looks can be deceiving. Take for example the list of premium lounges below. Most people would be somewhat unimpressed by the quaint and old-school décor that permeates the ambiance of these places. However, don?t let appearances fool you. The service and quality of food of these establishments is at a premium level?as the prices will tell you! Let?s take a look at some of Mumbai?s most unique premium restaurants that masquerade as old-school, sometimes run-down pubs.
Café Zoe @ Lower Parel
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Café Zoe is one of those ideal places for a quiet Sunday brunch, perfect for unwinding with friends after a hard week at work. Their ambiance stands out owing to the unique natural lighting setting and vivid wall posters. Start your brunch with a caprioshka and move on to some delectable lamb burgers accompanied by some sautéed fresh mushrooms. Their signature watermelon feta is delightfully refreshing. The wine and liquor menu is equally impressive, and they provide an extensive list of both imported and domestic liquors. Most impressive, however, is their beer menu which features some exclusive brands that you would find only in premium pubs.
The Birdsong @ Hill Road, Bandra
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The Birdsong cafe is a quaint establishment that aims to serve a niche audience that comprises organic food lovers. The décor is characterised by the rustic wooden tables and chairs and grungy walls bedecked with funny doodles. The ambiance is further enhanced when the lamps are lit for the evening, making it a perfect setting for a romantic night out. As is their speciality, the menu has a number of organic and healthy options such the walnut spinach cheese pizza and herbed jacket potatoes, as well as some not-so-sinful (read: healthy) desserts, particularly the vegan carrot cake and hot chocolate.
Terttulia @ Shivaji Park, Dadar
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Terttulia?s plush sofa chairs, unique grey upholstery, snazzy spotlight fixtures, and rustic chequered curtains really help sell the image of the old-school rustic pub?you will find few better places to let your hair down on a lazy weekend afternoon. Décor aside, Terttulia prides itself on being an establishment that lets their food speak for itself. For appetizers, try the Pesto Mushrooms and Karari roti, and for mains, you cannot go wrong with Margherita pizza with pesto and the veggie burger with corn and jalapeños.
Pali Village Café @ Pali Hill, Bandra
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A trip to Pali Village Café is almost travelling back in time to the 60s. The cafe is reminiscent of a traditional New York City café with its loft and its unkempt-looking walls and dimly lit setting. Unsurprisingly, the place always seems to draw a certain niche crowd that enjoys Sunday sojourns with some good food and wine punctuated by the serene sound of old-school jazz. The café is somewhat lacking in terms of options for liquor, as the bar menu contains only wines. Definitely try some of the apples and vanilla ice-cream while you?re here.