Review: New Menu at Cafe By the Beach

Beetroot Gnocchi in Dill Cream SauceThere is plenty to love about Cafe By the Beach. It is one of the few restaurants that are worth braving the city’s traffic for. Owing to our previous visit, we knew what we were heading  for – sun-kissed sand, tea light holders by the coconut trees and a view of the wide costal line that runs across the face of Mumbai. The introduction of a new menu made us walk into this beach-front cafe yet again.

The usual exhaustive menu at Cafe By the Beach consists of sandwiches, quiches, salads, bouche, hot dogs, viennoiseries, mocktails, milkshakes, teas and more. The new menu, on the other hand was crafted to introduce a full meal for its patrons. So you’ll have sharing platters, appetizers, pasta and risotto and the main course to look forward to. Kick back and take pleasure in each bite!

The nachos that made it to our table first was served with generous portions of crispy corn tortillas with salsa, sour cream and the avocado based sauce, guacamole. Nothing new there. The mezze platter with hummus, tabbouleh, fattoush, tzatziki and lavash was quite an interesting presentation. With dried fruits, olives and pickled vegetables to go with, the dish was palatable.

The appetizers started with the ratatouille avec feta. Presented well with Mediterranean vegetables that were marinatedBoxty Pancakes with caramelized Tomato compote in olive oil with feta, it turned out to be a bit sour. The ricotta bruschetta had juicy cherry tomatoes that blended well with the toasted bread with every bite. The chicken crostini was peppery and flavoursome – crisp toasted bread with a spread of horseradish cream, pieces of peppered chicken and garnished with pomegranate. The last in the appetizers section was the aubergine with mozzarella and prawns in pesto sauce. The prawns were a nice blend with the grilled aubergine.

The pasta and risotto section had the chicken ravioli with roasted artichoke hearts. Although the chicken was tender to bite into, the ravioli was a bit tangy. The pumpkin and goat cheese risotto was too dry and therefore completely disappointing. The next dish that didn’t please us much was the parpedelle in saffron chilli sauce; a bit bland for our palette. On the other hand, the beetroot gnoochi with dill cream sauce took away the crown. The beetroot was delectable with the soft, flowing cream sauce.

With the main course came water chestnuts and spinach crepes. With crunchy water chestnuts and crepes wrapped in spinach, it was served with a combination of tomato and cheese sauce – a good and interesting blend. The boxty pancakes stuffed with cheese and potato topped with stewed cherry tomatoes was flavoursome as well, with a touch of spice in the crust. The next dish to be served was Tian of provincial vegetables. The roasted vegetables placed on the plump tomato sauce (the menu was dominated by tomatoes) had a sharp taste. With no takers, the dish lay forgotten. The chicken stuffed with prunes and pine nut wasn’t a hit among us either. Unlike the description, the chicken pieces were not tender enough and difficult to bite into. The Shepherd’s pie on the other hand was scrumptious and so was the fish that made it to our table. With a hint of perfectly balanced mustard, the fish was drizzled with dill honey aioli.

Mustard Crusted Fish with Dill Honey AioliThe menu still comes sans liquor but you cannot complain when the surrounding area has an intoxicating effect on you. You can choose from their coolers (we recommend the raw mango margarita; after all it’s summer) or the classic and strong cold coffee. For desserts, we’d suggest you go with the mangoes again. Presented in a long glass with pieces of delicious mango mixed in vanilla ice cream and mousse, it’s the one dessert that you cannot leave for your next visit.

Address: Cafe By The Beach, H2O Sports Complex, Chowpatty, Mumbai 400007

Contact number: 022 65650040

- Esha Chanda

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