I have always loved the idea of a café in a book store for quite a few reasons. One being that a book store involuntarily adds a certain amount of “peace” to the café and that is something so difficult to find in Mumbai. A book store with a picturesque café and both together in a 150 year old building…how could I not check this place out!! Dark oak wood doors, long pillars with a high ceiling which is so rare to find anymore, racks of books and then a whiff of coffee! Immediately I was drawn towards Food for thought! The first thing you will spot about this café is the large glass counter with delightful baked goodies. Cupcakes with colorful icing tops, cakes and pies…I knew that I was in my ‘happy place’. The café was full when we reached but Kapil Sanghi, one of the owners, happily requested us to wait for 10 minutes. He was chatting with diners and that just automatically creates a homely atmosphere and makes you smile for sure. Kapil also very proudly stated that he doesn’t know how to cook and his wife, Rashmi Sanghi, handles the kitchen.
The café is spacious with a really high ceiling and winding old world staircase. The walls adorned with posters of movies like Julie & Julia, Ratatouille, No Reservations and many others clearly make you think about food.
And with that thought we decided to place our order. The menu offers sandwiches, pizzas, dips and chips, salads, pastas and beverages (hot and cold). Ah yes..I forgot to tell you that this café serves only vegetarian food. But the fact that I forgot to mention it just states that it didn’t matter when I was here. I was happy and had a lot of flavorful food that I didn’t miss the “no meat” factor. They also have a few Sindhi dishes to offer like seyal bread and Koki. Well we opted for crackers with pesto sour cream dip, kokum cooler, pizza with capsicum, jalapeno and corn and the special of the day: Balinese curry with rice.
The crackers were nice and crunchy and it was really good to know that they were baked.The pesto sour cream dip was exceptional. The best part about the dip was that it had small bits of sun dried tomato which added a sour hit to the creamy basil dip.
The kokum cooler was cool and well balanced. A sip of the cooler would hit you first with sweetness and then a sour note from the kokum and then a nice earthy after flavor from the cumin. Perfect for a hot day!
Next up was the Balinese curry with steamed rice. The first thing that strikes about this dish is the vibrant golden color of the curry. Light and fresh with not too overpowering coconut milk flavor! It was really light on the appetite as well and thank god for that because we had a really cheesy pizza coming up.
Thin crust but not crisp, with really herby tomato sauce, veggies and a generous amount of cheese. I don’t know how else to describe it. My masi stated that during her last visit here she asked Kapil why the pizzas had soooo much cheese on them and he said “That’s how I would like to eat pizza!” The good part was that unlike the cheese that sticks to the roof of your mouth, like it is served in many places in Mumbai, this didn’t! It was a little rich for me but still two of us did manage to finish the whole thing.
And despite me cribbing about being over stuffed I caved in and ordered a slice of walnut and pear cake with vanilla ice cream and a free Cappuccino that you get if you check in through four square and place an order more than 150 Rs.
The cake was moist with the perfect crumb. Not too sweet and then balanced off with the caramelized walnuts on the top! Slightly warm cake with vanilla ice cream…mmmm…
Coffee was served with two tini tiny buttery cookies. They reminded me of Shrewsberry biscuits! The coffee was crisp, strong and with the right amount of milk.
Well fed and gleaming we headed out thinking about what we would try the next time we visit Food for thought. That just shows how much we enjoyed our meal!
The café is open on all days but only from 10 AM to 7.30 PM. Visit their Facebook page here for more information.