French it up! – Review – The Pantry, Kala Ghoda

I don’t know whether you’ve noticed but the latest trend kind of revolves around “Old is the new NEW!” A lot of restaurants and cafes in Mumbai have been bitten by the “vintage bug”. The influence it pretty clear in the paintings on the walls, décor, crockery and doilies print is there everywhere! The old style milk bottle is now hip, vintage china has brought back the elegance and the huge glass jars filled with cookies and shiny metal lids brings back memories of the old tea stalls.

Well one such new café in town which has very well embraced the French vintage look is The Pantry in Kala Ghoda, Mumbai. The décor oozes calmness thanks to the pastel palette of the décor. The café is well lit thanks to the natural light coming through the French windows. It is adorned with tiny bathrooms tiles on the wall with color added through the pastel colored utensils and ladles, the milk cans double up as flower vases, ceramic door knobs pinned to the wall near each table act as hangers for bags and an open kitchen with smiling chefs making sandwiches and the aroma of freshly brewed coffee fills up the cafe. It is a small café but because of the white decor and good lighting it doesn’t look too cramped. Also, The Pantry does clearly mention that “their pantry” is filled with local produce and the list of suppliers is pretty neatly mentioned on a mesh hung on one of the walls.

Left to right: The entrance, menu at the door, milk cans used as vases and the interiors
Left to right: Vintage cutlery, the menu, supply list mesh and the ceramic knobs!

The café serves up breakfast, quiches, pies, sweet baked goodies, sandwiches, fresh juices, coffee and a few mains. I first visited this café on a late Sunday afternoon and god was it crowded. It was their first week since they opened their pretty French style doors and the word did seem to spread soon about their existence in this tiny by lane in Kala Ghoda. We were informed that the waiting time could go up to half an hour so we decided to give this place a skip, after all we just wanted to have coffee after the over indulgence at Food for Thought! We started walking away but one of the owners said that a table for two was available…yay!

I knew what I wanted to try so placing the order didn’t take time. Up came the warm Flourless 70% cocoa chocolate cake and a cup of their freshly brewed house coffee. The flourless cake was divine!! It just melted away with a bit of texture rendered by the top crust.

Flourless “70% cocoa” chocolate cake

The coffee was served in a pretty blue china cup and saucer and along came a pot of milk and demerara sugar. The coffee was crisp with roasted bean aroma! Perfect!  🙂

House coffee in vintage blue cup

Pretty happy with my first visit this place automatically went onto the must go place when Mr.P would be back in town. And well that wasn’t too far.

Water jug with cucumber slices

During this visit we tried the pomegranate sweet lime juice which is really nice and refreshing but the downside was that the quantity…Mr.P could gulp it in a couple sips!

Pomegranate sweet lime juice

Also introducing…Mr.P!! *applause applause*


Now moving onto something substantial…food wise. Apple and gorgonzola sandwich and Roasted thyme chicken with glazed carrots were up next. Crunchy multi grain bread slices sandwiched with a generous slather of apple cinnamon butter, thinly sliced apples and loads of gorgonzola served on a rustic looking teal boards with strong flavorful mustard and salsa on the side did look really promising. I wasn’t entirely happy with the had its good and bad. First the good – nice crusty bread, crunchy apple slices, generous serving of the cheese and delicious dips on the side. And now the bad- it was a bit cold by the time it reached the table and it needed some salad on the side to add some citrus to cut through the cheese overdose.

Apple and gorgonzola sandwich

The chicken dish had a generous portion of roast chicken with a side if glazed carrots, potatoes and some buttered onions. The potatoes were pretty oily but the glazed carrots were yum and soft with a tiny bit of bite still there. But I wasn’t blown away by the dish…good but not exceptional.

Roasted thyme chicken with glazed carrots

The food was followed by a cup of house coffee and banoffee pie. This time the coffee didn’t come in the pretty blue cup but in a plain white cup but was served with a mini palmier. The coffee flavor was consistent, palmier was nice, flaky and not too sweet…but no blue cup! 😦

House coffee with palmier

The Banoffee pie was really nice. It stood so pretty on a cute little doilie! (Yes, I’m in love with doilies!)

Banoffee pie

The crust was nice and not soggy. Filling was not too sweet. Clear distinction between the flavors of the banana, toffee and cream! It was yum and highly recommended.

The verdict is that I love the look of the place; the service is attentive and polite; I love the beverages they have to offer and also the desserts. I’m still not that sold to their sandwiches and mains. Will surely visit again and try what the rest of the menu has to offer.

P.S. : Look what I found in the loo! 🙂


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