Name: Café Bean Garu
Location: Kurla Market City
Date of Visit: March 26th , 2012 (Dinner)
Have you spent your childhood eating in your neighbours’ house? Then you should know how distinctly I remember that fragrance of desi ghee, splatter of the curry leaves and lip-smacking flavor of Imlis in the food at my neighbours’ house. I was only a year old when I started eating those Idlis with ghee and gun powder. This makes me a bigger fan of Andhra food than my own chhola bhaturas and matar paneer.
When you and I picture South Indian food we see Masala Dosas, wadas and idlis; which makes a reasonably priced meal. Well, take that thought and throw it out of the window if you are planning a visit to Café Bean Garu. With South Indian Risottos and Dessert Dosas it is nothing like a regular South Indian joint. This new brand belongs to the Out of the Blue chain in Bandra, Mumbai. Yenna Rascala.. Mind It! Last evening I visited Mr. Bean’s Café aka Café Bean Garu in the FoodCourt is a vegetarian South Indian outlet in Kurla Market City. And for the last time, no Mr. Bean Garu, with the funny accent was not present in the café!
1. Innovative Menu. It was a very interesting to see a range of Traditional South Indian Curries served with sponge dosas, Andhra Flavors used to create Risottos with a twist and Dosas served with Nutella. The menu of Café Bean Garu is a breath of fresh air.
2. Jaggery Dosa. When I first read the description the idea of a crispy dosa with jaggery and condensed milk sounded pleasing in itself. Kudos to whoever decided to include the vella dosa in the menu. It is a very pleasing and satiating item. If I had a kid with me, I would definitely feed this dosa to that kid.
3. Herbal Iced Tea. Refreshing and delicious. The aroma and flavors of the herbs in this Iced Tea have this phenomenal cleansing affect on your palate. This is the best beverage one could go for in these summer months. I also loved their Buttered Herb Idli, with subtle flavors and the melt in the mouth buttery mouth feel. This idli was a poem in my mouth.
4. Quantity and Quality of Ingredients. What I liked about this place was that they do not serve sambhar and chutneys in small portions. The accompaniments are adequate in proportion to go with the main dish. The quality of the food was good, it was fresh and hygienic.
5. Fried Idli Crisps. I loved the concept of this dish. It was like fried Idli finger chips. A great snack to go with a pint of beer although the pint of beer was missing. I would love this dish more if it had a tad more south indian spices and flavors.
Not To Eat
1. Value For Money. From what I have observed most people go to a foodcourt in a mall to have a quick and affordable meal between their shopping or after a movie. They are looking to fill their stomach at a reasonable price. Café Bean Garu is contemporary South Indian food with twist but not an inexpensive option for vegetarians. Especially in comparison with other South Indian Stand alone restaurants in Kurla.
2. The Nellore Pulusu curry with sponge dosas was disappointing. With its description it seemed like a tangy, lip-smacking irresistible South Indian Curry but it tasted regular and mundane. For sponge dosas, my reference point being other South Indian outlets in Mumbai and from what I have eaten in South Indian home kitchens these were not upto the mark. Appams or sponge dosas may be warm or cold but they are always really soft.
3. The quantity of an accompaniment, the Sambhar, does not compensate for the flavor, does it? Although the sambhar was thicker than that served in a regular south indian restaurant, the Sambhar tasted bland.
That thing about this place is its unique menu and creative twist to contemporary south indian cooking.