As first impressions go, Grandmama’s Cafe (what was once Pritam Café) feels exactly like the breath of fresh coffee Dadar needs. And so people of all kinds flock here – college kids, office goers, residents – glad that the neighbourhood finally has an all-day eatery that’s not Café Coffee Day.
We push through the crowd to grab one of the last standing tables in the al-fresco seating at Grandmama’s that can be best described as Victorian tearoom meets Provencal bistro, a partnership that produces a bright if not sweet café. Signs like ‘vintage tea room’ however, try too hard and begin to annoy you when coupled with the fact that servers can barely hear your order over a loud jukebox that’s competing with the sound of traffic outside.
The menu is themed to read like a compilation of the greatest hits grandmas prepare around the world - rajma chawal, homemade pasta, Shepherd’s pie, apple pie, along with usual all-day café suspects. Having our own naanis nearby, we decide to skip the rajma-chawal scene and let global grannies cook for us instead, therefore focussing on prawns ajillo, Caesar’s salad and the lamb burger along with thick Belgian chocolate shake and caramel Frappuccino.
The prawns and the salad get big points for plating, but on first bite all we taste is salt. The chef has made the cardinal sin of not balancing the seasoning keeping in mind capers, bacon and Parmesan cheese. The prawns are like any other greasy butter garlic ones at a local gymkhana, and so the lamb burger is the only stand out in this meal - fresh, minty and extra juicy.
By the time the shakes arrive, we’ve consumed so much salt, they may as well be a round of tequila shots.
Wolfing It Down
Underwhelmed and over-salted from our first round of eating, we order the homemade pumpkin ravioli in a dill cream cheese sauce and smoked salmon sandwich along with some dessert. From here on the less said the better. We send back the sandwich as it tastes like a salt lick from the Sahara. Unfortunately, the restaurant management disagrees and instead schools us on the nuances of imported Norwegian smoked salmon. The ravioli tastes far from homemade and is slathered with what could well be makhani sauce from the Pritam kitchen. By the time the shakes arrive, we’ve consumed so much salt, they may as well be a round of tequila shots.
To end, we don’t mind the chocolate biscuit cake, but the salted caramel and crème brulee cheesecakes are tart and doughy. The only silver lining is that our bill is Rs 2,000 for all that food.
We really wish that visits to Grandmama’s get better, that the big bad wolves (read service and salty food) are slayed soon, so that our next meeting at Dadar isn’t at this café because the neighbourhood is bereft of others, but because we like the apple pie and think that you will like it too.
Getting there: Grandmama’s Café, 32, Dr Babasaheb Ambedkar Marg, Lokmanya Colony, Dadar (W), call 43449966, Rs 2,000 for a meal for two with no alcohol.
bpb reviews anonymously and pays for its own meals.
This review was conducted by Auroni Mookerjee, copywriter, founder of The Divine Pig community and chef at Grandma Mookerjee’s Kitchen.
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