Kala Ghoda Cafe's little dark chocolate squares aren’t so square after all. Turns out, they’ve decided to get out of their safe space and explore the rest of the city, starting with Khar.
You’ll find them escorting KGC’s cups of coffee (Espresso, Americano, Cappuccino and Mochaccino) and cakes at All Elements Cafe (Khar), fittingly set up inside a home décor and crockery store. Plates…er mates for life?
Getting used to new homes can be tough, especially if they’re painted such an intense shade of yellow, the ginger cake whispered to us, during our meal. But then the ginger’s always been feistier than KGC’s carrot and chocolate-almond versions that are also officially available at All Elements Cafe. For those who prefer the bold, intense flavours that Indian palettes are accustomed to, order the raagi chocolate pudding. Pronounced yet grounded by the raagi's earthiness, the vegan dessert is crowned with rice crisps and fresh strawberries (in May!). Our espresso is not as well-rounded as its Kala Ghoda counterpart, so we sulk a little about this and the fact that we can’t spoon KGC’s chocolate sundae here yet. It would have been the perfect SOBO import for summer.
While at All Elements, we also order risotto and Thai curry-rice off their in-house menu. A large baked fish suns itself on a bed of fibre-rich Arborio rice risotto, a good option for those who watch what they eat. The Thai curry itself, while missing the essential aromatics that could elevate it from good to great, is worth ordering for a quick, carb-y lunch. You can also order eggs, nachos, mango salads, Maggi done their way, smoothies and probiotic drinks here.
The cafe, already buzzing with regulars, has a series of shelves along a single wall selling cups from all over the world and other home tchotchkes. If you're in the market for ceramics or a well-crafted wooden salad bowl, there seem to be many souvenirs you can take home.
The waitstaff is friendly and well informed, considering in-store cafes rarely put much emphasis on staff training, and this is sure to make regulars feel at home. We're not giving up our perch in the backroom of KGC yet, but those in the neighbourhood will be pleased to have a piece of Kala Ghoda closer to home. Even if it’s not a peeling sky-coloured synagogue. That deliberately chipped blue teacup will do for now.
Getting there: Ground floor, Satchit Anand, opposite Ram Mandir, 12th Road, Khar West. A coffee and cake for two costs between Rs 800-1,000.
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This review was conducted by Aatish Nath, a freelance food and travel writer
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