The first I ever heard of waffles was during my college years when they were only available at the fine dining places that our allowance couldn’t afford. Or at Sugar Waffle House at High Street Phoenix in Lower Parel. Two of my best friends used to go to the latter quite often without the rest of us to have many a secret rendezvous over plates of golden brown waffles and jugs of maple syrup. We still haven’t forgiven them for that. Ever since Sugar Waffle House shut down, I’ve been on a mission to find the best waffles in the city. Here are the ones you must try. Why? Because, (um, how do I put this across in a more poetic manner) they’re the shizz!
5. Ellipsis, Colaba
Waffles originated in western Europe in the Middle Ages. Batter was poured between two metal plates made with a grid pattern to catch the batter and prevent it from falling out the sides as it cooked over an open flame. If folks from that period could come to Ellipsis to enjoy their deep-dish waffles smothered with Nutella, dusted with icing sugar and studded with little white chocolate buttons, they would find their salvation. Of course, I would want them to have the chicken and waffles before that. These waffles, served with buttermilk fried chicken breasts and a sriracha maple syrup, fall into the savoury waffles territory and have a huge fan following.
4. The Pantry, Kala Ghoda
Waffles were brought into America by pilgrims because, let’s face it, uprooting their lives and starting afresh in foreign lands would have been unbearable without some comfort food from home. Thanks to them, the world got to know about this divine treat. Each time I work my way through the Waffles Croque Madame at The Pantry, I thank them for it. These waffles topped with local ham, béchamel sauce and a sunny-side-up fried egg served with homemade bacon jam and mustard are the ideal breakfast for those bad hair days.
3. Jamjar Diner, Versova
This mint-colored, quirky hangout in Versova with a perennial holiday vibe is one of my all-time favorites. You come here to have the perfect waffle brunch. Begin with the Giant JamJar Popeye, a beautiful cheddar and jalapeno waffle topped with poached eggs and creamy spinach. Or go for the equally (read more) delightful Giant JamJar Benedict, the same waffle topped with poached eggs and bacon. Next, you could try the Spicy Jalapeno + Melted Queso waffle – a fiery passionate savoury waffle that could be teamed with pico de gallo, a raw salsa, or salsa picante for an extra zing. Conclude the meal with their sinful Double Chocolate Chip waffle, and you will feel right out of that epic Meg Ryan restaurant scene in When Harry Met Sally.
2. Le Pain Quotidien, BKC
Being a Belgian chain, LPQ is one up on the rest of the places. You come here for the traditional buttered pools of bread filled with maple syrup and topped with chocolate, whipped cream and fruit. Multiple waffle adaptations have emerged across the world, depending on the region and ingredients available there. The original ones, as the world knows them, remain the Belgian (aka Brussels type), which are light and crispy, and Liège, which are dense, chewy and sticky. At LPQ, you can try both. Eating waffles here with fresh fruit and LPQ’s signature Belgian chocolate sauce comes pretty close to the feeling of falling in love for the first time.
1. Indigo Delicatessen, Pali Hill
The verb waffle means to be indecisive. It comes from a Scottish term ‘waff’, which means ‘to yelp like a puppy’. When you see the Drunken Waffles at Indigo Deli, there’s no way you’ll be indecisive. And you’re definitely going to yelp like a puppy. The first waffle recipe appeared in the 14th century in a manuscript called Le Ménagier de Paris. Apparently, it was written by a husband who wanted his wife to have the best instructions for making waffles. If I were the wife, I would have hit him on the head with the toaster and come here to binge on these waffles, topped with rum and raisin and chocolate ice cream, granola, fresh cream and rum Crème Anglaise. The perfect ‘you go, girl!’ moment.
The Savoury Parmesan waffle at Le 15 Café in Colaba served with slow cooked pork shoulder in Teriyaki sauce is what made realize the love that went into Parry Grip composing the song ‘Do you like waffles?’ Meanwhile, the ‘After break-up’ waffles at 14 Sauce Story, which are freshly baked Belgian waffles topped with toffee sauce, chocolate sauce, kit-kat, gems, vanilla ice cream, whipped cream, almond praline and Ferrero Rocher made me realize two things – the person who came up with that really understands a broken heart. Secondly, the person who came up with that really understands waffles.
How to Get There:
Where: Ellipsis, Amarchand Mansion, 16 Madame Cama Road, Colaba, Mumbai
Contact: 022 66213333 | +91 9167367793
Timings: All Days 12 Noon to 3 PM, 7 PM to 1 AM
Cost: ₹2,500 for two people (VAT extra)
Where: The Pantry, Yeshwant Chambers, Military Square Lane, Near Trishna, Kala Ghoda, Fort, Mumbai
Contact: 022 22700082 | 022 22678901
Timings: All Days 8:30 AM to 11:30 PM
Cost: ₹1500 for two people (service charges extra)
Where: 7A & B, Arram Nagar 2, Behind Washing Bay, Yari Road, Versova, Andheri West
Contact: +91 7506640066 | 022 26358880
Timings: All Days 9 AM to 1 AM
Cost: ₹1,500 for two people
Le Pain Quotidien
Where: Powai | Bandra Kurla Complex | Lower Parel
Contact: Powai – 022 66713030 | Bandra Kurla Complex – 022 66431616 | Lower Parel – 022 69514444 (Indiabulls Finance Centre) | 022 69535555 (One Indiabulls Centre)
Cost: ₹2,000 for two people
Where: 7 Locations – Palladium Mall, Lower Parel | Andheri Lokhandwala, Andheri West | Pali Hill, Bandra West | R City Mall, Ghatkopar West | Colaba | Inorbit Mall, Malad West | Powai
Timings: All Days 9 AM to 12:30 AM (Mon-Sun)
Cost: ₹2,100 for two people
Le 15 Café
Where: Shop 18, Lansdowne House Building, MB Marg, Near Regal Cinema, Apollo Bunder, Colaba, Mumbai
Contact: +91 9769341994
Timings: All Days 9 AM to 11 PM
Cost: ₹1,200 for two people (VAT & service charges extra)
14 Sauce Story
Where: 18, Araam Nagar 1, Near Hakim Aalim Salon, J.P Road, Versova, Andheri West
Contact: 022 33716072
Timings: all days 12 Noon to 1 AM
Price: ₹900 for two people