Once upon a time, in the narrow alleys behind Kala Ghoda’s main street, there was but one landmark restaurant (if you guessed Trishna, you’re right). But today, it stands rather desolate since the young, the famous (many ad films have been shot here) and the chic choose to walk through the doors of The Pantry, just down the street.
It’s snow-white exterior is in sharp contrast to the colours (Masaba and Valliyan stores stand opposite), congestion and chaos of the narrow street; it looks pristine, untouched and vintage in a charming English café way. Just entering its doors offers so much relief—street sounds don’t get past those double-doors and the aromas from the bakery-café waft about invitingly. The pristine palette continues inside too—old-school backsplash tiles and white paint cover the walls in equal parts, while lace curtains stretch halfway over the windows.
The only bit of colour you see (until the food arrives) is English summer pastels on the menu, which is many pages long. It opens with a list of beverages, leading to food items listed under “Eat Clean Go Lean with Karishma Sakhrani” (of Masterchef India 2015 fame). Next come sandwiches, waffles, oven-fresh items, more beverages, mains and desserts—it’s long, but intriguing.
I go through one page after the next, picking my favourites, and these are the seven dishes that I’d go back for.
- “A” Game Kale Chips — slow-baked crispy kale chips served in a tin mug that taste bitter but better after a dip in the accompanying tahini yoghurt dressing.
- Slayer With Every Layer Sushi Jar — although it doesn’t taste anything like sushi, it’s a perfectly acceptable interpretation with layered sticky brown rice, pickled veggies, microgreens, wasabi cream and nori, served alongside a mound of pickled ginger.
- Pad Thai Minus The Fat Thighs — it’s gluten-free, dairy-free and the best Pad Thai I’ve ever eaten. It’s served cold but is fresh, nutty, creamy, sweet and spicy, and even better than the original.
- Flower Power Pizza — yes, yes, I hear ya, it’s not a pizza if it’s not a pizza but c’mon, this one is guilt-free! Seriously. Flourless cauliflower takes the shape of a pizza base and is topped with tomato sauce, reduced-fat cheese, roasted garlic and arugula.
- Spinach, homemade Ricotta and Sesame Quiche — Although not from the Eat Clean Go Lean menu, this is delicious, light and in very select parts, healthy.
- Thyme Roasted Chicken, Anna potatoes, Glazed Carrots and Herbed Butter — don’t care to count calories? Then opt for this meaty main smothered in butter and chicken fat; don’t be fooled into thinking it’s healthy because of the sheer amount of glazed carrots and onions.
- 70% Flourless Chocolate Cake — I only have one thing to say: #NomNomNom
How to get there:
Where: The Pantry, Yeshwant Chambers, Military Square Lane, Near Trishna, Kala Ghoda, Fort, Mumbai
Contact: 022 22700082 | 022 22678901 (Table booking recommended)
Timings: All Days 8:30 AM to 11:30 PM
Cost: ₹1500 for two people (service charges extra)