Each day in Mumbai is made up of circles. The loop from home to work and back; the same ten friends holding hands around the bar; the halo they’re making you try on for size; the Ferris wheel that promised to take you away from the city, but never showed up. Each day you work towards a new gol, and that gol, towards you. You want to be straight again. We get it.
But before you go looking for new geometry, there’s one last circle you might want to consider. It’s the Everything Bagel, a hand rolled circle of bread studded with poppy and sesame seeds and garlic, sold at Bagelwala!, a brand new Bandra café that opened this past weekend.
Poised to give The Bagel Shop competition, this Turner Road eatery by Sanal Nair was formerly a food delivery service. Here in this 300 square feet plot they manage to fit in quite a bit – two tables, a book case, condiment shelf, food counter and a Kala Ghoda Café-style mezzanine with steep stairs and a knotted rope for climb support.
But unlike KGC’s clean white lines, this feels a little cramped and not some place you’ll think about when you want to hang out with friends. To get a quick bagel while sitting across from your laptop, maybe. We sat facing the black board that announces the bagel selection, with drawings of children that reminded us of our school Hindi text book. Big ooh ki matra? We were about to find out.
Sir Come Reference
At Bagelwala!, you will find a short list of three salads; breakfast bagels with egg and ham; ones with pre-determined stuffing; as well as the option to build your own with different spreads and assorted bagels (Rs 120 to Rs 200). We started with the turkey + Swiss, chicken and jalapeno, and spinach, corn and cheese.
Overall, the bagels, which Sanal apparently took a year and a half to get right, are yum – the right amount of dense and chewy. The ingredients on the other hand, could have been fresher. “They should follow the Suzette model, where food is simple and basic, but its elements are farm fresh,” our fellow diner commented.
The pricey, but tasty Rs 350 turkey bagel was in the pink of health, with fat frills of meat, lettuce and loads of cheese in a sesame bagel. The chicken filling, however, with cold-storage like meat and two thin slices of jalapeno could have been more inventive. The spinach-cheese is a good vegetarian option, made more fun by the above mentioned Everything Bagel that’s studded with all kinds of textures and flavours. We also tried and liked some of the spreads - in-house made pesto and the apple-ginger paste– which made us decide that we’d build our own bagel the next time around.
Our meal ended with the Elvis, a warm banana and peanut butter bagel to which we added Nutella. To which our friend added, “let’s walk back home.”
Circle of crust?
Getting there: Bagelwala!, Crowne Palace, near Queens Market, behind Tawa Restaurant, 23rd Road, Bandra (W), call 09819014804 or view the Facebook page here, approximately Rs 500 for a meal for two.
bpb reviews anonymously and pays for its own meals.
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