Past Life Regression
Eat Around the Corner - Just Around the Corner’s fresh avatar - opens just before Valentine’s Day with a new philosophy on love: Sever all ties with ex lovers. Hold them responsible for everything that went wrong in your past.
In EATC’s case, the ex lover is you and me, and anyone who hung out at the cafe for hours over a single beverage, occasionally ordering a pizza or sandwich. How did we figure this? From the high keep-out-the-riff-raff wall erected around the cafe, the prominent ‘rights of admission reserved’ board outside and the Rs 250 entry fee (cover charge) per person. The shift in philosophy from free loading to fine dining we understand, and the emphasis on food is great, but surely there is no need for the sarcastic, almost bitter board at the entrance that reproaches anyone who used hang out here over just “coffee and conversation...sometimes really really long ones”. Yes ladies and gentleman, the new JATC is leaner than before, and definitely meaner.
Tray and Mural
But it’s also prettier, the outside (it no longer houses Costa Coffee and Pizzeria), with Parisian cafe style seating, mosaic mirrors and a black and white wall mural. The inside section is less welcoming, with a severe white, almost clinical landscape and the former self-service food system that comes with new dishes and a whole bunch of rules. “The food better be good,” we thought, holding on to the Rs 500 credit card handed to us at the entrance, with a number 18 behind it. We were to sit only at table number 18 and nowhere else. This was going to be fun!
The self service counter features soups, salads, hot meals, a few old favourites in the sandwich-burger department, pizza by the slice and a whole new section of breads and dessert, all reasonably priced. So the way it works is that you pay for what you pick up, your minimum billing must be Rs 250 and the entire card amount must be used in one go.
Are You Being Served?
We skipped the soup mostly because the salads (ranging from Rs 8o to Rs 270 depending on size) next door looked so appealing; the Insalata Caprese and tamarind chicken were both yum. The pizza by the slice appeared thick crusted and dry, so we went instead with an old favourite – chicken junglee sandwich – and the new falafel roll. The Lebanese wrap, lightly grilled with fresh fixings of tahini and pickles was the yummiest part of our meal. Some hot sauce would have been nice, though. The hot food section features new dishes every day, allowing you to pick one main, rice and a side for Rs 180 or Rs 265 depending on your dietary preference. We got the green Thai curry, which came not with steamed but fried rice (bummer!) and tossed veggies. The curry was too tame, lacking the fire it should carry (we’ve had better and cheaper at Candies), but the meal on the whole was filling for the price.
The piece of the self-service pie that grabbed most diner eyeballs is the baked goods section. From Finnish korvapuusti and caramel croissants to hazelnut raisin twist and rustic herb loaf, the breads here truly rise to the occasion. The dessert menu has expanded beyond the signature JATC brownies, accommodating cupcakes, cheesecake, blueberry chocolate mousse and lots more. Sweet tooths get the rich, uber-chocolaty Ferrero Rocher gateau. We also loved the fresh, citrusy lemon cake and took home some oatmeal cookies. The Lindt bars, Snapple bottles and Firefly tonics on sale behind the checkout counter are all signs of the cafe’s new move to casual-chic.
So can we love JATC...er EATC again? Let’s see: our meal was fulfilling, but no one dish was particularly rave-worthy; our dining experience wasn’t the most pleasant; and there were way too many rules. But getting back with an ex – for love or friendship - is always hard. We’ll give it some time and see where it goes.
Getting there: Eat Around the Corner, ground floor, 110 Cyrus House, next to China Gate restaurant, junction of 24th and 30th Road, Bandra (W), call 26002665, open from 7 am to 1 am, Rs 600 for a meal for two.
bpb reviews anonymously and pays for its own meals.
|< Prev||Next >|