People in Glass Houses
A man with an earring stud and an unusually long thumb nail holds up a pistachio green net sari covered in enough diamantes to light up a city. The woman inspects it, holds it against her jeans and does a make-shift wrap around her waist. He pushes a pedestal forward. She stands on it, and throws an admiring glance at the mirror.
Meanwhile, across a sheet of glass, we put our newly acquired Neruda Memoirs (from Granth bookstore nearby) on the table and order a margarita pizza. This is RG’s Cafe, a fortnight-old Juhu eatery that shares a see-through wall and proprietor with Libas, an Indian store that’s known to be - how do we put this delicately - slightly over the top. Add bling to taste? No, thanks.
It’s kind of like a waiting room for harried family members who accompany to-be brides and their posse on never-ending shopping trips, and more often than not, foot the bill at the end. Which is why RG’s would have done well to serve comfort food (simple soup, gooey brownies, hot cappuccino), but instead does mediocre snacks reminiscent of 90s home kitchens (sometimes even the hostel mess) that you wouldn’t – and most definitely shouldn’t- pay to eat at a restaurant.
The menu features a petite selection of salads, sandwiches, rolls, puffs, pizza, pasta and ends with ice cream. Despite the red baroque print sherwani lingering in our peripheral vision, there was also a wooden floor, cane chairs and cutesy tables trying to convince us that this was more than just the back of a store. And of course, there’s that Cafe Terrace at Night print thrown in for good measure.
We started with the margarita pizza - a store-bought 8 inch base topped with big chunks of tomato, capsicum, bell peppers and desi cheese. At least the sauce didn’t taste like ketchup, we thought, biting into this Maharaj-borrowed recipe. A better snack is the no-frills, flaky chicken puff. For mains, out marched a penne in pesto (it’s amazing how a tiny place like this can demand Rs 300 for a chicken pasta) with baby corn and zucchini. This dish was inedible, featuring leathery tubes of pasta and tasteless pesto sauce. Seeing that the plate was left untouched, the good people at RG’s asked for feedback and even struck it off the bill.
Meanwhile in the other world across the glass, the woman had decided against the pista green, so now new bales of every colour and wattage were being unravelled. A male companion had grown weary. He crossed over to our side, scanned the menu and ordered under his breath. We wondered if he had made the right choice.
Getting there: RG’s Cafe, 2 Sujata Society, next to Maneckji Cooper School, Juhu, call 65290162, Rs 500 for a meal for two.
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