Bandra’s newest café is an endearing bundle of contradictions, starting with its moniker. Gostana is named after an ancient Chinese town, an unlikely choice for a gourmet burger joint. And the surprises don’t stop there. Step into the tiny, 300 square foot space, and you’ll find that a Zepplin poster blares loudly on one wall, while a blue cat twists quietly on the other, and bursts of orange cushions interrupt the all-green décor. A mixed music genre CD plays in the background, fitting into the all-over-the-place theme, and a collection of Rolling Stones magazines await, in case you’re: a) snacking alone (recommended), b) waiting for your laptop to boot (they have free Wi-fi) or c) passing time till a friend gets there (it won’t fit your entire unruly mob of friends).
You’d think we’d be at least a little perturbed by the lack of focus at Gostana, but we weren’t. Somehow, this new café manages to pack in all the different elements quite neatly.
The breezy menu focuses on gourmet burgers; you can choose from egg, spinach & cottage cheese, chicken steak, Indian chicken, lamb and fish patties, but the bread comes in just two healthy types – whole wheat and multi-grain. We got the chicken steak (Rs 120) and spinach & cottage cheese (Rs 110) burgers along with a couple of lemon iced teas. Just as the man behind a clean counter placed our minimally fried patties between two healthy buns and sunk a toothpick in, a Kanye West track gave way to U2. Great timing.
But as soon as we bit into our burgers, we lost track of the music. The patty melts in your mouth, the spicy mayo is delish (but not as healthy as they claim), and the bread is well, not white. The burgers are perfect, well-priced, and strike a happy balance between their two extreme cousins - fast food junk and five star excess.
But for an ice tea that we gulped down in two sips, Rs 75 is steep. They also serve other beverages like green tea and coffee, but the price will ensure that you won’t order four cups while leaching off the free Wi-fi.
The pricey drinks however, were pretty much our only complain that night. Our meal ended with a slice of delightful chocolate cake on the house, a great way to get new customers back.
All in all, we loved the vibe at Gostana. And the best part? It’s one of those rare places in the city where you can go alone. Get a table for two, and take a novel along for company.
Getting there: Shop 1, Sefa House, New Kanthwadi Road, off Pali Mala Road, Bandra (W). Call 6453 3359 for home delivery.
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