Continental seduction ... Mocambo, Mumbai

No restaurant visits. No cooking experiments. It has been a bleak week of daal and vegetables and slimy bhindi ... hence the silence.

Ha ha who am I kidding... there have been lows but there have been dalmuts that I have sneaked while K wasn't around, my mom in law's birthday treat at Mocambo and friends who suddenly dropped in and got the Knife to take out the ladle after office.

We went to Mocambo at Fort, Mumbai last Sunday for dinner. It was my Mom in Law's birthday and she took us out. Her first birthday this year. Parsi max their birthdays - religious birthdays, calendar birthdays - any occasion for the war cry of jaamva chaaloji (let's go to eat) will do. And I am not complaining.

I often praise the Parsi food at Mocambo which they serve for lunch if you can wrestle out the menu card from them. Their Goan food is quite lovely too. Specially the roast tongue!

Now the problem is that the owners of Mocambo (who own Churchill too) had relaunched it as a continental place. That's what they want to push. And here is this crazy blogger who writes about everything but that!

Well Sunday night with the Bilimorias, Kerawalas, Balsaras and the Missus was a continental night at Mocambo.

And I must say that the food was quite nice. It tasted good, the quality was good, no fancy ornaments such as parsley sprigs or barbecue sauce doodles .... simple, hard working, pleasing food.

We had a cheese chilly toast as a starter which was a delight to eat. The elegant crust of grilled cheese doesn't work for Mocambo. Here cheese means a generous dollop of melted cheese on crisp toast. And it was peppered with tiny bits of devilishly hot and spicy bits of green chilly. I didn't take any photos that day but imagine Monica Belluci on a soft, sink as you lie, feather bed and you will get the idea. OK you can substitute that with Daniel Craig as appropriate. After all, all of us - me, pa in law, mom in law, aunt in law, wife - wanted second helpings!

I had a 'Royal Chicken' after that. This was a dish with slices of chicken with a red wine and spicy tomato sauce served on a bed of buttered rice. I went for chicken as I had mutton for lunch. So I conscientiously spurned the advances of the steaks and pork chops on offer. Frankly, I wasn't disappointed. The chicken was a breast cut but was thinly sliced and therefore not chewy. I hate chewy chicken! The sauce was a nice change from the usual continetal stuff on offer a Mumbai and was quite sharp fiery. An interesting option if you are forced to spurn the seductive advances of white, cheese sauces. A dash of Eliza Doolittle from My Fair Lady.

Kainaz had a Prawn Newburg. The sauce was quite nice... had a touch of sweet tanginess with a hint of scandalous garlic. If such a combination exists. The Lolita of sauces? The prawns were fresh but smaller than the ones served at Mocambo's sister, Churchill.

I didn't try the other sauce but pa in law seemed to have reached seventh heaven with 'holy lamb' (an Oriental lamb dish in a spicy, brown sauce with buttered rice) and the birthday girl seemed to be quite happy with her cheese sauce based prawn dish.

The verdict? Mocambo does come across as a nice option for continental dishes in the Fort area of South Mumbai. The food tastes great without being esoteric. But that's to be expected as it is run by Parsis, a community that loves to eat and loves to feed!

The ambience is nice and it has a cheerful, pubbish feel to it.

Notes:

  • Mocambo is in the alley beside Citibank in DM Road, close to Bombay Stores
  • It serves Parsi food for lunch only
  • Continental main courses range from Rs 250 to 390 (USD 5 to USD 8) depending on the meat
  • If you love the legendary desserts at Churchill then you could get lucky here as they serve the same desserts here
  • They have a clean loo... I know this is not appropriate table talk but chances are that you would have come here after a long drive!
  • They are fairly empty on week days. Lunch hour is crowded on work days. And it is a good idea to book and go for dinner on weekends or on Friday

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