In love with Churchill (Cafe)

Writing a post on Cafe Churchill for me is more like a labour of love than a restaurant review.

Both Kainaz and I love this tiny little restaurant opposite Cusrow Baag in Colaba in South Bombay. This was the best, and one of the few, continental options in Bombay when I shifted in ten years back. A plethora of continental restaurants have opened since then - Basilicco, Red Box, Da Vinci - the list continues. These look modern, are more expensive, but can barely match up to Churchill.

Churchill is tiny and is tucked away behind the roadside stalls on Colaba Causeway. It has five tables. The decor is cheerful and has remained the same for ten years now. It is always full and you normally have to wait to get a place. In fact even the day's special - penne baked in cheese and prawns - seems to have remained the same since we had last been there.

Kainaz and I often used to go there while we were dating and were working in South Bombay. Our visits became less frequent as we shifted base to the suburbs.

We went there recently on what turned out to be a nostalgia trip. We first saw a movie at Regal at Colaba. Regal was one of the original single screen theatres which used to show English films at Bombay. One hardly goes there now with the various multiplex options. We went there to watch Hancock. We remembered the many movies we saw there as we went up the musty, yet grand, marble stair case once again. The seats though were a bit too worn out and hard and left one a bit sore.

We set off to Churchill after the movie as we often did in the good old days. The manager, Mr Gandhi, remembered us and showed us to a table. It felt good to see that everything was exactly the same as before. We really felt at home as we settled down.

We had some of our old favourites such as the ice tea...they were one of the first to introduce it in Bombay. We had another favourite - sausages in firecracker sauce - sausages sliced in a thick tomato and green pepper sauce. We used to have this with garlic bread. Though we skipped it that evening I must say that Churchill serves the best garlic bread in Bombay.

We then had a dish which Kainaz had introduced me too once and that had become my favourite over the year - prawn newberg with pasta - I just love the white creamy sauce with the hint of tanginess lent by finely chopped tomatoes. I am yet to come across a dish which rivals this. And the prawns were big and juicy just as I remembered them to be (I hope my dietitian or doctor isn't reading this)

The smile on Kainaz's face as she had her first bite was worth the trip.

I was a bit disappointed though that our old friend, the gooey chocolate cake, wasn't there.

I can't tell you how good it felt to be back with Churchill. It's places like Churchill which had made me fall in love with the city. Truly a classic.

Their prices seem to be frozen in time too. Our dinner of one ice tea, one side dish and one prawn pasta cost us Rs 345 (USD 8.5) which is roughly what we used to pay when we used to go there seven years back before we were married.


Scarlett said…
Ah, good ol' Churchill! Definitely one of the best places to eat in Bombay. I've waited there for an hour & a half once, for a table. I think it's time to move back ;)
Kalyan Karmakar said…
I am sure the wait would have worth it. Now they take ur cell number so you can browse the Causeway and come when the table is ready. Which you won't do if you are a foodie in any case
Scarlett said…
I would :) I hate waiting...for anything!!
Can't believe those prices! I know I'm in NYC but dinner on Thurs night was $60 per person and we thought that was reasonable. =/
Kalyan Karmakar said…
@Jessica: actually Bobay is the most expensive city in India. its a bit like NYC as everyone from the rest of the country wants to shift in here...apts are very small, traffic is crazy, you get the drift. There was an economist who had once said that comparing the price at McDonald's is a good way of gauging price parity. A fillet of fish in McDonalds costs Rs 60 or 1.5 US
Scarlett said…
@ The Knife - Don't kill me but it's called the 'Big Mac Index' & was introduced by The Economist magazine :p
Kalyan Karmakar said…
@Scarlett: well my call to fame is obviously not economics :) I remember reading about it in a book on international business in college. I think I remembered it because of the McDonalds part! In fact I once was reading a text book on advtg during the same time. it had an ad of presitge Pressure Cooker as an example. The ad had a recipe. well I am not sure if the chapter left a big impression on me but i made the chicken curry at home back then
k said…
You prawn newberg is lovely too! And you always have a table for me :)
Anonymous said…
I love this joint too particularly the meaty sandwiches. I feel that the main course dishes are a little expensive though.

But very, very good.

Suggest you also try their neighbours - Wich Latte - Kainaz will love their pastries and you will love their beef sandwich