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.