Brave Heart. Gostana, Bandra

There’s a Mumbai Food Blogger’s dinner tomorrow. Thought I’ll squeeze in a Mumbai post here so that I qualify for that ;)

I used to occasionally get tweets from @gostana asking me to come over and try their ‘healthy burgers’. I would politely ignore these. One, because I don’t like getting direct mailers on social media sites. Two, because the idea of eating ‘healthy burgers’ seemed a bit like ‘listening’ to a porn video.

Then K heard about Gostana from a friend and the two of us landed there last evening. Gostana had shifted from their off Carter Road location and are now in a lane at Pali Naka beside Da Vinci and Chariot, the DVD library.

It’s a small place with a couple of tables outside which, given the heat and dust of Mumbai, didn’t work for us. There was a small section air conditioned section inside with another 2 or 3 tables. Once you sit down in this rather cozy little section with nice posters, some books and mags and free wifi (as advertised), Apple comes up to you, sniffs you, nuzzles up if she likes you and then flops down pretty much the way I would on a holiday at home. Till the next person came in when the same routine follows.

Apple Gostana is an eleven month lab who, unlike Marley, is far from being the 'world's worst dog'.

K ordered the House Lemonade and couldn’t stop raving about how the taste was just right. I took a sip. It had a nice refreshing kick without being too powerful. Well balanced.

I suspiciously asked if the coffee was good as coffees at food shop often disappoint me. Well the cappuccino I ordered did have a nice kick and I liked the fact that they gave a couple of tiny little cookies with the coffee. I always like to nibble on something with my coffee. Cookies or petite fours are the safer and more socially acceptable options.

We skimmed through the ‘healthy burger’ list. Went passed soy, spinach, fish, chicken when K said ‘ground beef’. I had spotted that too. We waited for our burgers and my antennas went up once as I heard the ping of the microwave. Whole wheat, microwave, I was prepared to dislike it.

The burger came. Cut into half. Pretty large. The whole wheat bun was nice and firm, didn’t crumble unlike the stuff at KFC. K bit into her burger as I photographed and broke into a big grin and exclaimed happily, ‘this is the best burger ever’. I followed her lead and took a bite. The meat was full flavoured and very distinguished. Moist and as K put it extremely tender. This was really tasty stuff and far removed from the antiseptic image that ‘healthy’ conjured in my mind. The burger was heated right too.

Which is when we me the owner, Arpana, who describes herself on twitter as ‘SGI Member...Chef, waitress, Dog walker...burger maker',  and her business partner Lenny. As we chatted I found out that Gostana and the food that they served was the result of a dream built over eight years. And it showed.

We found out the secret behind the good coffee. Arpana, had trained at Blue Mountains, near Sydney, where coffee is treated with the respect is deserves. The impressive whole wheat patties were made in house. As were the cookies which were apparently muesli cookies and had a nice crunch to them. And then came the clincher. The beef patty was apparently steamed and not fried and was oil free. This seemed to cut down on the red sins of beef and yet keep its seductiveness. Well, if one were to jump off a plane then a parachute would be a good idea.

I guess I will go back to Gostana. Possibly for the beef burger. Possibly for the coffee. And definitely for Apple.