I often tell people the story of how the folks at Candies once acted on my grumpy Facebook status on their coffee and called me over to help fix their coffee. Our loyalty to Candies has grown and grown since then.
Something similar happened at another favourite spot of ours recently. This was at Bandra’s Mocha Mojo. We’ve become quite fond of their breakfasts. Especially their waffles and even their pancakes. I say ‘even’ as we were already waffle fans after years of waffle weekends at the erstwhile JATC but never really ordered pancakes at other places. Then one day we tried the buckwheat pancakes at Mocha Mojo Bandra and got hooked on to them. Like the waffles, the pancakes too here are elegantly plated. Good plating always helps one feel nice about life and both the waffles and the pancakes at Mocha did that. The waffles always had the prefect texture. Crisp at the edges like I like them and soft inside the way K does.
They do a pretty good kheema ghotala too
The pancakes won our hearts when we tried them. Great taste balance. Sweet but not overtly so. Bewitchingly buttery. Slightly crisp at the edges and then plump and delightfully chubby yet firm at the centre. Bouncy and full of life. Guaranteed to pick you up.
Many pancake weekends followed at Mocha Mojo at our favourite sofa by the door. We would share a plate of pancakes between us and K would go for a cappuccino while I went for my cup of Kenyan. Life was good.
Then, one day, disaster struck. The pancakes were served chewy, limp and lifeless. Very different from what we were used to. they were so bad that we left the pancakes unfinished. We didn’t create a fuss but told the waiter about our disappointment. I saw another couple at the corner having problems with their pancakes too.
I was pretty upset and tweeted about it and sent a mail to someone I know in Impresario, the group that owns Mocha.
Later at night, I was home and getting down to cook dinner when the phone rang. Turned out to be from a gentleman who introduced himself as Gaurav, the head chef of the Mocha group. He told me that he read my tweet and wanted to know what happened, I described the pancakes in the morning to him and sent him a picture of the pancakes that we had. Gaurav told me that he would look into it.
A few days later I got a call from Gaurav requesting me to come over to Mocha Bandra. He had apparently figured out what the problem was. There was a new chef who had strayed from the recipe. Gaurav wanted me to come over and check.
Mocha is close to home and I thought that it made sense to go over if it helped them fix the pancakes. We were fond of the pancakes after all and wanted the magic back.
I went to Mocha and met Gaurav. We got along pretty well as we shared lot of common views on food. I tasted the pancakes that he called for and broke into a huge smile. Our old pancakes were back. Gaurav told me that the problem was in the amount of butter put in the dough and that it had been fixed.
So we lived happily ever after?
Not really, next visit was back to limp pancakes and aghast I texted Gaurav. He said he will look into it. He did.
Since then we must have ordered the pancakes quite a few times and they have been perfect each time. Everything is fine with the world again. One can once again here the birds sing over our breakfast at Mocha Mojo.
People often ask me about what’s new on the Mumbai food scene and I am usually hard pressed to answer. We have our set of favourites and keep going back to them.
Mocha Mojo is a good example of what we like in restaurants. It has dishes that we love and keep ordering for each time we visit. Pleasant ambience. Staff that values you and tries to ensure that you have a great experience. And if things go wrong, well the world is not perfect after all, they make a sincere attempt to fix it. That to me is truly important.
So here’s raising a toast to places like Mocha Mojo, Bandra, that make us feel so at home.
In case you are which these places are, well for breakfasts in Bandra it would be Candies and Mocha Mojo. For evenings it would be the Bagel Shop. Salt Water cafe for Western. Places we travel out of Bandra for are Ling’s Pavilion in Colaba for Chinese and Bhojohori Manna in Oshiwara for Bengali.
So if I don’t always know the answer to ‘what’s new in Mumbai’ you now know who’s to ‘blame’.