Craving Comfort: Grandmama’s Cafe, Mumbai will remind you of daadi

NOV 13, 2015 | By Aditi Gaitonde

It is one of those things we know for a fact. Even moms have come to terms with it. Nothing and no one can beat grandma’s cooking.
That’s pretty much the premise of Grandmama’s All Day Cafe that opened early this November. Located in Dadar (E) in Mumbai, this eatery is part of the Pritam Group of Hotels that owns the iconic Pritam Da Dhaba. We visited the new restaurant for dinner on the day it launched to find out if it charms.
First impression
On a supremely crowded street near Dadar (E) station, this cafe designed by owners Abhayraj and Simar Kohli stands out like a bright beacon. The white and sea green facade is cheerful and welcoming, a stark opposite to everything else around it.
We couldn’t take our eyes of the green bicycle with a flower filled basket placed on the signboard. With a choice of sitting either indoors or alfresco, we made ourselves comfortable outside on a table for four by the open kitchen, where all the magic happens.
The interiors
Mismatched white chairs with pastel hued chintz upholstery paired with distressed wooden tables come together for a vintage atmosphere. Towering over each table is a birdcage turned into a lampshade, a decor element that we think should soon universally retire.
The inside looked like an old English grandma’s countryside cottage with niches that held worn out books (how we love those), pretty planters (albeit faux) and boxes with unknown treasures. The windows are dressed in tiered, white lacy curtains, while the white brick walls are adorned with embroidery hoops with stretched out lace, old silver plates and framed fabrics.
Pin tucked love seats are combined with patterned top tables and paired with white chairs for a pleasant Parisian cafe like ambience. Even the cutlery was served in a tiny colourful tin buckets. And the music…the mellow and easy listening tunes, from oldies to Ed Sheeran, combined with the quaint interiors got us swaying and singing along.
The food and service
The menu is divided into three categories, based on “types of grandma”. They’ve got The Bombay Grandma, The Italian Grandma and The Parsi Grandma, who sadly had limited dishes on the menu.
From their big list of hot and cold drinks, we picked a Homemade Ginger Ale (Rs 110) that was slightly sweeter than expected and a cocoa filled, thick Belgium Chocolate Shake (Rs 150) that had us floored. Next we visited the Italian Grandma and were left a tad disappointed. The Harissa Chicken Pizza (Rs 200) with cheese and mushroom had a tomato sauce that was too sweet for our palate.
We wondered how the few quintessential Indian dishes would fare in an eatery like this and ordered the Aachari Khichdi (Rs 150) out of plain curiosity. Now, for a picky khichdi lover like us this was the ultimate tipping point. The ruling? Served in a small pot was probably one of the most comforting versions of ajji’s khichdi we’ve ever had at a restaurant. Our only complaint: There should’ve been more of it!
Next, we sampled some flavour filled Chicken Shawarma (Rs 140) that was a close competitor to the authentic. Plus, it was sweetly served in a miniature cycle. The Tuna Sandwich (Rs 200) in brown bread with soft boiled eggs, plum tomato and mustard aioli is Abhayraj’s home recipe – a little hot, a tad sweet, much mustardy and massively filling, we can vouch for this one too.
To end the meal, we were presented with two tea blends that smartly came with a sand timer: A Mandarin Orange and Jasmine green tea (Rs 80) with predominantly fruity notes and a plain Chamomile (Rs 80) that lingered for a long time. Such pleasant way to wind down….
ED’s final verdict
The service was surprisingly slow but maybe they were overwhelmed with the launch day activities. Apart from that, a quaint environment where the music isn’t too loud, the decor isn’t too flashy and the dishes aren’t too ostentatious.
The menu is varied: There’s something for Indian taste buds, much more for the continental food lovers and even burgers and sandwiches to grab on the go. But this isn’t a pick and run place…it’s like grandma’s house. You think you’re going to be there for 15 minutes and end up hanging around for a few hours!