Inside Chowpatty’s Newly Revamped Cream Centre | All The Deets
For 60 long years, Cream Centre has been creating a massive legacy for itself. The mere mention of the restaurant’s name is guaranteed to bring to mind family dinners with a plate full of cheesy nachos and of course, the classic channa bhatura. With their superior quality, pure vegetarian food, it’s easy to see why this restaurant has managed to thrive, so many years later.
If you’re a Mumbaikar well-versed with the latest in the F&B business, you would have heard about Cream Centre, Chowpatty, undergoing a transformation. They have now successfully re-opened doors, with a sleek new look and a new menu that’ll spoil you for choice. Gone are their signature orange and white shades. Instead, you will find yourself ensconced in calming, muted tones of silvers, blacks and whites.
Yes, we visited recently and have all the juicy details, so keep scrolling.
The newly revamped Cream Centre is no longer divided into an upstairs and downstairs space. All the well-lit tables are neatly spread out across the ground floor and as you look at the view outside, you will find your eyes travelling up to the walls that have been arranged with big framed pictures of Mumbai’s twinkling skyline.
Image: Mozzarella Arrabbiata Crunch
Their smiling head chef Siddharth, promptly arrived and directed our thoughts to the new menu. While classics like The World’s Best Nachos and the American Corn Cheese Balls have been kept intact, the menu now offers a lot more options to choose from. They’ve achieved a far more globalized menu, with an aim to also target the youth, who are a lot more conscious about what they eat. Keeping that in mind, they menu now has a salad section along with two different small plates sections, one for those with an Indian palate and another for those who love international flavours. We were told that food portions have been downsized a little along with the pricing, allowing people to try more dishes at one time.
We began our meal with drinks from the updated beverage section. A chilled glass of Green Apple and Curry Leaves Lemonade was set on our table, along with a fetchingly arranged wide glass of Guava Chilli Fruit Margarita, complete with a green chilli perched on the side! The former should be your pick if you’ve stepped in for some respite from the heat. Its refreshingly tangy flavour will cool you down and also whet your appetite. The Guava Chilli Fruit Margarita was nostalgia in a glass. It took me back to road trips with my family, where we would buy guavas off a fruit cart and eat them sliced and sprinkled with red chilli powder.
We were also asked to try the Kokum Frozen Lemonade and the Passionfruit and Rosemary Lemonade. The Kokum Frozen Lemonade ought to be tried only if you’re a fan of the taste of kokum as it’s a very strong flavour, but it sure is a rejuvenating drink. The Passionfruit and Rosemary Lemonade also packs a punch with is tangy flavours, making you want to gulp it down in one go.
We also tried one of their new salads. Salad lovers, take note. Served in a bowl, plated prettily, the Methi Salad, tossed with a sprinkling of nuts, was light, laced with hints of lemon and altogether delicious. Chef Siddharth highly recommended the Paneer Tikka Baos which were served warm, the aroma of the paneer enticing us to reach out and grab one each! The bao was soft and the paneer tikka was as close to perfect as it’s possible to get. The lovely crunch of the lettuce leaves in between added a great touch and just like the chef, I’d highly recommend this one, too!
We then moved on to the chaat menu, which has undergone some changes as well. Instead of your regular Bambaiya chaat, the menu is now split region-wise, listing down a city’s most popular chaat variety. We went straight to the heart of the nation, with Delhi’s Raaj Kachori chaat. We were given instructions by the chef – “dig in as much as you can, because this kachori is massively stuffed!” and so we were prepared, spoons in hand.
The Raaj Kachori is roughly the size of a cabbage, drizzled with dahi and chutney. We had our work cut out for us and dug right in. This dish is pretty filling, so order wisely if you hate wasting your food. It comes stuffed with a variety of pulses and a little patty in the center. Needless to say, we relished all the chatpata flavours that tickled our taste buds. On a scale of 1 to 10, we’d give this one an 11!
Next, we tried their classic with a twist – the mouth-watering channa bhatura, with an all new palak bhatura instead of the regular one. They’re now serving both palak and beetroot bhaturas with the channa, as per your choice. Just as some things never change, this dish too has remained untouched by time. The palak bhatura holds an extremely subtle undertone of palak. The familiar taste and the very familiar masala flavour brought happy smiles to our faces, something that only good food can do.
Before moving on to something sweet, we decided to go Oriental with their Mustard Chili Pot Noodles. Baked in a clay pot, layered with Chinese greens, these noodles were as aromatic as they were scrumptious. My review might just be jaded in this case, because I love Szechwan chili sauce, which, along with yellow mustard, was what the noodles were tossed in!
When it was time for dessert, a story we were told by the staff helped us make our choice! You see, 50 years ago, Dinesh Nair, would dine at Cream Centre, Chowpatty, with his family. He was only about four or five years old then and would always end his meal with a triple ice cream sundae, available on the menu at that time. When he heard about the revamp, he asked the team if they could bring this sundae back on the menu and they did! The story warmed our hearts and we decide to call for this Old Fashioned Classic Triple Sundae.
Served in a sundae glass with a chocolate dipped ice cream cone perched jauntily on top, this dessert is a whopper. Think strawberry, chocolate and Tahitian vanilla ice cream mixed with fruit bits like pineapple and banana, strawberry melba, pineapple jam, a dollop of chocolate fudge sauce and honey crispies, all topped with whipped cream. Can you spell decadence? One scoop in and I was a little girl again, transported back to the days when calories didn’t count and ice cream was as good as it got.
As our stomachs were on the verge of exploding at this point, Chef Siddharth brought us cups of his hot and fruity Berry Bunch tea. It was a pleasant, strawberry coloured herbal tea that greatly aids in digestion and serves as an excellent drink post your meal and I must say, I could get used to it!
All in all, the newly revamped Cream Centre is just as good as, if not better than, what it used to be. Even as I left the restaurant, I was already planning my next visit! The contemporarily designed space, staff that’s efficient to a fault and a new menu that promises lip-smacking food whilst retaining your favourites, are what you can expect when you drop in and you will not be disappointed.