We Peeked Into Khar’s Newest Bar & Cafe
The first thing you’ll notice about Mumbai Vibe Bar & Cafe is that it lives up to its name – the vibe is lively, energetic, and cheerful, much like the city. Jewellers-turned-restaurateurs, Mr. and Mrs. Raimalani have split the 3000 square feet space into three sections – an outdoor area with picnic tables, an indoor area with a live bakery and loaded bookshelves, and a casual bar upstairs.
A bright red scooter greets you at the entrance. Behind it stands a table with swings for seats. The outside area seats about 40 in a friendly picnic like setting with sun-kissed, rustic tables and chairs. The white fence around the area is adorned with brightly-coloured flower pots, complementing the casual, open atmosphere.
Those wanting respite from the sun can find room inside, where a live kitchen and bakery prepares a range of the food available at Mumbai Vibe. That there are shelves of books by comfortable butterfly-print chairs is a bonus.
If you’re one of those climbing stairs to impress your FitBit, take the stairs to the bar on the first floor. With puns on local railway station names, an enormous vintage-style clock, B&W flooring and a small army of comfy chairs, you’re going to get welcoming, friendly lounge vibes from this level. If you’re going to drink up, there’s an elevator to take you back down.
Their extensive F&B menu has everything – from Indian to Continental, classics to house cocktails. We started with the English Vibe – a Full English Breakfast served with tea. It included an omelette, bacon, grilled tomatoes, baked beans, mushrooms, and sausages of choice. The omelette in itself was generously filling, and the accompaniments bring a range of welcome texture to the order.
Next on our table was the spicy Nani Ma’s Forgotten Grain Salad. A traditional recipe, this salad comes with Bajra and Jawar as a base for tomatoes, pomegranate, nimboo achaar, chilli and a wholesome hung curd dressing. Served on a sizzling plate, the nitrogen keeps it cold.
The Tomato Pepper Rasam soup was richer in consistency than your typical rasam, but with just the right kind of flavour and spices. We tried the Chicken Cafreal Skewer, an instant favourite. The Goan dish can be spicy enough to leave the spice-sensitive folk tear-eyed. Furious levels of spice are an ideal time to call for a cocktail. There are seven signature drinks at Mumbai Vibe, each named after an island of yesteryears’ Bombay. The Isle of Bombay Pearls is a supple combination of orange juice, gin and vermouth. Go for Old Woman’s Island if you like bourbon, which is finished with a spicy flavour that comes from cinnamon, tea, and apple.
Downtown Favourite is ideal for those who want a healthy order, with a combination of carrots, oranges, and egg yolk.
Apart from Nazzas (Naan + Pizza), Sandwiches, Tacos, and Kebabs, they serve Mumbaiyya Tacos with Pomegranates, Boiled Potatoes, Sev, and Chutneys, just like a Dabeli with finesse! The Pani Puri is served with three different flavours – Spicy Green Chutney, Hing, and the familiar Khajur Chutney.
From the mains, we tasted the Paneer Makhani, made to lean towards the sweeter side. The Dal Makhani was creamy, with ghee enhancing its earthy flavour. The ghee-cooked Mutton Khichada, however, was the star of the day with its homely flavour along with Rajma and Wafers. The slow-cooked mutton was made tender over low-flame for about 6 hours. Chettinad-style spices make this dish even more unique.
To end our meal, we had to use our dessert stomach. The Unicorn Falooda was served in a conical, horn-shaped glass with a spoon long enough to scrape its bottom. Its layers of falooda sev, ice cream, rabri, syrup and sabja seeds cause a comforting sugar rush. The last dessert that we managed to finish was the Chocolate Bomb – a dark chocolate ball with a chocolate brownie on the inside, with Chocolate Syrup poured over it. Yes, chocolate overdose is a worthy thing.
Although we barely tried a tenth of the Mumbai Vibe menu, we found enough pleasing dishes in a place with the vibe of the city we call home.