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> > > Cafe By The Beach

Cafe By The Beach

Chowpatty (Girgaon)  

  • 02223619911
  • H2O Water Complex, Next to Mafatlal Swimming Pool, Opposite Bachelorr's, Chowpatty (Girgaon), Girgaon, Mumbai
  • Juice, Snacks
  • Meal for 2 - 1000

32 Reviews / 33 Ratings

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Cafe By The Beach Reviews






The ambiance rocks here

Simply the best ambiance one can get in Mumbai,simply superb,very much like Goa right here. Look over at the chowpatty, sitting in lazy chairs, hammocks swinging in the cool breeze and nobody hovers around you forcing you to quickly choose what you want. Have some cold coffee, tea, cappuccino or sandwiches, they are all good and there is a minimum cover charge at the entry, 100 bucks per person if I remember correctly. Pay for the ambiance more than food or anything else!







Feel like in Goa...

Hidden in the busy roads of Chowpatty, Cafe by the Beach facing the Arabian Sea is a perfect place to watch the sunset while you enjoy sipping some drinks. They do not serve alcohol however we tried some of the mocktails with some munchies. I loved the Bombay Masala Sandwich with coriander dip is must try here. They serve delicious waffles too. The boat ride they offer with Rs.100 cover charge.







Goa away from Goa

Anyone looking out for an experience like goa and daman , this is the place in Mumbai with similar beach experience. They have a cover charge of Rs 100/- per person and 500/- fees for reservation of table near shore.It is right in front of the sea with beach like atmosphere.Couch seats with laid back relaxed view of the entire cafe is the highlight of the place.Though the dishes and options on the menu are very limited , but whatever they serve is awesome.
A decent place to catch a quick or a leisure snack with cool beverages and spend quality time with someone special.







Must Visit

This cafe will only be visited if you're missing Goa so terribly that you're ready to eat mediocre fare next to a dirty muddy beach a.k.a. Girgaon Chowpatty. The seating is done well and the ambience tries really hard to give us the feel that we're away from the city but doesn't succeed so much to make one return here. Had tried the nachos, grilled aubergine and pesto prawns, pumpkin and goat cheese risotto, shepherd's pie - all of them were average nothing exceptional.



Best sea-side place

Visited the place one Saturday late in afternoon and was mesmerized by the ambiance. The place has a Goan beach shack look – n – feel with sand, beach chairs and even foot massage (charges apply).

Food is just okay – the wrap was a bit soggy but okay, salad was good. Drinks were fab – at last someone is putting some creativity and not just serving a mix of colorful syrups and calling it a mocktail. The coffees are pretty good too. The service was relaxed and good. Pricing is decent.

Since it was afternoon, so there was no rush and we could spend a lot of time relaxing and soaking in the ambiance and cool sea breeze. Makes me wonder why no one thought of such a place earlier.

I suggest one should give the food a miss and relax with drinks and soak in the ambiance.


Feel like Goa in Mumbai!

In the midst of the hassle of the city life in Mumbai, there's this place that is calm, serene and sedate . It takes you to a new high when you are here. These days the environment is just what it should be when you wish to be here. Service and food is great too. Polite and well mannered staff and the coffee I had was simply superb!

Add to it the adventure sport down the sea and your outing is gonna be the best ever experience you have had in the city.

Cheers to the concept and the place.


msalecha - Burrp User


2 Reviews

August 06,2012



The Sea Side restaurant is simply on of the best place in SoBo (sadly we don't have many). Best Ambiance and an unmatched view of the Sea. No other place in SoBo offer the calmness and awesomeness as this one does.
Though the choice of food is limited to sandwiches and related items, but the ambiance and view covers up for almost everything (except for the lack of alcohol)

A must visit place!!


The Perfectly Done Cafe - By The Beach

Many say its expensive I agree, but don't you think its worth it ?? Just look at the Ambiance its so awesome & all good things come at a good price : )

I say this place is a must visit, specially if its your first date ; )

First thing on your mind should be the Atmosphere Coz the ambiance here is just too good... Then you can think about the food & drinks : ) Make sure you order the right stuff : )

Book a table by the sea (Rs.500 Minimum billing per head) - worth it.


DAMAGE: +/- 1100 Per person depending on what & how much you order : )


? on the beach!

I’d been super tempted to try Café by The Beach at Chowpatty ever since it opened but since it was an expensive place; I just kept pushing it for later till I could take no more. But today I gave in to the temptation and just went!

Food- Since it’s a café, you’ll find light snacks such as sandwiches, quiches, salads, wraps, desserts and non-alcoholic beverages. We were 3 of us and had decided to call for just 1 or 2 things as we had to go back home and eat dinner. To keep it light both for our stomachs and wallets, we called for Ravioli with sun dried tomatoes, pine nuts & ricotta and a cold coffee. The Ravioli was delicious and the cold coffee was perfect! I just felt that the quantity could have been more. If I ate the Ravioli on my own for a meal, I probably wouldn’t have been fully satisfied but the taste and quality of food compensate for the quantity.

Ambience- Located at Chowpatty, Café by the Beach is without a doubt the best place to have a restaurant/café. It’s beautiful, super duper romantic and just amazing! The décor is simple and yet classy with the right colours and lighting. The sea, the sand, the dim lights, amazing weather and the food just make it right and the perfect setting for those wanting to ‘pop the question’. I absolutely love the place!

Service- We waited for approximately half n hour to have someone come and leave a menu at the table. Maybe they’re too chilled out and that’s obviously not a good sign. Otherwise, after taking the order, the food came in 15-20 minutes.

Prices- Café by the Beach is not just another café. You pay the price for the
beautiful ambience and that’s fair but I do wish it wasn’t so expensive… I would go there very often then! The cold coffee was for Rs. 120 and the Ravioli was for Rs. 375 so our bill total was Rs. 545 (taxes included).

Verdict- Love at first sight! Café by the Beach is awesome! Its easily one of my most favourite places in town and I totally recommend you go there!




your eyes would have a better time than your mouth

Their main USP is the location. Its great, its by the beach. Good for dinner when it gets a little cool. The food is alright but nothing to write home about. The Caesar salad was a joke. It was nothing like how Caesar salads should be. The pastas are nice but not great. Its only the ambiance which makes it worth your while. The service was quite lax, we had to wave our hands multiple times to get their attention. They got the dishes but forgot the cutlery and it was a good 5 minutes before we could finally eat the pastas which lay in front of us. A word of advise for the management, it would be in your interest to keep the beach (in front of your restaurant) clean. Worth a visit for the novelty factor.


Impressive location, unimpressive food

The one of its kind shack in Mumbai which received mixed reviews for its perfect location and not so perfect food has rolled out a new menu. We went for a review and wasn’t impressed.

Since the time Café By The Beach has opened I have been hearing how beautiful the décor is but the food just doesn’t match up. So when they planned to launch a new menu I was keen on checking it out. As expected, my friend and I were mesmerised by the tasteful setup and dim lighting. There are deck chairs for couples seeking privacy and more of the ocean for company. Lounge music adds to the perfect ambience. In short, it’s a place where no girl would say no if the guy decides to pop the question.

Moving on to the menu which was dominated by sandwiches, salads and wraps, now has an interesting list of starters, pastas, and main course. Since the café doesn’t have a license to cook (pun intended), food comes from their kitchen located at a close distance.

Our evening started with mocktails (too bad that they don’t serve alcohol because the setting is perfect for a glass of wine), I tried a green apple margarita which thankfully wasn’t too sweet. Along came our first starter, nachos – crispy tortillas served with salsa, sour cream, and guacamole. The quantity was good enough for four people. But if you prefer quality over quantity I would say you refrain from ordering it. Next came peppered chicken crostini – thin toasted bread topped with chicken, horseradish cream, and pomegranate. The topping tasted more like the filling inside a chicken mayo sandwich but I am not complaining since the taste was familiar and likeable. We tried the bruschetta next which was a complete disappointment. It had a topping of ricotta cheese and cherry tomatoes cut into half. I wish they would’ve been more creative with them or at-least crushed the tomatoes and added some basil to it.

Not so satisfied with the starters we moved on to the pastas and tried chicken ravioli with roasted artichoke and beetroot gnocchi with dill cream sauce. The ravioli was the hands-down winner because of the roasted artichoke and tangy tomato based sauce. Can’t say the same about the gnocchi though, it was too sticky and wasn’t blended in the sauce properly. Having had better gnocchi for lunch on the same day (thanks to our Asst. Editor, Tanya) I preferred sticking to the ravioli. From the main course section we tasted stuffed chicken with chocolate jus, mustard crusted fish and boxty pancakes with caramelised tomato compote. The stuffed chicken had a very distinct sauce with subtle flavor of chocolate. The Boxty pancakes were more like aloo parantha without any dough. They were too heavy and unappetising. The fish (basa) was good with light mustard flavor and was served with mashed potatoes. I wish that the dishes tasted as well as they were presented.

Surprisingly, the dessert menu is very sparse. We ordered a mango sundae but one look and we knew we’d have to set out on a mango hunt to make this dessert worthwhile. After quite the search all we got was a layer of four thinly sliced mango pieces at the base of a very tall glass, topped with a very tall serving of cream which was garnished with another layer of four thinly sliced mango pieces. Think they should rename it to Cream Sundae! I’d suggest that they get more creative with desserts while the mango season is still here.

So while we totally recommend the place for its romantic quotient its best that you order some coolers and just lounge around.



Simply Awesome Place

My second visit in just one month...Amazing Experience...The ambiance gives u totally Goa types feeling....A well done place...I wish they could add some variety in Veg Appetizers and Main Course...The cold coffee tastes good...Overall a good experience...Will visit again soon.... :-)



Good ambience but not value for money

Been there with friends beautiful ambience good place to chill out but nt much options to eat (weirdo names) on the menu less options for veggies. Not a value for money .but worth visit once . If u wanna impress sum1 dis d place to b . :)



Excellent ambiance & brilliant location. As soon you enter you feel like being in Goa. Canopy of Coconut trees & wooden bench with dim lighting creates mesmerising ambiance.I order Cold coffee to be on safer side & I was saved. It was the most horrible cold coffee I ever had. It was just cold water with few drops of milk & pinch of coffee powder with lots of sugar. Did not dare to order anything else.But yes it is worth to visit once for the location & ambiance.


Awesome ambience but pathetic show of hospitality.

The ambience was awesome. Coffee was moderate, but what came to an surprise for me, was the moment when I asked for cheque.. One of their staff came and asked me that the minimum billing for the table is 1000 bugs. I called up the manager and asked up what can be done as I am running out of time and I have to catch up for dinner at some other place. The smart person suggested me to buy mineral water and red bull.. And the height was at a point, when he said that you should ask my person before seating at any table.. But this time as an exception am not forcing it ... Few questions...1. Where the hell was he or his staff.. when I entered. Is he expecting me to search for him.. Before settling down... 2. Why can't they accept their fault that their was no prior intimation regarding the minimum billing.. Rather than asking the customer to take their permission before settling down.. 3. How can you expect some one to buy red bull/mineral water.. Is it an intelligent thought?? 4. Where is the hospitality missing.. Is it a favor or something..


Only for the ambiance!! Not for food or drinks.

So here i was at Cafe by the beach on sunday finally. Expected a lot from it. Returned back with a bit of disappointment. Me and my group of 10 people went at evening. The atmosphere and view of marine drive was very pleasant. The sitting arrangement was looking awesome with wooden chairs and tables on beach sand with beautiful lightnings. Unlike in the other reviews i read, the service was quite prompt. The waiter asked us 3 times for the order and we finally gave it when he asked 4th time. We ordered varieties of mocktails , wraps and sandwiches. They were all totally awful. I ordered a Peached Sunset which tasted same as Maza or slice. Other mocktails were horrible. The coffees were not available. Sandwiches and wraps were tasteless. Moreover being a group of 10 people we were given a table of around 18 people. In which the management requested to accommodate a group of 5 people. It looked like as if we were sitting in some roadside restaurant. Plus parking on sunday is a major problem at marine drive.
The best thing about the place is the ambiance and the magnificent view you get of sea and marine drive. Should come here at dusk to enjoy sunset.

In short- One time worth visiting with friends - Many times worth visiting with Girlfriends. Best timing - Evening after 5.30. Cost for 2 - Rs 1000.


If service is yor 1st priority say "No 2 weekends"

This place is brilliant when you consider location and food. A perfect get away or I must say a touch of goa in Mumbai. I have been three times in past 2 months. There is big but to it please avoid on weekends, there table service is shit- There was no straw on any mock-tail, cutlery was missing and took 20 odd minutes to get bill on table. Weekdays its great they are brilliant. Enjoy goat cheese and grape salad its brilliant.



A 'Goa' escape in Mumbai..

Needless to say, this is not another cliche near sea side. This has an amazing venue i.e. next to marine drive. The entire setup has a brillant ambience & very casual / comfy seating. The beach chairs & setup add's on to the overall feel of the place...making of believe you are not in Mumbai :P Did I mention the entire floor has sand :) so know you know what to wear !

I don't know if they have started alchohol yet, but the time I had gone Jan 2012 - it didn't serve any. The food is slight on the expensive side with a hint of 'not good' but I guess they would improve had they had recently opened up during that time..

The staff is nice, but you need to keep them on-toes to get your order & listen to you when you need something. The sandwiches are only good thing they have, as they are well cooked, portioned & well seasoned with fresh vegies. The coffee (hot & cold) / fresh lime are not so good.

Overall, I would say it is the perfect getway for evening sunset - may it be a week day or weekend. Just go & chill...:)


Go for the ambiance!!

Perfect way to unwind on a Sunday evening, by the waters, digging your feet into the sand :) The place has such a great "Goa" feel to it! Very picturesque too!! Food is average..The sandwiches are mostly over/under seasoned & all the iced coffees taste the same..But the ambiance makes up for it 100%! Will definitely visit often :)


Wonderful setting - family perfect!

Enjoyed two evenings with friends and family... Great for children - the sea and the sands, lovely lighting/ ambience.... Wonderful drinks, good service - good soft music to enjoy the company and a conversation!

Wonder why the crunchy waffles came with such small quantities of maple syrup, though! :)


lina123 - Burrp User


4 Reviews

February 26,2012


Pathetic service

Food prices high quantity too less, not generously prepared in terms of ingriedients used, ceaser salad had only greens no vegies. SAD ! ...... Waiters absolutely shameless thy ask u to move ur place so that a bigger crowd gets a table ... Even after ur seated in a cover charged table Bad bad sevice. A romantic dinner turns to b a nasty affair


SanchiN - Burrp User


1 Reviews

February 17,2012


Great view, bad food

We wanted to go for a nice Valentine Day lunch, so we zeroed in on Café by the Beach. Had not heard much about the place, but had seen the pictures online, so we thought it would be perfect. If you are planning to reserve a table then you need to drop the idea because they never answer the phone, we tried calling constantly for two days. In their words, “they’re phones are constantly ringing.” We reached the venue and it was decently crowded. We were seated for almost 20mins before their server came and gave us the menu; we had to constantly keep calling them as everyone seemed very busy chatting with each other. Not serving alcohol was a minus point, but their mocktails were delish. We skipped the appetizers and ordered a Chicken Lasagna & Turkey Ham Sandwich for lunch. The lasagna was alright, little bland and the portion was quite small. The Turkey Ham Sandwich, at Rs. 450, was a complete waste of money. The bread, and meat, seemed stale. The sandwich was pretty much tasteless. They seemed to have a good selection of teas but we didn’t get a chance to try them. Personally I don’t think I would go back, unless to enjoy the sea view along with evening tea/beverages.


ritzz05 - Burrp User


25 Reviews

February 02,2012


Good but a little steep pricing

For a cafe i believe the pricing is a bit on the steeper side, but i guess you pay a price for the excellent view and feel of the place. But now since its become popular its not a very quiet place to chill and relax!!
But town needed a "Gadda da vida" of its own!!


nehavaz27 - Burrp User


1 Reviews

January 29,2012


Reminiscent of Goa

Having stayed in mumbai all my life and being an ardent fan of Goa, I had always hoped for a place in mumbai which would take me off to goa for a few hours.. Cafe by the Beach is just such a place. We went here for our anniversary dinner and I was supremely pleased by the beatuy of this place.. The sea view, the coconut trees canoping the place, the sweet lights decorating the tables, the lounge chairs just made up for a perfect ambience... We had a white sauce pasta and a mexican wrap, and it was delicious... this is a place I would want to be a regular at... cant wait to come back soon :-)



Zone out the Chaos and find the Calm

Calm and Chaos:
When we landed there, there was nobody to write down our name in the waiting list. Inside it was utter chaos , with waiters running around and looked like inexperienced kids. So finally we were seated and could zone out the utter chaos all around and talk to friends and soak in the ambience. The cute little bottles in various colors, orchids on trees, palm/coconut trees forming the ceiling, bamboo windchimes and the waves on the beach. I was awed. There are lounges facing the beach where a couple can spend a romantic evening together.
About the food the quiche and bouche is for someone with extremely small appetite. My friend who ordered a wrap found it to be a full meal. When i told the waiter that i had ordered my Waffles with ice-cream…he started taking away the whipped cream which was part of the "Waffles with Mixed Berry Compote and Whipped cream". That was hilarious. So apart from the minor glitches its our own little oasis in frantic Mumbai.


Dhara987 - Burrp User


50 Reviews

January 05,2012


Pathetic beverages

I went to this place for the second time since its opened. And totally loved the place and the ambiance. But my friend and i hesitated to buy a drink because even the first time the drinks were not up to the mark. So we ordered something very safe - Lemon Iced Tea. Now, how can anyone go wrong with a LIT. But believe me, these people don't know the meaning of Iced Tea. The drink was completely sour and just one sip irritated my throat. There was no trace of tea in it. When we sent it back for them to add sugar, it still came back sour - it tasted like a really sour lemonade!

We had 4 sips of it and couldn't drink it any more. So we decided to pay up and leave. We asked the staff to take it back and bring us our bill even though we had hardly had anything from the glass. We expected some decent response like a) Improve the drink and bring it back, b) Not charge us c) Apologise at LEAST and then bring the bill.

But he took the drink without apologising and brought the bill - Rs 193/-!!!!! Amazing! Almost Rs 200 for a very bad iced tea. Totally not worth it. If they get their F&B in place, they can so easily become the best spot in SoBo to hang out! Guys, pull up your socks....


Sue  - Burrp User


17 Reviews

January 03,2012


Great new spot!

Lovely to see this spot being used again as I always feel that Mumbai doesn't make enough of its beaches for classy 'beachy' food options. Decor here is very tasteful, staff are friendly and the cool New Years Day breeze made it a perfect place to hang out. Down side was the seared tuna salad I had was way too heavy on the greenery (not quite a salad if all you have is tuna, tonnes of lettuce and one piece of capsicum!). Perhaps also a little expensive for what you get here although I guess you're paying for the location. Not quite sure how popular this place will be when the weather starts warming up though?


Expert Review

In a city where space is the new currency, Café by the Beach comes like a breath of fresh air. We came back impressed and tempted to give it full marks just for its décor and ambience.

The view from Cafe by the Beach in the night
The words ‘no-alcohol’ can prove to be a depressant in any restaurant. But it is a special downer at Café by the Beach. You will know why when you see the place.

Picture this: You’re driving towards Chowpatty in the evening while negotiating heavy traffic. You reach the Mafatlal signal on the other side of the road only to realise that that U-turn won’t get you to Café by the Beach and you should have taken the next U which is on Marine Drive. So you drive through the jam again, take the turn and stop by the restaurant for valet parking. By this time, you’re pretty much frustrated and in need of a strong ‘pick-me-up’ only for you to realise that they don’t serve them.

Despite this, you don’t miss the alcohol once you’re inside. Because by the time you step into the restaurant, which is completely al fresco – with no walls, no floor, no ceiling – you can already feel the stress of the day ooze away.

Apart from the location and its sand-covered floor, Café by the Beach shares little resemblance with the erstwhile Salt Water Grill. It has wicker recliners and loungers on one side facing the sea, wooden tables with chairs on the other, and very pretty (and very romantic) wooden gazebos with transparent curtains flowing in the breeze.

The place is decorated with lots of potted plants, fairy lights and lanterns that come on in the evening, Oriental art pieces, and of course beautiful palm trees.

There are plenty of non-alcoholic options here with various types of tea and coffee, milkshakes, mocktails, juices, aerated drinks, and of course coconut water. We ordered two mocktails: Cafe by the Beach Colada and Blue Lagoon.

The first one didn’t have enough coconut milk and pineapple juice so we asked the server to add some. But it came back tasting almost the same. The Blue Lagoon was too sweet with more than enough Sprite so we asked for fresh lime to cut the sweetness. It worked, but only so much.

Besides its no-alcohol permit, the restaurant also cannot cook here. So the menu options are limited to salads, wraps, sandwiches, desserts and cold platters. We ordered a Grilled Chicken Club Wrap and a watermelon and feta salad.

The wrap had grilled chicken, bacon, lettuce, tomato and spicy garlic aioli. It was light and flavourful but had more chicken and less bacon. The salad was a total surprise; it was not diced as expected but in layers. Thick, square slabs of watermelon sandwiched frisee greens and feta tossed in honey mustard dressed.

We went there on a Monday evening and at least half the tables were occupied, which for a SoBo restaurant is impressive. Unfortunately, just snacks couldn’t keep the guests till very late and in the end only two to three tables were left occupied.

The service is prompt when you want it to be and relaxed when you want to take your time and linger. Still, it would help if once in a while they looked in your direction. When we reached there, we saw the staff decorating a double-lounger with red, heart-shaped balloons. On closer inspection, we realized that the lounger also had a card in white envelope – obviously a request made by a guest in advance.

It was touching to see the staff running around, trying to keep the balloons in place because of the breeze. Sure enough, a young (but strangely disinterested) couple walked in and headed towards the lounger.

Having said all that, the restaurant gets a thumbs-up despite its no-alcohol routine. It’s a perfect spot to relax with a book or a friend, or even to spend an evening romancing your lover. We wonder what the management will do for the rains and the sweltering summers though.

Timing: 11am to 1am (Daily)

Average meal for two: Rs 1,300 (without dessert)


Amazing... Cannot go wrong

The ambiance of Cafe by the Beach is so cool that you dont feel like leaving the place. But what actually made me enjoy the place was the great food there. They didnt have alcohol but their great milkshakes and virgin margaritass made up for it. I shared a wrap, waffle and chocolate croissant with friends and every item was out of this world.

The manager had told me the place opened only 3 days ago but seeing the crowd that was difficult to believe and this place will surely be a super success.This is my new hangout spot!!!


It's all about the beach

If you are a sucker for a sophisticated shack ambiance, head to Cafe by the beach NOW!!
Went there the other evening right after work with a page-turning chick lit that i was reading then thinking i could do what i always imagined doing by myself i.e. BOOK+beach shack+ mocktails.

So my hopes of getting a chance to read there were shattered since i reached just after sunset.However, i wasn't complaining - i could sit all evening by myself lost in thoughts in an ambiance so relaxing.

CBB is lit with beautiful dim lights. they have 2 options for seating. 1. regular 2/4/6 seater dining tables and 2. beach chairs and low rise tables facing the sea (although very little of the sea is actually visible).

i called for a peach sunrise (not sure if that was the name but there was nothing peachy about it. tasted more like mango) and a grilled vegetables wrap.

The drink was really tasty (would tasted a tad-bit better if it was vodka-infused, but the attendant was patient enough to explain why alcohol isn't served there for now)

i loved the wrap which was cut into 4 bite-sized portions and served.

the good food/drink was just a plus point at CBB; i doubt whether anyone would complain about the food with an ambiance like that!! (yes, we are THAT devoid of it)

I hear they also do foot massages in those beach chairs that i mentioned earlier. but the day i went, i was told that the service was available only for media (not sure if it was only for THAT day)

Definitely going there sometime soon with fiance and also with the girlfriends! :)


Saumil Shah - Burrp User

Saumil Shah

7 Reviews

December 19,2011


Best Ambience in Mumbai

Had a great time on Saturday evening at the Cafe. The place is without doubt the best looking restaurant in Mumbai and no place can compare with its view. I sat looking out at the Queens Necklace Bay for over 3 hours, and only when I realised I had a movie to go to that I finally got up.

The great thing about the place is the food is now better than it was few years at Salt Water Grill. I really liked the Veg Wrap that had mozarella cheese and they made a great dark Chocolate milkshake called a tsunami. I loved the place so much that I am going back tonight with friends and sometime again during the week with my family.



lazy afternoons

Crest Of What's Around

If you can almost taste the salt at the oceanfront Cafe By The Beach, rest assured it won’t be off the glass rim of a potent margarita. Occupying the controversial but stunning beach site at Chowpatty once taken by Salt Water Grill, this new eatery comes sans a liquor menu (gasp!), but plenty of sand, sun and servers in shorts. “It’s what a dry day must be like in Goa,” commented one of our fellow diners. We agreed, but not without shuddering at the thought.

Contains Traces of Yesterday

On a sunny Thursday afternoon we settled on a table where mats looked like waves and salad bowls assumed the shape of boats. The pretty interior - or should we say exterior - of the open space retains several elements of its predecessor: deck chairs, a beach bar and a few tables with individual pavilions.

Besides killing their spirits, the regulations also dictate that food cannot be cooked here, narrowing the menu options down to salads, wraps, sandwiches and cold platters. We started by ordering the red grape and goat cheese salad and chased the sun with a round of refreshing mocktails - Maltese Peel, Cafe by the Beach Colada and Choco Tsunami. The first of the trio made with orange and lime peel was yum (though it could have done with more ice), a liquid version of the orange boiled sweets we used to have as kids. The Choco Tsunami, a mighty thick shake with bits of dark chocolate cookie won instant approval, unlike the Colada which tasted like diluted milk. A bottle of pineapple-flavoured Energy would have fared better, was our intern’s opinion. But two out of three’s not bad.
Iron Oar

The salad (other options include couscous-orange, watermelon-feta) arrived right after the drink sampling in abovementioned canoe-shaped bowl. Featuring plump red grapes, generous amounts of feta and crunchy salad leaves doused in basil vinaigrette, it’s safe to say that the kitchen rocked this boat. Judging from the corn and spinach quiche, we suggest skipping any ready snack that will be re-heated minutes before being ordered. The quiche, which came with a rubbery crust and oily coat, seemed to have lost its taste due to overheating.

Making up for the pie though, were stellar sandwiches and wraps - prosciutto and brie ‘wich, chipotle chicken and turkey wrap and romana roll. The first came with generous slices of melted brie, complimented by fresh ham and sweet rosemary-infused fig confit. The yum chicken-turkey wrap featured a gazillion flavours, literally all rolled into one, and cut up into sushi-like pieces that were artfully arranged on a plate. There was smoky (from the Turkey), spicy (from the chipotle, though we could have done with more, and jalapeno), creamy (from the cheese) and pungent from the accompanying wasabi-mayo. A true taste maker. Also palate-pleasing was the Romana wrap, a fine example of how simple ingredients like fresh mozzarella, juicy tomatoes and crunchy greens can rival a fancy dish.

Booze Control

We ended with the French Opera, a coffee-soaked slice layered with chocolate and sponge cake, garnished with pistachio. This cake, which made us think of restaurants that outsource desserts, drew neither criticism nor complaints, re-affirming its blah status.

At Rs 900 a head for casual food and mocktails, Cafe by the Beach is pretty pricey. But then a table at Marine Drive that affords a view of the jetty doesn’t come cheap. We suggest you bring your own flask and novel, order one of their delish sandwiches and don’t end with the Opera. And about the liquor license remember, it isn’t over until the fat lady sings.