39 Reviews / 39 Ratings
Nice Quirky place
Very different from the kinda places you expect in Fort. No loud music and tables not placed so close that your conversation is part of the next table also.
Love the vibe of this place and it's food. Chilled out place where one goes when they just want to hangout with friends to have a nice conversation over a couple of cold beers and starters and don't end up having to scream over the music to be heard or end up just staring at each other. Food like their chilly cheese toast and spicy wings were really tasty. For main course had ordered beef chilly which was just as good. A big thumps up to this place. Please don't change. Only request would be to get that tv working especially if there is an India cricket match or a good EPL match.
Universally Bad !
It sucked so bad! I don't know how can anyone enjoy the food out there. Perhaps people come only for the beer or for the game. There was nothing, absolutely nothing that we ordered which came across as good. Right from the chicken burger to the Shaslik Sizzler, Thai Chicken, Chili Cheese Toast, everything was a thumbs down. Do not go to eat there.
Avoid like the plague !!!
What once used to be a nice cafe has turned out to be an abode for all things bland, stale and unethical today. For someone whose been visiting this place since 2010, I should have seen the signs and revelations come along the way. The degrading standards of the food they serve to the over hyped burgers and sizzlers are for all to see yet their impressive old world bygone era interiors manage to pull people in I guess . Right from wasting away a bland inedible chicken burger to being barely able to find a piece of chicken in their Chicken Sizzlers and having to swallow down what seemed like leftover rice mashed together with assorted fries to be passed off as a sizzler cos hey, we are supposed to be drunk and not notice such things at the end of the day, right? The owners are pretty uptight and apparently don't switch on the television before 7 pm or so I was told. After clearly confirming with someone on the other side of the phone about a EPL football game that would be televised post 7 pm, we reach there only to be told that the television is not working. I guess a case of temporary amnesia on their end so, ah well all is forgiven. On another instance, saw a group of guys come in and ask to put on the flatron claiming they'd called and get their wish fulfilled, when our table was denied the service when we asked for the same. Ah well, we seemed like some inebriated football hooligans who would go berserk and so they rightfully denied us. Either that or they just hate Arsenal fans and readily accept United supporters :) Failed sarcasm aside, tough luck I guess for us. After all these incidents me and my friends continued to still patronize this place because one thing that this place manages to get right is a nice old school vibe especially if you manage to get the side round tables to gaze outside the desolate gully leading towards Traveler's Inn. But what happened a few days back clearly made me realize what a fool I was to still take my chances when the signs were clearly there telling me to avoid this haven of mediocrity, over hyped randomness and hipsterdom (looking at you, all you Instagrammers) like the plague. Not being content with all of the above they manage to try and knick us by adding stuff we never ordered in our bill. After all we are the drunk junta, it has to be our fault that we got high in their flat draught beers right? Now I know a place I'm not visiting ever again .But if you have extra cash on the side and are not feeling overtly generous enough to donate to an NGO/Relief organization and want to randomly donate away to the Universal Cheat Charity, then be my guest and go ahead and you just might be the unsuspecting lucky one like we were. Few bucks lighter on your wallet yes, but look at things on the brighter side, you get a cool Instagram pic as well as get to brag to all your fellow hipsters how you still epitomize the spirit of individuality and rebellion by not caving in and going to the 2 over hyped, over expensive, mainstream revered famous cafes at Colaba Causeway !!!
Been here twice, enjoyed both times!
It's not everyday that you get to eat food of splendid quality and yet not burn a hole in your wallet! Situated at a corner, this is the ideal place for a relaxed lunch or dinner! With a glass of chilled beer, and light music playing in the background, you can already tell that you are going to enjoy every bit of your meal! So, when you do decide to go there, possibly on a lazy Sunday afternoon, don't forget to try the Beef Chilly, Chicken Steak with Caramelised Onions with an overdose of potato mash (seriously they need to cut that quantity).
Worth your money and time!
I have been to Cafe Universal a couple of times with my friends and I must say that I have enjoyed every visit I have made. The place is calm and really spacious, the staff is not very helpful at the same time its not rude as well, I liked the service because I found that the staff is not interfering and they just don't disturb you, they attend us only when you call them. Music is fine. Retro 90's country music is played at a very low volume that gives you enough room to enable you to talk amongst your group. I loved the sizzler, burger and cheese balls that I have order every time I visit the place. The food is good and justifies the pricing. Pricing of food is average, neither exorbitant nor very cheap. Ambiance is really great! Its simple, and unlike other popular places is not crowded or not fancy or overly playful. Its simply simple and good!
In other words if you are looking at spending a nice Sunday afternoon and evening at the same place with your beer, than this is perfect place for you.
Victorian era bar!
Easily Bombay's best kept secrets and ought be kept that way! Wrought iron windows, wooden chairs and art form the beautiful decor. Tourists and people like me who prefer quieter places come here. Evenings are particularly packed as hordes of bankers from the nearby area throng the bar. The offerings are quite limited and are nothing extra-ordinary. Sip the beer, catch up with your self and watch the time go by.
I went there with bunch of colleagues today for lunch. Believe me our lunch time got extended from 1 hr to 2 hrs... :) not exaggerating! The place is super awesome! The paintings on the wall are interesting and ambiance is very chilled out. The food menu is extensive and have variety of food items. My personal recommendation is a Hamburger! For the people who eat beef, do try this out! It's huge, tasty and filling! Also the Chicken Crispy is nice and chicken burger is good! We had so much relishing on the huge burger that we didn't realize our lunch time had passed long time back :) Surely going coming week again! :)
Long Live CAfe Universal
I TOtally agree with Tristan 777. This place has a very unique n the coolest ambience. Nothing hyped yet very warm n cozy. The other TWO pubs/cafes- Mondegar and Leopold are OVERLY hyped and Expensive which is why it attracts Crowds all the time.
Cafe Universal is so very Roomier and Ventilated than the Leopold and Mondegar where u the tables and chairs are so tightly packed that one cant even budge an inch without disturbing the next table.
Food wise Cafe universal is pretty decent and very reasonably priced. Whereas Leopold is a Total Ripoff !! Quantity also at Universal is better than Leopold.
I just Hope they prosper as they deserve to be more packed n crowded that what they are. Good Luck to Universal
Ma Hubbys fav n now evn mine
Ma hubby visits dis place nearly every Saturday for a drink and chat with buddies after work and loves dis place to the core. He made a point to take me to dis place and trust me the food is gr8. Ambiance s nice nothing larger than life nothing over the top. Just a place to sit n chill n have a cold cold beer with Ur buddies......
Pathetic service,direspectful waiters, avg food
2 days back, went to Cafe Universal for the first time, with a group of friends, . We asked the waiter about the popular items . His answer was "everything on the menu is the same, only names are different". When we inquired about the ingredients of an item, he was almost shouting " it has whats mentioned on the menu". When we showed him nothing is mentioned, he went away without responding and came back 20 minutes later asking have you decided? Service is at snail's pace.Nobody cares for the customer. Never going there again. Won't recommend to anyone ever.
Terrible Experience-Worst service from Management
Have been to Cafe Universal a couple of times and always found the service below average. Our last experience was the worst experience we encountered in a restaurant.
Till our last visit we used to order the standard stuff like chicken sizzler, chilly chicken, chicken manchurian...etc. IMO these items were just about average and were priced accordingly as well (Leopold/Mondys is expensive but far better in terms of taste). During our last visit we thought of gambling a bit and ordered a fish sizzler. We had the fish sizzler on our table after around 20 mins from placing the order and immediately after the first bite we (me and my husband) realised that something was wrong. It was tasting and smelling bad. So we called the waiter and told him to check with the chef. His first reaction was as if we were having fish for the first time (it's fish...it will smell...and all that) and half heartedly said he will check with the chef. We waited for 15 mins and there was no response from the guy. During this time he went inside the kitchen multiple times but never came back to us. Completely frustrated we went to the counter and informed the person (young chap) from the management. He asked why we didn't inform earlier to which we replied that we had told the waiter immediately. He called the waiter and asked him to which the waiter replied that it was fresh. He never botherd to check with the waiter as to why he didnt bother to get back to us. The young chap from the management just asked the waiter one question and as soon as the waiter replied he looked at us as if god had come in the form of the waiter and what ever he is saying is correct. We told the guy that this is not the way to handle the situation to which he replied that we "Dont deserve Cafe Universal". We realised that there was no point arguing further, paid the full bill, wished them good luck and never looked back.
Would suggest people to avoid, if not stick to standard items and never confornt the management/waiters!!!
Good food, cheap beer
Universal is just a few minutes walk from my office, so I've been here many times in the evenings after work, and occasionally for lunch. The Universal Club Sandwich, which is big enough for two people, makes an excellent cheap, quick lunch at Rs. 200. For a heftier lunch, the dhansaks are good, as are the burgers. For dinner, most of the sizzlers are good, with the stuffed fish sizzler my personal favorite. Like Mondys, they have a range of freshly squeezed juices available on order, and, of course, lots of beer options as well.
Awesome place... A cheaper Mondy...
It can be a little tricky to get here... The best part of Cafe Universal is its ambiance and the fact that only a true Mumbaikar would know of this place.. Tourists are generally flooding Colaba joints... The beer is great and the Cheese Hamburger beats Hard Rock Cafe by a mile.... the starters are amazing...Must try the fish and chips....All in all a great hangout place with a lovely ambiance backed by a courteous staff and amazinnggg food...!!!!!
One of the first places I came out to drink at when I first visited Bombay as a pennliess law student, and still found a way to keep myself buoyed by the variety of beers and alcohol available, so affordably! I have liked this place, not just for the draught, the lack of synthetic-feeling-inducing air conditioners - beautifully ventilated by air, prompt service and very very tasty food. I find myself approving most of the options available at Universal, food wise, the burgers are yum, the sizzler is humongous but ohsogood and the thai is also not badly done at all. I had a serving of the prawn red curry with rice once and the steamed veggies with rice another time and was very satisfied every time.
So go on to Universal, order a tower of Stella or Tiger (depending on the width of your wallet) and rub your stomach for the upcoming feast smiling as you take in the chilled out atmosphere around you.
My favourite pub/cafe in Mumbai
The draught here tastes very different from any other places which means they DONT adulterate their beer like most . The food , right from the fries to the burgers they dish out are totally worth the somewhat above average(not expensive though) price . Mind you though a 3 litre tower of beer just for 850/- bucks is on the contrary a steal .
Add to this a lovely quaint / Irani setting adjacent to a quite peaceful lane leading to the Hotel Travellers inn , it just doesn't get better than this . At least on weekends the lanes/streets across are empty and devoid of the office crowd . Skip the overcrowded , over expensive unwelcoming 2 better known cafes at Colaba Causeway and head over to Fort to experience an evening of its kind here .
I swear i could just stare out at the street for hours with a pint . Visit is mandatory !
Good place to chill
Ambiance is too good. Gives u a feel of an old hotel in Goa or so. Drinks are cheaper compared to others. Food taste is good, though not excellent. OMG quantity is too good, but the taste is a little better than OK. Sizzlers, Beef chilli are must try. 3 stars for food, 4 for Ambiance and 3 1/2 overall...
Great food... :) Super Ambiance
... we wer a group of 3 and decided to dine at Cafe Universal one fine afternoon and we were not disappointed at all !!! ... The food is just too good... we ordered beef chilli , chicken burger and dhansak dal... the food is just awesome and the quantity served is humongous ... the ambiance and the atmosphere adds to the dining experience... would like to visit again for sure ... :-)
Unbelievable OMG bugger
This place is by far the best place to have the biggest burger in mumbai. The beer goes great with the food. We had a sizzler and the OMG bugger and even two of us could not complete the bugger.
Good ambiance and decent service.
This is amust visit for the bugger and the beer.
Husband and I ate here about 4x during our trip to Mumbai, and each time was great! Ambiance reminds me of an Indiana Jones cafe scene. We went at different times, and it really gets busy with the "after work" patrons. Chicken & Steak sizzlers are very good, although seemed to change a little each tasting. Mango lassi was safely made with bottled water. Friendly service. Expect an occassional lizard on the wall or stray dog to find a place to relax inside. Frequented by both backpackers (from Hotel Traveller's Inn) and local Indians too.
Universe at its own Pace
The one thing that impresses you as you enter this place is the ambience. That lasts till the time you take your seats and place the order. After that you had it....The service is absolutely slow..The word "snails pace" too seems to be an understatement that too at lunchtime which should be the peak time for any eatery ! The food is very average and could be priced more reasonably ! We had some golden fried baby corn as starters which turned out to be a very unhealthy version of corn pakoda ! It was dripping with oil galore ! Such a disappointing start after waiting for almost an hour for the food to come !
For main course we had veg fried rice (average in taste), veg sizzler ( doable) and chilly chicken.....From the dishes one thing was very clear, there is a very generous portion of cooking oil which goes into all the dishes assuming that the flavor would develop by itself.
In my personal experience, i would not go back to that place no matter what ! Perhaps only the beer guzzlers should go there to say cheers, but food-lovers do have better options in and around Fort...I would like to see the management there take some proactive steps to improve the food and the service there coz their location is something which can bring the crowd in no matter what ...
preserve it.. mumbaikars
u shudnt hav had the previous meal and shud not think abt the next meal... they serve humongous qty and it will sizzle in ur mouth for which u wont stop eating a pitcher might save u the sin.. its the kinda place whn ur in no mood/tired for a sports bar/pub but still wana chill out wid closeknit frenz.. its too gud man.. so era kinda feeling.. probly they can try for some AC.. may b its not an option for its high ceiling.. but its gud to be ther evry time again and again.. always betr than "Firang devo bhava" Leos/Mondys..
High ceilings,wooden arches,Irani style seating.Sure this place is no match to the famed Leopold or Mondegar cafes,but it still has it's own unique spirit to boast about.Just getting there is a treat for me,I love driving by the old Victorian buildings around fort or the docks at Ballard Pier,depending on which side I approach from.
Beer is cheaper than other cafes in the same league,food is okayish.I dig into their OMG burgers when I have a meat craving to satiate(6 pieces of steak and 6 slices of cheese sandwiched in between a burger bun,fries on the side-more than enough for 2).Sizzlers are VERY highly ok,everything on the menu hovers around mediocre.It fills you and doesn't burn too deep a hole in your pocket.Perfect for hot chais with friends on a rainy day too,the large doors and massive open windows allow you to enjoy the monsoons and cool winter breeze too.I'd say it's a nice place to visit once in a while when you're sorta just in the mood to chill out with a beer and some not so gourmet grub.Very friendly staff,an alert black shaggy lil dog to welcome you,pictures and frames depicting Zorastrian folklore.Quaint.Nice.
One of the few well-maintained Iranian gems in South Mumbai! My hubby and I sauntered in on a wet Sunday evening, and the place was empty but for a few patrons. The huge plasma was telecasting FIFA, but I was completely taken in by the interiors. Polished wooden rafters and buttresses, high ceilings and a monotone-hued branding wall with the liquor display, is good enough to remind one that South Mumbai, esp. Fort is still the best to experience nostalgia. Loved the chicken omelet. Little expensive menu items, but worth the visit.
Good Place To Chill
When one thinks bars and pubs in SoBo, we instantly thinks up the names of Leopolds or Mondegars. But getting a table in these places on a holiday is quite impossible.
So Cafe Universal, located in Appolo Bunder, is a cool option to fall back on when you are in a large group. The Cafe is not nearly as crowded as its competitors, which makes it a perfect joint for a relaxed evening. The alchohol and beverages are decently priced.
Food is decent and non-veggies can hog on good variety. The service however is a little slow and can get a bit annoying.
But the best part is the interiors which is brightly lit and has managed to retain the look of the early 20th century.
All in all a decent place for a few quiet and chilled our drinks.
We go to eat , not to seat.........
People always praise this "alleged" gem of south mumbai, so I ventured there for not just an ordinary lunch , a birthday lunch. And it was so bad , that I needed to go out for dinner to a nice place just to renew my faith in good food.
The "alleged" grilled chicken came with my months quota of oil and a gravy that I swear could be made in any ol' college mess. In fact there was so much oil that the french fries that came with my chicken were dripping as i lifted them on a fork.
The steak my boyfriend ordered was burnt beyond recognition and was topped with oily onion rings enough for the Brady bunch. And believe it or not the grilled chicken and beef steak tasted almost the same..........
So yeah the place is cute , has nice seats and nice lighting, but it's really not what I intended paying for.........................
If your in the area u may as well go to Churchill or Britannia.
Cafe Universal since 1921...wonder how I hadn't been there before. Anyway for the beer drinkers it's a good (read: cheaper) alternative to more expensive cafes in Colaba. The food is average priced and a good dinner for four can run up to something like 1400 bucks with the booze mind you.
They have enough choice for vegetarians and some choice for vegans, so I was lucky.
The decor / maintenance gets a 4/5 (minus one for the smelly loo that doesn't flush). Interiors are very well done, brightly lit and no music is a boon for some looking to spend a few quite hours after work.
Beautiful place run by old parsi couple, who are very warm & concern to patrons need. Best time to visit is on Sunday early evening when the chaos of busy street of mint road is absent.
I tried mutton kabab to start with draft beer, but became fan of beef fry & dhanshak. Cool place to just sit & appreciate architecture around & relax. Only thing missing is Aircon. But for smokers the pain of stepping out often is bearable as place got couple of exists & one need not have to go too far to light the stick.
Nice place, bad liers
One of the cleanest places in Mumbai, well decorated and great to have somewhere that opens up it's french windows.
Though mixed feelings abou the place.
The response when we returned a clearly off, batch of beer bottles (explained the buy 3, get one free!) was disappointing and, if the waiter was serious, rather funny (I was with a expat friend who also lives here):
"No sir, it's not bad. That's how beer tastes in India". I'm sure Tiger would be delighted to here how it's beer is being promoted.
I always believed that a best Saturday spent would be on a sunny beach with a chilled beer or cocktails with little straw hats; until i dropped in at Cafe Universal over a spare weekend without any agendas on the list.
If you are someone looking for a snazzy atmosphere with glam n chilled soups for your brunch, this is the worst place you could possibly drop in. But here is a person who's writing this review and who loves being himself ( i.e. Bermuda's, Tarty T-Shirts n shades with floaters) on Saturdays. Probably this is the best place to spend a day in a place thats airy enough, low frills, Good food and best of all affordable Beer Pitchers.
My ideal day starts at cafe universal at 11.30 - 12.00, kicking it off with a Beer Pitcher and a Chilly beef ( request the waiter to get it well done), as the day progress's with a 14" TV on the top of your head which looks bleak after 3 pitchers till u leave it alone and ask for a Cheese Chilly Toast which tends to burn your tongue at first but then goes down well with generous amount of cheese on it. My personal recommendations at Cafe Universal would comprise of Golden Fried prawns with Garlic Sauce, Steak Burgers and Satellite sizzlers. This would be one place which always tones down my apprehensions of having meat in a restaurant after a whole meal a perfectly balanced Caramel Custard does a magic repartee . The quality and flavours always prove Value for money and a friendly atmosphere. It has always been a pleasure to be there every single time. A meal/head with beer, starter and a royal lunch would cost you not more than Rs. 700 for a whole day till 4.00 pm.
P.S. - How could I forget another highlight 'Blackie' the owners dog, who can help you digest your Princely meal.
service thoda slow hai par khana accha hai
one of the many places close to office which i would have wanted to go to but never had the opportunity to get there in long! finally reached out for the famed sizzler, and found it to be an extremely affable and affordable place, with a lot of open air and a good ol parsi cafe touch and feel around here.
the food was good, though the service speed, inspite of calling for making it "fast" turned out to be slow. the portions served are smart portions, which means they are good enough for one and not too much food loaded on to your plate so that you cannot finish it ever. pricing is very reasonable too, food for 2 with softdrinks comes to 500 bucks.
got to go back to the place in the evening to try out the drinks and the beer! till then, keep burrrping!