Lokhandwala’s New Link Road is probably one of the most crowded and noisy parts of the city. It’s one of young Bombay’s preferred hang out spots with multiple movie theaters, malls and restaurants. It also happens to be one of those areas my zen-seeking self tries to avoid. However, post movie hunger pangs had me seated at Melange : a small easily missed cafe in the heart of the hustle-bustle.
As soon as I walked in I was transported to somewhere more serene. I suddenly felt like I could be anywhere from San Fransisco’s arty avenues to Sydney’s sea-side streets. This lil’ cafe really is designed to be a citizen of the world, from it’s simple elegant tables to the spotless open kitchen.
The menu is concise and yet far from simple. They serve an all day breakfast and a wide selection of coffee, coolers and shakes. The starters and mains are all interesting and it took a while to settle of the Creamy Mushroom Crostini and a Mediterranean Panini. Melange bakes their own bread, and their extra effort really elevates the quality of their dishes. The bread used for both the crostini and the Panini was absolutely beautiful. The crostini had a lovely crisp base and a decadently creamy mushroom topping had just the right amount of cheese. The Mediterranean Panini had beautifully roasted mushy bell peppers and sauteed zucchini which were perfectly complemented by the oven fresh bread.
To end our meal we had a Green Apple Brulee. It had a deliciously crisp crust and was served with some green apple chutney and a buttery biscoti. This is perhaps the best brulee I’ve ever had: the perfect balance, rich yet surprisingly light. I absolutely love the place, and I see myself frequenting it.
All places that strike a cord like Melange, always have an interesting back story. Any project started with passion sets itself up to being more than just a business. My review would not be complete without a mention and salutation to the owner and head chef, Hardik Parekh. His love for coffee lead him to Australia where he worked and learnt the art of coffee making. He opened his own Cafe there, and from his chef learnt how to cook and run a kitchen. With all this knowledge, he came back to Mumbai where he opened Melange. Every recipe on the menu has been created by him.
In a sea of cookie-cutter cafes that all look and feel alike, Melange really stands out. I urge you to visit.
Damages : approx Rs. 250 – 350 / head