With a name that gives away its location and pretty much the kind of restaurant it is, Pali Village Café is easy to locate in Bandra, the bustling Mumbai suburb. Brave the heavy Pali Naka traffic, next to the legendary Janata bar, and you’ll see a green gate and a small sign. Once you enter, you’ll be transported to another era.
The good stuff
A converted furniture store, the Pali Village Café can safely be called a “bungalow restaurant”, though it is quite unlike the best known example in this category, south Mumbai’s Indigo. The café owners worked on it to give the double-storey building the look of an old bungalow. Wrought iron railings on the staircase, bare cement and brick walls, wooden furniture and floors with heritage tiles, an open dining space with rusted chairs—the interiors are fabricated vintage. The good food and the Wi-Fi are a bonus.
Old world: The Pali Village Café has the look of a vintage bungalow.
The menu is European, with a good selection of sandwiches, bagels, pizzas, pastas and grills. The café only has a wine licence, which is not bad considering the place is perfect for sipping midday sangrias.
Thin crust pizzas are served by the slice. We first tried the pepperoni and fig pizza. What looked intriguing on the menu was perfect to the taste buds—the tangy sauce combined with the sweet figs added zing to the crispy base and the pepperoni. The Spinach and Ricotta Ravioli with roasted almond cream sauce was creamy, with crunchy almond bits.
But the best part of the meal was the mains. The Pan Seared John Dory was fresh and succulent, served in a tangy, peppery cream sauce and perfectly complemented by the capers. The Grilled Australian Lamb Chops—we asked for medium rare—were tender and juicy. In desserts, the mild vanilla flavoured, creamy Panna Cotta served with sharply tangy passion fruit reduction was refreshing.
The café opened just about two weeks ago, but most tables were taken by the time we left (celebrity spotting is common here. Just a few days after it opened, a tabloid reported that Ranbir Kapoor and Katrina Kaif were spotted there, deep in conversation).
Our meal had a disappointing start with the tasteless Virgin Kiwi Margarita that came in a martini glass. The menu gave us no indication that we would be served a frozen margarita. The Nutella and Roasted Hazelnut smoothie was watered down and the flavours were faint. The Goan Sausages with Potatoes and Onions were tough and oily, and had more potatoes than meat. Be prepared also for slow service.
The appetizers are priced at Rs150 onwards, the pizza slices at Rs110 onwards, the pastas and main course entreés at Rs250 onwards.
For reservations, call 022-26050401.