Summer House Café [Todi Mill, Lower Parel]

The weekend aways makes us happy. But this time, it left us elated! Like any other day, we zeroed in on a location to satiate our growling tummies and went ahead. We had heard the place we had selected – Summer House Café is an amazing one, we just did not know the enormity of the amazingness and hence, were more than under prepared for what hit us once we landed here!

Summer House Café is a dreamy setup, a beautiful place! For us, it felt like another world! Just far away, another country, another landscape, ‘coz surely, something this amazing cannot be right here, correct?

The white and blue facade with bamboo sticks forming a part of the wall reminded us of a shack in some beach country. Then we entered through the doors and were awestruck by the bustling area and it literally took us a few minutes to take everything in.


During these few minutes, we were informed that a workshop was in progress on the lower level, were ushered to our tables upstairs and handed over the menu.

And not assimilating all this, we were still looking around wondering how the wooden beams and columns fit perfectly, how just the right amount of light enters through the glass windows and how beautiful it would be to stare at the sky in the evening (if only Mumbai skies were clear).

How the clock, which surprisingly wasn’t working, fits perfectly in the scene and how the lampshade next to us is the epitome of vintage chicness! Yup, such are the exaggerated feelings when you are not prepared for something and then are clean bowled by it.

The ambience makes everything look better. The area is huge and very spacious. and superbly lit during the daytime and transforms to a dim lit, fine dining area come evening. That’s the upper level. The lower level is still the den of activity. It is a house to comedy shows, band performances, crazy retro dance nights, book & reading clubs and painting workshops to name few. When we were here, by the evening, a workshop on knife painting led to a colourful chatter here and then, just like in the movies, the entire scene changed to become host to a movie launch party. And we sat there, hogging and marvelling!

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The menu here is a maze! There is so much variety that you are confused and yet the humble staff say that they know the variety is limited! Coming to the staff, the service is prompt and friendly and the Chef surely knows how to win you over, en route your stomach! Here is what we hogged on at Summer House Café –

Yuzu Pineapple Smash – A refreshing combination of lime, yuzu (a citrus fruit giving the drink a slight tart) and basil. Thyme and fennel seeds added a mind blowing aroma and flavour.

Blueberry Twist Smash – A tangy concoction of blueberry, lime and orange. Rosemary adds a very refreshing flavour. This one packs a sure punch!

Yuzu Pineapple Smash & Blueberry Twist Smash

Jalapeno Cheese Poppers – Crispy batter fried poppers with mozzarella cheese and made spicy with lots of chilli flakes and jalapenos. These are better spelt as ‘perfection’! Pop these and see the cheese oozing out! But make sure you have the poppers before someone snatches them off the plate.

Jalapeno Cheese Poppers

The Haystack Salad – Sprouts, bell peppers, tomatoes, black beans, cucumber, lettuce, corn and more! And topped or rather stacked with crispy tortilla fingers. There is a slight hint of sweetness in the salad owing to the ingredients and we would have better liked it with a little bit of black pepper if not chilli to ease out the sweetness.

The Haystack Salad

Nachos with Salsa and Sour Cream – Fresh, crispy tortilla chip loaded with chopped tomatoes, spring onions, jalapenos, black beans, and a tangy salsa sauce. The cheese sauce and sour cream are wonderful!

Nachos with Salsa and Sour Cream

Indian Vegetarian Platter – The intense and spicy flavours of the dishes in the Indian vegetarian platter were mind blowing. Spicy masalas that do justice to the preparations. There were three items in the platter – Char grilled paneer chunks with a smokey flavour and marinated in strong spices. Pineapple presented in a chatpata avatar that we definitely had not tried earlier. The masalas overshadowed the inherent sweetness of the fruit and left for a delicious preparation on the sticks.

Soya Kebabs were the star of the show in this platter. Soft soya, marinated in a very spicy sauce, stuffed with veggies, paneer and nuts. This one was amazing! It was served with a yoghurt based dip and a non-spicy mint dip.

Indian Vegetarian Platter

Veg Mezze Platter – Consisted of crispy and delicious falafels, feta samosas and crispy soft pita bread. Sticky rice balls were made with the thicker rice, slightly crisp on the outside and had a filling of veggies and a little bit of cheese. The dips are mind blowing, especially the hummus. We did not really enjoy the feta samosas as they were a bit oily and a little bland for our taste.

Veg Mezze Platter

Thai Veg Curry – Lots of exotic veggies in a superbly fragrant curry spiced with Thai herbs. It has a mildly spicy aftertaste. We loved the fact that it has just the adequate amount of creaminess and spices. Recommended!

Thai Veg Curry

Sundried and Cherry Tomatoes, Bocconcini and Fresh Basil Pizza – Thin crusted pizza that is topped with bocconcini. The combination of bocconcini and the tomato based sauce were marvellous. Topped with sun-dried and cherry tomatoes and basil leaves, this pizza is a delight. We especially loved the crusty corners and the fresh aroma added by the basil.

Sundried and Cherry Tomatoes, Bocconcini and Fresh Basil Pizza

Pesto Tomato Basil and Mozzarella Sandwich – Overloaded with cheese and pesto, this is a simple yet delightful sandwich in a crispy panini bread. The sandwich primarily has lots of tomatoes and a non-spicy pesto sauce.

Pesto Tomato Basil and Mozzarella Sandwich

Tiramisu – Tiramisu here is a must have! Not only is it perfect, it also has a surprise for you! The creamy dessert is served in a glass along with rum soaked bread. We could not figure out why this bread tasted so good even after we had scavenged it through the deep ends of the glass. The chef then let us in on this secret. The strong essence and flavours that the rum bread and coffee add are mind boggling!


Mega Brownie Sundae Mug – This should be called Mega Happiness Sundae Mug! Delicious, soft and crunchy brownie with lots and lots of vanilla ice cream that was threatening to melt! Made a hell lot messy and tasty by the chocolate sauce and finished with a cherry on top!

Mega Brownie Sundae Mug

Carrot Cake With Whipped Cream – A soft spongy cake with intense cinnamon flavour, lots of nuts and whipped cream. We loved how gooey and soft it was.

Carrot Cake With Whipped Cream

The Ultimate Banoffee Pie – If we were not averse to bananas, this one would have been the dessert for us at Summer House Café. It is without a doubt on the sweeter side, but the toffee sauce makes you want to dig in for just another bite till you have licked the glass and the spoon and maybe even the plate! Heavenly!

The Ultimate Banoffee Pie

Overall Experience:  First, the ambience blows you away and then you are washed over by the astonishingly delicious food and delicate flavours! We were looking at each other with baffled expression after every bite!

Food 🙂

Ambience 🙂

Service 🙂

We guess that enough explanation for the love affair we had with Summer House Café to make you wanna check it out for yourselves? We surely hope so, ‘coz we wouldn’t want you to miss out on this amazing place! Highly recommended!


The Battle: The battle is having to get up and leave from here! Can’t we just get mattresses and sleep here?

Summer House Café – Google Maps

Summer House Cafe Menu, Reviews, Photos, Location and Info - Zomato


Pravas [Lower Parel]

Pravas means journey or migration and a train is quite essentially synonymous with a journey. Pravas- a restaurant on wheels is our ticket to delicious and lip-smacking Gujarati cuisine.Pravas – Gujarati Kitchen & Bar is the first railway coach themed restaurant in Mumbai, that specialises in Gujarati & Kathiawadi cuisine and serves a really mouth-watering thali combination.

The interiors are beautifully done with gold-ivory work and definitely transport us to when rail coaches were a luxurious experience. The instrumental music being played in the background add to this fine dine affair. Pravas is a recreation of the legendary Palace on Wheels and there also exist quite a few aspects in the restaurant that are a reminiscence of the geography that they want to capture. From the famous Kutch embroidery pieces on the walls to the beautiful copper pitchers and lavers used to wash hands to the umbrellas and lanterns with colourful and intricate embroideries and glass-work, all present the best of Gujarat.



They have a different thali menu for weekdays and weekends with dishes being rotated to include a huge variety and some seasonal specials. They also have an a-la-carte menu and a variety of cocktails and mocktails.

We started with two of the special seasonal mocktails – Damru Paan and Mango Creme Delight. Paan and refreshing go together and so does mango and summer.  It would be safe to say that we should be playing the damru to tell you how delightful these two were!

Mango Creme Delight
Damru Paan

Damru Paan is a delicious concoction of the refreshing flavours of paan, gulkand and vanilla in milk. Beetle leaf adds an amazing aroma and flavour to this superb combination. Mango Creme Delight is a very thick and creamy preparation with mango pulp and mint leaves. This is served in an earthen pot and frankly speaking, they couldn’t have done it better!

If our meal begins that well, it has to be a good one! Here is what our weekend thali lunch looked like:

Thali at Pravas

We started with the chaat counter and hogged on Pani Puri, Delhi Chaat and Rawa Biscuit Utappam. 

Rawa Biscuit Utappam

A Gujarati thali is incomplete without delicious sweets and at Pravas, the thali starts with sweets! We were served Ghevar BasundiChurma Ladoo and Anjeer Puran Poli. These are more Rajasthani and Maharashtrian dishes that Gujarati but who are we to complain when they were this delicious? Basundi with bits of crisp Ghevar, this was a perfect delight. It was not very sweet or thick and had the aromatic saffron filled flavour we all love. Churma Ladoo was just as good but a little on the heavier side as was the Puran Poli, owing to the high ghee content.

Ghevar Basundi

Starters included Aloo Armani and Dabeli Dhokla. Aloo Armani was scrumptious, hollow potato skins stuffed with a slightly spicy mixture of onions, chillies, ground nuts, among other ingredients, batter coated and shallow fried. This was not oily and tasted so good. Dabeli Dhokla is a sandwich of dhokla with tamarind chutney and spicy coriander-mint chutney.

There were four sabzis/curries – Tamatar Vatana Khandvi which is a preparation in tomato based curry and lots of peas (vatana) and was on the sweeter side. Ringara Nu Olo is baingan-bharta or eggplant/brinjal based preparation and had a non-spicy, smokey flavour. Sev Tamatar Nu Saak was one of the best options with the desi Gujarati style flavours of tomato curry and was topped with thick sev. Kanda Batata Sambaria is onion and potato based sabzi, it was not spicy and neither was it sweet. This was another favourite here!

Kadhi was not like the sweet Gujarati kadhi but was the Rajasthani version of the same which is thick and slightly spicy with red chilli powder and coriander. It was perfect! Surati Dal was slightly on the sweeter side with lots of ginger and onions. We had these with Bajra Roti, Phulkas and Puri and Steam Rice as accompaniments.

Buttermilk (chaas), salad and an assorted papad platter also came with the thali, everything being unlimited. The prices for the Thali are ₹500 (plus taxes) for weekdays (Monday through Thursday) and ₹700 (plus taxes) for weekends (Friday through Sunday).

Mango Creme Delight

Overall Experience: We don’t know how to say this in Gujarati but the food, as well as the service, was amazing! The staff makes sure they attend to every customer personally and you will not leave without overeating from your meal here!

Food 🙂

Ambience 🙂

Service 🙂

The Battle: Unlimited Thalis are a test of everyone’s capacities and when they start with sweet dishes, suffice to say, it was a long slow battle! Only hope we left something for the other guests! :p

Pravas – Google Maps

Pravas Menu, Reviews, Photos, Location and Info - Zomato

Farzi Café [Lower Parel]

We are at loss for words. And we are lost in thoughts.

When everything that can be said and every word that can be written has already been used to define a place… then what does one say to make a difference? How does one add value?

Maybe sometimes, the difference is made when you add to the chorus of the reverberating statements.

The statements in praise of the Farzification of food. The statements glorifying the exquisite food feast presented at Farzi café. The statements thanking the Kalra’s and the masters in the kitchen for making our taste buds go crazy with the medley of flavours.

It is clear now. Crystal clear.

So here is a resounding YES. Yes, we are totally blown over by Farzi Café. We are deeply and madly in love with the amazing food there!

So now that this confession is off our chests, how about we indulge you in some more details about this intense Love at first bite saga? 😉

We visited Farzi Cafe on a busy weekend for lunch. The decor is minimalistic and brilliant with intricate Jaali work and comfortable sofas. The restaurant has a dynamic ambience that changes from a fine dine premises to a high-energy space, come evening. A prominent bar where the magicians are at work and soft music that fills the restaurant add to the experience.

The wait staff is more than happy to help, guide and indulge you. Ask them and they will shower you with all the details that they can about the dishes. Their enthusiasm is infectious.

Our meal started with a Mishti Doi amuse-bouche, soft spheres of mishti doi with strawberry jelly on top. We only wonder why the amuse-bouche is always so delicious and so damn less in quantity! Agreed, it is supposed to be a single bite-sized hors d’oeuvre, but why!

And then started a roller coaster ride of flavours and textures that made our minds boggle!

Mini Raj Kachori with Okra Salad had lip-smacking flavours of the spicy mint and sweet tamarind chutneys on the kachori along with the veggies, pomegranate seeds and curd. The chutney foam on top made it look even more tempting! The okra salad was crispy and the combination made us long for more after it was done and dusted with!

Mini Raj Kachori

Besant Nagar Chilly Fritters were Bhavnagari chillies stuffed with Mozzarella Cheese filling and fried really crisp. Served in a small cane basket with banana wafers and a tangy tamarind chutney, these chilly fritters are to die for. The slight spiciness of the chillies and the cheese are a match made in heaven. Crispy on the outside, the cheese just melts in your mouth at the first bite!

Besant Nagar Chilli Fritters

Dal Chawal Arancini was nothing short of ambrosia.

The ordinary and ‘not again, mom’ inducing dal-chawal could taste so delightful is beyond our imagination! Dal-chawal mixture made into small rounded balls were stuffed with cheese and deep fried. Presented on a bed of a tangy salsa sauce with cheese, mint chutney, papad and garnished. The dal-chawal mixture is non-spicy and with the cheese, it just melts in your mouth! Really crispy on the outside the goodness oozes out at the first bite! Loved every bit of it! 😍

Dal Chawal Arancini

Next was Pine Nuts and Scallion Paddu-YakiPaddu is basically made with a batter similar to that of dosa/idli wherein the batter balls are steamed and made modestly crisp.

The paddu here were stuffed with pine nuts and were a little crisp on the outside and steaming hot once bit into! They tasted well even without any accompaniments. Served on a bed of a tomato-garlic chutney, this was quite a pleasant surprise!

Pine Nuts and Scallion Paddu-Yaki

Dal Moth Chaat, a mixture of veggies, curd, sprouts, dal-moth and garnished with pomegranate seeds, potato salli and sev. It was served cold in a small clay pot. The perfect combination of the essential sweet-tangy chaat flavours!

Dal Moth Chat

Upma and Curried Mozzarella Bites was upma bonded into bite-sized portions, stuffed with Mozzarella and deep fried into a crispy fritter. It tastes really good with the tangy tamarind chutney. Cheese has an overpowering flavour in this one.

Upma and Curried Mozzarella Bites

The palate cleanser with Hajmola toffee and yoghurt was tangy-sweet and so yummy. Served on sticks we kept licking these like kids with a lollipop!

Hajmola toffee and Yoghurt Sorbet – Palate Cleanser

We then tried Wok Tossed Veggies with Dhaniya KulchaYes, our reaction was the same.Wok tossed veggies and kulcha? Are you sure?

But be sure. ‘Coz the turmeric based gravy that comes with the dish is the ultimate game changer. It gives the veggies a once-in-a-lifetime makeover that strange TVCs selling God knows what boast about.

The wok tossed veggies together with this creamy and very mildly citrusy gravy and soft kulchas was really delicious! Totally recommended!

Wok Tossed Vegetables with Dhaniya Kulcha

Charred Artichoke and Cherry Tomatoes Bisi Bele Bhat was a masaledar bisi bele bhat with lots of veggies. The subtle tangy flavours of artichoke along with cherry tomatoes, coconut garnish and sprinkled with lime juice on top, makes for a must try dish. Not only is it delicious, but also aromatic. Loved this!

Charred Artichoke and Cherry Tomatoes Bisi Bele Bhat

Then was time for dessert!

We have been waiting to tell you about the Ghewar Malai Tart even before we started writing this blog! Such is the mind-blowing goodness of this dessert! Imagine the sweet and mildly crispy deliciousness of Ghewar and then add to it the creamy richness of Malai and then garnish this picture with pistachios. Voila! That masterpiece was on our table. All this with malai foam on top and exotic fruits by the side  – imagine the experience it would have been! We were in paradise! Undoubtedly the pièce de résistance of the day!

Ghewar Malai Tart
Bailey’s Lollipop

We also had the Baileys Lollipop that was frozen lollipops with a chocolate covering and packed a bailey’s punch!

The final sign-off was in the form of a dehydrated paan in gujiya shaped candy floss that could totally pass off as another dessert! Refreshing and toothsome!

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The preparation of good food is merely an expression of art, one of the joys of civilized living – Dione Lucas

The incredible food that we had at Farzi Café only goes on to prove that there is nothing Farzi (fake) about this place!

It might seem impossible to get a table at Farzi Café but the wait and effort are totally worth it. Treat yourself to some desi flavours in a swanky and chic avatar.

Overall Experience – If one was not enough, then we will gladly repeat it for you – We are deeply and madly in love with the amazing food at Farzi Café!

Food 🙂

Ambience 🙂

Service 🙂

The Battle – We are still fighting one, trying to get over the food-hangover after our meal here!

Farzi Café – Google Maps

Farzi Cafe Menu, Reviews, Photos, Location and Info - Zomato

Chai Pe Charcha [Lower Parel]

Have you ever entered a place that makes you smile instantly? Not because of the high-end décor or fancy items… just by being completely simple and welcoming?

That is how I felt when I entered Chai Pe Charcha. I had walked almost a kilometre in the hot sun coz there is no parking bandwidth on this part of the road. But the moment I entered, I just smiled. The place is very simple but yet colourful. Graffiti lines the walls, with small sticky notes by people who loved the place and left a mark. Some five-six tables, with colourful chairs, small tea glasses and kettles serve as bulb holders and are hung from the ceiling. Walls are decorated with the same. The table tops have board games under the glass top with a small tin box containing coins and dice for these games. Just damn homely!

The place is super light on the pocket, with some delicious options. One can enjoy a yummy bowl of Maggi while fighting over it in a game of Snakes & Ladders. It is especially a go-to place if you want some decent north Indian food or bun-maska and chai. The Lower Parel outlet is located opposite Kamla Mills with a hard to miss yellow board stating its name in an even vibrant green.

We tried Gulkand Bun Maska which was just delicious! Soft bun with the right quantity of Gulkand, loved this one!

Gulkand Bun Maska

The Punjabi Combo – which has a paratha of choice served with curd & pickle and a glass of delicious Chass. We tried Gobi Paratha, Aloo Paratha, Paneer Paratha and Pyaz Paratha.

Pyaz Paratha was delicious, filled with a generous quantity of onion based stuffing, just perfect to be had with the curd or pickle, or alone! Even the Aloo Paratha was delicious. Gobi Paratha was much on the drier side, although topped with a dollop of butter… this one did not make our taste buds very happy. Paneer Paratha is another must have here, with loads of paneer and chillies,a perfect combination of yummy and spicy!

Pyaz Paratha
Aloo Paratha Combo

Meri Wali Maggi was the regular masala Maggi, served hot. Who can not like it?

Meri Wali Maggi

Overall Experience: Perfect. Delicious food, pocket-friendly prices and a decent ambience.

Food 🙂

Ambience 🙂

Service – It is a self-service joint.

The Battle: Where there is Maggi, there are fights. There always are! Period.

Charcha Special – Ginger and Lemon Grass Tea

Chai Pe Charcha, Lower Parel – Google Maps

Chai Pe Charcha Menu, Reviews, Photos, Location and Info - Zomato

Cafe Free India [Lower Parel]

Hidden in the bylanes of Lower Parel, there is a relaxed and dimly lit joint – Cafe Free India. The name intrigued me, kinda got me thinking, why ‘Free India’? No, the decor is not based on the freedom fight but has a very welcoming vintage touch to it. One can easily imagine sitting by the window, sipping on a cup of coffee while staring away at the busy street.



The cafe is located bang opposite Deepak Talkies and should be very easy to locate if one follows the map.The street is a one-way street, and parking could be a little tricky for newbies. The cafe is pretty huge but was kinda empty for a Sunday evening barring a few occupied tables.

We started with the Lemon Iced Tea which was on the house. It was perfect and just helped quench the thirst.

Lemon Iced Tea

Cafe Free India is pretty well known for burgers, and so we decided to order the Piri Piri Cottage Cheese Burger, and boy am I glad we made that decision? The burger is on the crispier side but still maintains the juiciness of the cottage cheese. It leaves a lingering tangy – spicy taste of the famous Indian pickles, making it just perfect! And it comes with a huge portion of crispy fries as sides!!

Piri Piri Cottage Cheese Burger
Piri Piri Cottage Cheese Burger

Next, we decided to dig into White Sauce Penne Pasta, or more precisely – Penne Tossed with Sundried Tomatoes, broccoli ,and garlic cream. The first dig into the loaded pasta and our taste buds were dancing. The white sauce is just perfection and can easily crawl into my list of great pasta you must try. The presentation is basic, but the taste more than makes up for it. And food is more for the taste buds than for the eyes, right?

Penne Tossed with Sundried Tomatoes, broccoli ,and garlic cream

We were full. Like really full. But you know me, I cannot say ‘no’ to dessert, especially if it is Red Velvet Cupcake. Although this time, I wish I had. The cupcake was just basic. It was served cold, and the cake (base) was almost tasteless in comparison to the sweet and delectable cream cheese on the top.

Red Velvet Cupcake


Overall Experience: The service is great and the food is amazing. Trying their burgers is highly recommended considering the Piri Piri one left me wanting so much more! And the place is not even heavy on the pocket.




The Battle: You are seriously going to battle yourself this time, ‘coz you are not going to want to leave the super cozy ambience behind. And burgers, need I even point that one out?

Cafe Free India – Google Maps

Cafe Free India Menu, Reviews, Photos, Location and Info - Zomato