-By Rashmi Uday Singh
This year-old, shabby-chic "bungalow restaurant" continues to rock! Charming, printed floor tiles, high ceilings, peeling walls (graffiti on one too), translucent windows and unmistakable laid-back feel here. At night, it shimmers with candles, and in the day it is bathed in daylight when the fabricated vintage details (old bird cage, whirring fans, old paintings, printed cushions) blur together to relax and lull you. Breakfasts in Bandra are suddenly a bit brighter - Pali Village Cafe has a new (a la carte) menu consisting of eggs, sausage, omelette, cereal and milk or juices - the usual Continental fare. Chef Conrad D'Souza's food is not about fanciful conceit or adornment but the focus is on the central ingredient: Pizza by the (very thin) Slice (superb Pepperoni with Fig, Garlic with Goat cheese), and al dente Aglio Olio. The Watermelon and Feta Salad comes out tops. Plenty of adventure on the new menu - Cambodian Bassa, Cajun Norwegian Salmon, Pumpkin Sage Risotto, Poached Pears and Fennel Salad, Chorizo Peppers and Asparagus and Chicken Liver Pate with Melba and Blueberry Compote. There are clean, contemporary versions of classics: Pork Chops, Asparagus and Mushroom-stuffed Aubergine Rolls, Seared Tofu Steak, Fettucine with Pesto, Lamb and Caramelized Onion and even a Turkey Pastrami and Mustard Sandwich. Dessertaholics, this is your Mecca: oozing Chocolate Fondant, Matcha Creme Brulee, Panacotta (it could do without the passion fruit) and more. Here then is food that will comfort you rather than dazzle you, an atmosphere that is cool and informal, and prices that aren't near the extreme end of the spectrum. It is affordable and approachable. Mumbai needs more of these. P.S. Ranbir Kapoor, Katrina Kaif and Arjun Rampal love the year-old "Pali Village Cafe" for its "chilled vibe".
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