Mondegar Nerves

Cafe Mondegar, Colaba


If you happen to be from Mumbai & boast of an insatiable appetite for food, you are most likely to know Cafe Mondegar– the seemingly cramped place near the Gateway, Colaba Causeway. I am someone who would love food to be small capsules with chemicals convincing the brain that I’ve had a full satisfying meal but then- lets get back to the ‘experience’ again. Now really, ‘experience’ is all about the specific secretions inside the brain. That is it. Yes, the heck. But now, back to the seemingly real ‘experience’ again.

I always end up being at Mondegar one way or the other. It was where I tried my first beer (not my type, thanks) and the first meal with my business partner after a satisfying mentor-meet. I don’t drink and the only things I’ve had there are bowlfuls of magnificently subtle rice. The perfect flavors, the perfect blend & the tender hint of veggies present. Cannot get better. Note that they have some awesome coffee mugs. The point? I don’t drink, I am not a foodie, I adore mugs, I’ve been there thrice and I’m a fan already.

I like the walls they have. They are covered with these huge paintings that remind me of 1970s British Newspaper cartoons. Pay attention- I wrote ‘remind me of’, not ‘similar to’. Yes, I’m grinning.

Done by wonderful wonderful Mario Miranda. If you’re the smart one with the sharp eye, you’ll notice the fellows who drink beer and some random animals. You will notice them anyway. A high ceiling, they have. And some good lights.

I like the tables they have. Menus will be proudly displaying their content from under the sly glass-top of any table you choose. Gotcha. Since there are no separate menus, owners efficiently manage to dismember ‘clutter’ and save costs too. Furniture, being old fashioned and the way we want it to be, makes us feel real good.

Waiters are an enthusiastic breed at this joyful place. They look similar, are very smart, do resemble an MI5 agent while taking down orders & conveniently forget to serve water right away. There are humans who guzzle down water instead of beer, they ought to know.

The crowd? I thought we were past this already. In case you have been tad procrastinating and have not guessed it yet- we can see a lot of foreigners and youths here. The place is almost always full, with a table or two to spare. On recognizing those lucky tables from the vantage point of the entrance door (with people around you shuffling in or out), we wade through a partially drunk sea of folks having a good time. And then it rubs off. Then your pals eat/drink and so do you. And holy cow you end up having a nice nice time till its time to go. Wonderful world.

Music is essential, no? I will blast you with a Waffen-SS fire-spitting weapon of the 1940s if you disagree. So we have an agreement here.

The place has well-picked country music playing through the speakers. With the earthy flavors of the food and a dash of country music, beer is probably all that is required to take you to a new high. I don’t understand why we drink the foul smelling chemical liquid though.

I’m fond of the place, I tell you. And I’m fond of the energy it radiates. Make an effort to feel good and some pretty chicks might give you the look. That is when you put an arm around your girl’s waist. Wicked. Weird. Senselessly obligatory.

Tea-Center deserves a mention too. For that is where we go [‘Hey Where Do We Go’ by Rainvan is a good listen] if we want to feel sophisticated. What ho, it is another story. Dream of Rice Bowls and overall Mondegar ‘hawt’-ness for now.


love and peace


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