Kala Ghoda's latest cafe comforts you with its cosy decor and soul soothing food.
An elevated facade of wooden window frames mounted on corrugated tin as walls, spout bougainvillea flowers. This is your clue to spotting The Nutcracker in one of the lanes of Kala Ghoda otherwise studded with offices. The newly opened cafe has the look and feel of a little European cafe with interiors that mirror the same effect.
Three wooden stools hanging on the wall in a corner, a clipboard clock and other knick-knacks around the place give it a decidedly quaint vibe. While we look for clues for the inspiration behind the name, the owner Anaheeta (Annie) Bafna tells us that it has nothing to do with the famous musical.
36 year old Anaheeta worked as a chartered accountant before motherhood led her to a four year break. After the hiatus she came back with a plan for the cafe, her own recipes in tow. Right from Akuri Pav (Rs 130) served with a stack of Monaco biscuits to Breakfast In A Bottle (Rs 160) – a blend of oats, milk, dates and nuts, the menu oozes a homely charm. Scoop the akuri onto the biscuit and squeeze over some lime before popping it in your mouth. You can thank us later. A tall glass of Mint Lemonade (Rs 120) with a thick layer of freshly pureed mint is a fantastic drink throughout the year in Mumbai. The Breakfast Sliders (RS 190) – tiny burger buns with pesto, scrambled egg and caramelized onions were spot on in terms of the flavours. Though, they could be a little more generous with the portions which are a meagre two per plate right now.
The Classic Jalapeno Grilled Cheese Sandwich (RS 230) - with melted cheese in between large slices of breads was crisp, filling and felt a tad heavy for an early morning meal. Though, we’d totally recommend it if you’re stopping by for a late lunch. The sliders and sandwiches were served with a side of crisp potato wedges and American styled mustard. The Buttermilk Pancakes (Rs 210) and French Toast (Rs 220) arrived next. Served with melted butter, maple syrup and thick blueberry compote, the pancakes were fluffy and light. The French toast served with a dark cherry jam and caramelised nuts were decadent to say the least. The soft slices of bread felt loaded with the sweet eggy dip and the crisp outer skin made it a delicious breakfast choice.
We finished the last of the pancakes, gulped down the last of our Breakfast in a Bottle shake and moved on to the desserts. The Lemon Tart (Rs 80) which was picture perfect had a crisp pastry and creamy lemon curd with a smooth citrusy taste. The light and airy Baked Philadelphia Cheesecake (Rs 260) was served with a dollop of blueberry compote. But, it was the Warm Seven Layered Cookie (Rs 260) which put a Cheshire grin on our faces. The cookie had a buttery and crumbly biscuit base covered with Belgian dark chocolate, butterscotch, cream, almond flakes and was served with a scoop of vanilla ice-cream.
At the very least The Nutcracker is the kind of place that could inspire you to have new ideas or chalk out incomplete ones. Perfect for a city teaming with creative folk, wouldn’t you agree?
Must Try: Buttermilk Pancakes, Breakfast In A Bottle, Mint Lemonade, Warm Seven Layer Cookie
Meal For Two: Rs 1000 + taxes