Restaurant Review: 212 All Day Cafe & Bar, Bandra Kurla Complex, Mumbai

Overall rating: 3.5/5 – Good Food. Had a nice experience.

Mostly, I plan my outings well in advance, and I generally do not deflect my strategic plans ; however, sometimes, you just need to play it by ear to surprise yourself. At the end of our exhaustive shopping endeavour at Phoenix Marketcity, my husband and I were tired and famished for food. I did not make any dinner plans this time, but the option of 212 All Day Café & Bar showed by the quick search results of Zomato app turned out to be our salvation, and our curiosity to explore a new restaurant landed us at this place. In a nice bit of serendipity, our first encounter with this beautiful and spacious place was very good, and we really had a good time on a Sunday evening in Mumbai where we did not have to whine about the waiting time, and the minimalistic crowd did not let anyone overhear our conversations and vice versa, thankfully. This café and bar got opened recently, just three months ago, and the kind of ambiance, service, and the food – where I did suggest some enhancements – they offer, it should not take them much time to attract the customers. Let’s see the review in detail.

Food: 3.5/5

Penne Sundried Tomato Veg Pasta:

As the name suggests, this Penne pasta was cooked in a tomato gravy with some vegetables. The dish was flavourful, and the sauce was too good. The al dante pasta was cooked at the right temperature where it was neither chewy nor too soft. I loved the richness of taste in the pasta sauce, and the blend of flavours tasted great on my palate. Overall, the pasta sauce was absolutely delectable. However, there were some concerns.

First and foremost, it did not have much vegetables, and I could only see 3-4 pieces of Broccoli. It had a strong flavour of Sundried tomatoes which were blended well, and I liked it, but the vegetables were missing. Second, I felt that the sauce was less in comparison to the quantity of the Pasta; hence, the appearance of the dish gave me the impression of a slightly dry pasta. Please note that the pasta was cooked extremely well in the sauce, but due to its less quantity, the dish did look a tad dry. We definitely had the option to add more veggies by paying extra, but I would always prefer my dish to have everything which it requires and would not like to ask for specific additions. The last concern which I felt was in terms of the serving size quantity. I did feel that the portion size of Pasta dish was less as compared to what I have had at other places. Even after finishing the entire dish, I was not satisfied and wanted to eat something else as well.

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Spicy House Special Pizza:

This thin crust Pizza was served with the toppings of Capsicums, Onions, Mushrooms, Corn, Jalapeño, and Basil. The Pizza was cooked beautifully with its impeccable thin crust, and its oval shape, instead of round, was very appealing. The cheese was of very fine quality – I am glad that they did not use Amul cheese which many restaurants tend to use – and I liked the flavours as well. Another good thing, it was very light, and I did not feel heavy at the end. The preparation was perfect, and the pizza looked extremely mouthwatering and appetising with its sight and smell; however, I just had two concerns. First, I felt that the flavours in the Pizza sauce or the seasoning was less. Its beautiful appearance gave me lot of expectations in terms of savouriness; however, the flavours did not hit my palate to that extent. Second, once again, I would have preferred more vegetables. I specifically missed the spiciness of Jalapeños because their quantity was less, and as the name of this dish contains the term “Spicy”, I was expecting more flavour from Jalapeños.

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Both the dishes were good, and we did enjoy them; however, the above mentioned points would have enhanced their taste to a great level and would have made them simply delectable. My husband and I decided to give some feedback to the chef. The chef Vishal Kothavali was an extremely genuine and courteous person who did listen to these areas of improvement – not grievances or complains – in a very respectful manner, and he did express his gratitude towards us for the fair and honest feedback. He explained his modus operandi to us, and he interacted in a very sophisticated manner. After having a positive and wonderful discussion with him, I am sure that he is going to take care of these aspects going forward.

Also, as a token of appreciation, they gave us a complimentary dessert which was a flourless chocolate cake. It was a surprise for us, and we sincerely appreciate the chef for this kind gesture. This dessert was stunning in its appearance and looked absolutely heavenly. Even though my husband and I are not fond of desserts, this one was simply irresistible, and I could not dissemble my excitement. The amazing aspect was its preparation method as it was completely flourless and was made up of just chocolate. The beautiful cooking mechanism in terms of its flavour, texture, and moistness was incredible. The cake was delicious with its perfect creaminess, and the right amount of sweetness was balancing the entire dessert. Again, thank you for this gesture, and we will always remember this for sure.

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Service and Ambiance: 4/5

The place is beautiful and gives you a nice feeling the moment you enter it. The décor and the interior design were complementing each other, and the perfectly lit environment was very soothing. The place does look new, but the decent and sober design – not at all flamboyant – does make you feel good.  However, I would like to suggest few things in terms of Ambiance. My first suggestion would be to use proper napkins of good cloth rather than paper napkins. It is a fine dining restaurant, and the concept of paper napkins at this place did not give me the feeling of sophistication. There were minor flaws in the cutlery as well which, again, I do not expect in a fine dining restaurant. At the end, it was difficult for me to clean my hands with such small paper napkins, and when I asked for some wet tissues, they were, again, too small and had no fragrance. I felt that they applied some water on the normal paper napkins and gave them to me.

The service was extremely good. We were seated promptly, and our order came on time. Our server was efficient in his responsibilities and was also quite attentive in taking care of our needs. After our conversation with the chef, I was even more impressed with the hospitality.

Value for money: 2.5/5

Our total bill for two dishes was 1027 rupees including all the taxes. I felt that the serving quantity of the dishes is less as compared to what I have seen in other restaurants. Also, I missed the vegetables big time, especially in Pasta; hence, I am giving 3 out of 5 in value for money aspect.

I am not trying to be hypercritical while writing this review, and my intention is to communicate these areas of improvement to the team so that they can work on them and give their customers a wonderful experience. I definitely liked the place, and the food was good. As already mentioned, the food was flavoursome; however, my expectations were more in terms of flavour. Also, I sincerely appreciate the fact that the chef took our feedback in a very positive manner and gave us a wonderful complimentary dessert at the end. I would like to visit this place again and will look forward to a different experience. At the end of the day, we were happy that we found a new restaurant and had a nice time overall.

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