Our first look at Café by The St. Regis Mumbai—a chic addition to the city’s cafe culture 

Expect elevated classics and dishes with a local touch. 

Harper's Bazaar India

The Phoenix-Palladium mall in Mumbai has a brand-new cafe, adding to the crop of slick restaurants and eateries that dot the shopping complex. Luxury hotel The St. Regis Mumbai, which neighbours the mall, has opened its cafe on the ground floor called Café by The St. Regis Mumbai. While the first section of the eatery opened on December 24, an extension of the cafe opens on March 4. 

It’s all about a minimal but sophisticated vibe 

The C-shaped cafe straddles one of the columns in the mall, which, the manager tells me, hides a lift straight to the hotel, maintaining the synergy between the two. Done up in minimal accents of black, gold, white, and grey, the interiors reflect the ambience of the hotel—there are 11 marble-topped tables, a stylish marble and gold counter that displays fresh bakes, and a grid of cute plants adorning the wall behind the dessert counter. 

Dig into refined cafe fare 

The menu is divided into all-day breakfast, small plates, big plates (suitable for a hearty lunch), sandwiches, vegan offerings, baked goodies, and drinks. 

While you’ll find classic dishes like croque monsieur on the menu, most dishes have been given a traditional twist. For example, the Mumbai Masala Benedict has soft poached eggs topped with a spiced hollandaise and curry leaf dust and is served with the quintessential pav instead of the usual bread. 

The wide selection of butter croissants is not to be missed either—they are large, crisp, flaky, and are served with extra butter on the side. 

Small plates feature dishes like an Asparagus and Purple Potato Soup, Burrata and Baby Gem Salad, and Avocado Tartine. The tartine comes with a mix of mashed avocado, pickled jalapenos, and dill and cream cheese spread piled generously on crisp multigrain toast, and is topped with slabs of Parmigiano Reggiano for added indulgence to an otherwise healthy dish. 

The sandwiches are not to be missed either; we tried the unique-sounding ‘Couples’ chicken burger, which did justice to its name. It comes with two simple and flavourful sliders, minus the mess involved with over-the-top burgers that are commonplace nowadays—they feature a juicy chicken patty with lettuce, truffle mayo, and cheddar cheese. An in-house salad with quinoa tossed in a mustard vinaigrette and spicy fries completes the dish. The fries are the star, though—they are made with a special spice blend that marries slight heat with tang. They’re not as spicy as your regular peri peri fries and have a lemony tang that makes them addictive and perfect for having with the slightly sweeter ketchup. The dish is in line with the concept of minimal and light cafe nibbles that one can enjoy post a shopping spree. 

The cafe offers a wide range of 100% Arabica coffees. The espresso shot that I ordered came in a whiskey glass and was strong and refreshing, as it should be. If you’re not a coffee lover, then peruse their extensive collection of teas, smoothies, shakes, and mocktails. The Ginger Lychee mocktail is a mix of lychee, ginger honey, rose, and lime.  

Round off your meal with an extensive selection of desserts. Chocolate fans can indulge in the decadent Belgian chocolate truffle cake. If you prefer lighter desserts, the Florida pistachio saffron cake, which has a soft vanilla sponge layered with whipped cream and topped with fresh fruits, will be right up your alley.