If you are familiar with the Bandra neighborhood of Mumbai then you might have noticed the recent transformation of this restaurant. Located on a busy corner (although what road is not busy in Bandra?) the exterior of The Sassy Spoon doesn’t really do justice to what welcomes you when you step inside, an all too common occurrence in Mumbai it would seem. Somewhat of a tardis, the interior is surprisingly large, enhanced by a subdued color scheme but with pops of fuchsia pink colored cushions on the chairs.
Greeted upon our arrival, my lunch companion and I were asked if we wished to be seated inside or out. With temperatures already in the 90s, inside seemed the sensible choice. Interestingly I did not notice any outside seating? We were shown to an interior section of the restaurant that housed the retail counter, where you can purchase food to takeaway, and a rather stunning expanse of wall, decorated with vintage bread bins. It transpires that the definition of outside for this restaurant is not by the windows!
This is the second restaurant for the Chef/Owners Rachel Goenka and Irfan Pabaney who began their collaboration in February 2013 when they opened a restaurant located at Nariman Point. Having worked previously at Indigo and Hakkasan the chefs describe their offering as “eclectic European, with innovative twists to popular dishes from cuisines that span a variety of countries”. The menu is quite expansive, broken into sections for Breakfast (served from 9am-4pm), Appetizers, Soups, Salads, Sassywichs, Between Pois, Flatbreads, From the Skittle, Main Course, and of course Dessert –phew a lot to read. Oh, and they serve high tea between 4pm-7pm if you need more choice.
The drinks menu that accompanied the food volume was equally as impressive, with non-alcoholic coolers, iced teas, and smoothies alongside martinis, margaritas, cocktails and wines. Prices for alcohol were on the steep side, with Grey Goose at Rs 750 and a bottle of New Zealand Pinot running Rs 5800, but the huge selection was quite impressive.
After reading through the menu a few times we finally decided to try the macaroni and saffron carbonara with lots of bacon (yes that is part of the description and proved to be very accurate) at Rs 575 and a salad of warm lemony couscous with toasted almonds, peppers, chili and coriander with prawns and squid at Rs 450.
We were a little surprised when the salad was delivered to the table a good five minutes before the carbonara, but other than this little faux pas generally the service was good. I have read a few online reviews that have slammed this location for poor service so perhaps they have taken note of this and have trained the staff accordingly.
As with many restaurants in Mumbai, waitstaff are often plentiful but can be a little encroaching and over bearing. We found that our waiter was sufficiently attentive, but did not hover or watch us take every mouthful – as I have experienced in other restaurants.
We dined around 1.30pm on a Thursday and the restaurant had a steady flow of customers throughout our visit. The atmosphere was relaxed and I would say a perfect place to catch up with a girlfriend over lunch. Our food tasted fresh with portion size on the smaller side, but I prefer quality over quantity any day. Don’t expect a complimentary breadbasket, something that I have found is quite customary in many Mumbai restaurants, but do expect a tasty, eclectic mix of dishes that offer plenty of choice.
Address Classic Corner, St. Andrew Road, Bandra (W)
Contact Numbers: +91-86555 55555
Hours: 12:00pm to 10:45pm (according to website but menu at Bandra location offered breakfast at 9am?)
No Reservations: Walk Ins Only
Price Guide: Meal for two Rs 2000 (without alcohol)
Credit cards accepted
Other Location: Ground Floor, Express Towers Nariman Point
The above article first appeared in the latest edition of Chalo! magazine.