Summer House Café [Todi Mill, Lower Parel]

The weekend aways makes us happy. But this time, it left us elated! Like any other day, we zeroed in on a location to satiate our growling tummies and went ahead. We had heard the place we had selected – Summer House Café is an amazing one, we just did not know the enormity of the amazingness and hence, were more than under prepared for what hit us once we landed here!

Summer House Café is a dreamy setup, a beautiful place! For us, it felt like another world! Just far away, another country, another landscape, ‘coz surely, something this amazing cannot be right here, correct?

The white and blue facade with bamboo sticks forming a part of the wall reminded us of a shack in some beach country. Then we entered through the doors and were awestruck by the bustling area and it literally took us a few minutes to take everything in.

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During these few minutes, we were informed that a workshop was in progress on the lower level, were ushered to our tables upstairs and handed over the menu.

And not assimilating all this, we were still looking around wondering how the wooden beams and columns fit perfectly, how just the right amount of light enters through the glass windows and how beautiful it would be to stare at the sky in the evening (if only Mumbai skies were clear).

How the clock, which surprisingly wasn’t working, fits perfectly in the scene and how the lampshade next to us is the epitome of vintage chicness! Yup, such are the exaggerated feelings when you are not prepared for something and then are clean bowled by it.

The ambience makes everything look better. The area is huge and very spacious. and superbly lit during the daytime and transforms to a dim lit, fine dining area come evening. That’s the upper level. The lower level is still the den of activity. It is a house to comedy shows, band performances, crazy retro dance nights, book & reading clubs and painting workshops to name few. When we were here, by the evening, a workshop on knife painting led to a colourful chatter here and then, just like in the movies, the entire scene changed to become host to a movie launch party. And we sat there, hogging and marvelling!

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The menu here is a maze! There is so much variety that you are confused and yet the humble staff say that they know the variety is limited! Coming to the staff, the service is prompt and friendly and the Chef surely knows how to win you over, en route your stomach! Here is what we hogged on at Summer House Café –

Yuzu Pineapple Smash – A refreshing combination of lime, yuzu (a citrus fruit giving the drink a slight tart) and basil. Thyme and fennel seeds added a mind blowing aroma and flavour.

Blueberry Twist Smash – A tangy concoction of blueberry, lime and orange. Rosemary adds a very refreshing flavour. This one packs a sure punch!

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Yuzu Pineapple Smash & Blueberry Twist Smash

Jalapeno Cheese Poppers – Crispy batter fried poppers with mozzarella cheese and made spicy with lots of chilli flakes and jalapenos. These are better spelt as ‘perfection’! Pop these and see the cheese oozing out! But make sure you have the poppers before someone snatches them off the plate.

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Jalapeno Cheese Poppers

The Haystack Salad – Sprouts, bell peppers, tomatoes, black beans, cucumber, lettuce, corn and more! And topped or rather stacked with crispy tortilla fingers. There is a slight hint of sweetness in the salad owing to the ingredients and we would have better liked it with a little bit of black pepper if not chilli to ease out the sweetness.

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The Haystack Salad

Nachos with Salsa and Sour Cream – Fresh, crispy tortilla chip loaded with chopped tomatoes, spring onions, jalapenos, black beans, and a tangy salsa sauce. The cheese sauce and sour cream are wonderful!

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Nachos with Salsa and Sour Cream

Indian Vegetarian Platter – The intense and spicy flavours of the dishes in the Indian vegetarian platter were mind blowing. Spicy masalas that do justice to the preparations. There were three items in the platter – Char grilled paneer chunks with a smokey flavour and marinated in strong spices. Pineapple presented in a chatpata avatar that we definitely had not tried earlier. The masalas overshadowed the inherent sweetness of the fruit and left for a delicious preparation on the sticks.

Soya Kebabs were the star of the show in this platter. Soft soya, marinated in a very spicy sauce, stuffed with veggies, paneer and nuts. This one was amazing! It was served with a yoghurt based dip and a non-spicy mint dip.

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Indian Vegetarian Platter

Veg Mezze Platter – Consisted of crispy and delicious falafels, feta samosas and crispy soft pita bread. Sticky rice balls were made with the thicker rice, slightly crisp on the outside and had a filling of veggies and a little bit of cheese. The dips are mind blowing, especially the hummus. We did not really enjoy the feta samosas as they were a bit oily and a little bland for our taste.

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Veg Mezze Platter

Thai Veg Curry – Lots of exotic veggies in a superbly fragrant curry spiced with Thai herbs. It has a mildly spicy aftertaste. We loved the fact that it has just the adequate amount of creaminess and spices. Recommended!

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Thai Veg Curry

Sundried and Cherry Tomatoes, Bocconcini and Fresh Basil Pizza – Thin crusted pizza that is topped with bocconcini. The combination of bocconcini and the tomato based sauce were marvellous. Topped with sun-dried and cherry tomatoes and basil leaves, this pizza is a delight. We especially loved the crusty corners and the fresh aroma added by the basil.

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Sundried and Cherry Tomatoes, Bocconcini and Fresh Basil Pizza

Pesto Tomato Basil and Mozzarella Sandwich – Overloaded with cheese and pesto, this is a simple yet delightful sandwich in a crispy panini bread. The sandwich primarily has lots of tomatoes and a non-spicy pesto sauce.

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Pesto Tomato Basil and Mozzarella Sandwich

Tiramisu – Tiramisu here is a must have! Not only is it perfect, it also has a surprise for you! The creamy dessert is served in a glass along with rum soaked bread. We could not figure out why this bread tasted so good even after we had scavenged it through the deep ends of the glass. The chef then let us in on this secret. The strong essence and flavours that the rum bread and coffee add are mind boggling!

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Tiramisu

Mega Brownie Sundae Mug – This should be called Mega Happiness Sundae Mug! Delicious, soft and crunchy brownie with lots and lots of vanilla ice cream that was threatening to melt! Made a hell lot messy and tasty by the chocolate sauce and finished with a cherry on top!

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Mega Brownie Sundae Mug

Carrot Cake With Whipped Cream – A soft spongy cake with intense cinnamon flavour, lots of nuts and whipped cream. We loved how gooey and soft it was.

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Carrot Cake With Whipped Cream

The Ultimate Banoffee Pie – If we were not averse to bananas, this one would have been the dessert for us at Summer House Café. It is without a doubt on the sweeter side, but the toffee sauce makes you want to dig in for just another bite till you have licked the glass and the spoon and maybe even the plate! Heavenly!

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The Ultimate Banoffee Pie

Overall Experience:  First, the ambience blows you away and then you are washed over by the astonishingly delicious food and delicate flavours! We were looking at each other with baffled expression after every bite!

Food 🙂

Ambience 🙂

Service 🙂

We guess that enough explanation for the love affair we had with Summer House Café to make you wanna check it out for yourselves? We surely hope so, ‘coz we wouldn’t want you to miss out on this amazing place! Highly recommended!

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The Battle: The battle is having to get up and leave from here! Can’t we just get mattresses and sleep here?

Summer House Café – Google Maps

Summer House Cafe Menu, Reviews, Photos, Location and Info - Zomato

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Café Trofima [Shivaji Park, Dadar]

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Day 1: *As we drive by* Hey look, that looks like a nice place. We should go here sometime.

Day 20: I heard Xyz went to Café Trofima. I really want to go there. Let’s please go!

Day 32: Yet again we are passing by this place and not entering.

Day 59: *As we drive by, again!* This is heights. Why do we always have somewhere else to go and never here?

Day 139: *Phone Beeps*

Friend No. 2 – Hey, It’s been long. Let’s Catch up. Friday?

Me – Hey! Friday seems diffic….. *another message arrives*

Friend No. 2 – How about Café Trofima?

Me – *Deletes previously typed message* Hell yes! It has been ages! Time?

And finally, Day 141 – Yes Yes Yes! At last, enter Café Trofima 😉

Cutting the super long story short, we have been waiting for months to visit this place and finally, it happened!

Café Trofima is a mid-sized café located at a prime corner on the main road in the ever so crowded Shivaji Park. Every time we passed by this café, we felt it was a complete fine dine place. As we entered, we noticed, although it was still a fine-dine, it had a very young vibe to it.

With the slightly dim lights, grey and white interiors and the colourful frames and cups adding a fun vibe, the café is cozy and comfy! Colourful chairs, pillars covered with 3D writings of dishes the café serves. A dessert counter displaying mouth-watering pastries and cakes and other bakes along with boards that mention the specials of the day. Tall French windows, soft music, the smell of rich coffee…it is a perfect French style café with lots to offer.

The freak shakes at Café Trofima are pretty famous, so we started with Freaky Anni Oreo. Thick Oreo milkshake, loaded with whipped cream and chocolate sauce. It has every good thing that exists on the dessert planet – Oreos, Chocolate Cigars, Choco Chips, Gummy bears, Marshmallows and lots of chocolate sauce! Sinful, but good.

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Freaky Anni Oreo

Chilli Garlic Potato Wedges were crisp wedges topped with lots of chilli flakes and had a slight garlic flavour to them. A spicy pesto sauce would have done wonders.

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Chilli Garlic Potato Wedges

They nailed the salsa sauce in the Nachos which was a good combination of spicy and tangy. Crispy tortilla chips, loaded with beans and salsa along with lots of cheese, this one, we loved!

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Nachos

Red Velvet Cupcakes were decent, probably our timing was wrong, coz they had become a little too dense. Dark Chocolate Cupcake was yummy.

We also ordered String Zucchini and Olives Open Cheese Baguette. Crispy bread with parboiled zucchini, bell peppers and olives and lots of cheese. Cheese overpowered the flavours in this one.

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String Zucchini and Olives Open Cheese Baguette
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Mushroom, Capsicum and Onion Pizza
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Passion Fruit Mojito

What we loved was the Mushroom, Capsicum and Onion Pizza.

A thin crust pizza with lots of veggies and loaded with Cheddar and Mozzarella cheese, this one was delicious!

The cheese was not chewy and with each bite, the flavours of cheese and veggies came out perfectly.

Passion Fruit Mojito was much more minty and much less passion-fruity, but refreshing nonetheless.

Red Thai Curry with Rice was the star of the show with the perfect creamy smooth gravy having an undertone of coconut.

The rice was fragrant and well separated. The Thai Gravy was loaded with veggies and taste delicious!

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Red Thai Curry with Rice

Overall Experience: The food is good here, not out of the world. Some things are good and there are some misses. Sadly, we expected a lot more. The prices are all inclusive of taxes. The service is friendly and courteous but a tad slack. Although we loved the fact that nobody bothered us with ‘what next, sir/madam’ questions!

Food 🙂

Ambience 🙂

Service 🙂

The Battle: Freaky Oreo Anni will turn you into a battling freak. You will fight anyone and everyone for this one!

Café Trofima – Google Maps

Cafe Trofima Menu, Reviews, Photos, Location and Info - Zomato