The Breakfast Club
From bacon and eggs to granola and fruits, we rate the 14 best breakfasts around town.
Depending on time constraints and gastronomic inclination, breakfast for some can mean scrambled eggs, sausages and toast, or just coffee on the go. Whatever the size, it’s undoubtedly the most important meal of the day. So where do you go when you want pancakes? Eggs Hollandaise? A yoghurt smoothie, perhaps? We chowed down at 14 cafés and restaurants around town (steering clear of five-stars, which deserve a list of their own), rating them for their offerings of eggs, waffles, sausages and other breakfasty goods (Indian options, like five-stars, are for another list). Where do you go when you want a decent fry-up? Tell us in the comments section.
Clifton Trishool Housing Society, Oshiwara Village, off Link Road, Lokhandwala, Andheri West. Tel: 2633 5709.
Price: Rs185 for a plate of toast and three eggs cooked any way.
Time: All-day breakfast. Daily, 9am to midnight.
Order the café’s tall glass of unsweetened watermelon juice and their eggs Florentine, and your morning grogginess is guaranteed to abate. The eggs Florentine comprise of two crisp toasts that support a bed of creamy spinach, two poached-to-perfection eggs and a layer of shredded mature cheddar. It’s a recommended indulgence after a night of binge drinking. The café serves other, equally hearty breakfast dishes such as eggs Benedict and eggs cooked three ways, with which you can order sides of smoked salmon, bacon or chicken sausages.
Feel-good factor: High. It’s a decadent breakfast that will soak up the dullness.
KALA GHODA CAFE
10 Ropewalk Lane (across from Trishna), Kala Ghoda. Tel: 2263 3866.
Price: A breakfast for one costs about Rs200.
Time: Daily, from 9am to 12.30pm.
Breakfasts here tend to err on the side of nutrition and health. Even so, their muesli with fresh fruit and yoghurt is delicious, as are their Belgian waffles (with chocolate sauce, if you’re feeling indulgent). The fried eggs (ask for them with chopped green chillies) and masala omelette are best had with their thick, homemade, whole wheat toast. Finish it all off with a small glass of ABC—their signature apple, beetroot and carrot juice that comes with all breakfast combos. Their coffees, particularly their espressos and macchiatos, are possibly the best in South Mumbai.
Feel-good factor: Medium-high. Even with no real meat protein, KGC’s breakfast is good for a quick post-workout meal.
Sentinel House, Arthur Bunder Road, Colaba. Tel: 6634 5670.
Price: Rs265 for eggs Benedict.
Time: All-day breakfast. Daily, 9am to midnight.
The poached eggs in our eggs Florentine were slightly overcooked but were placed over a bed of garlicky, creamed spinach and two crispy English muffins. The dish is served with a side of pan tossed potatoes garnished with chilli flakes and parsley and three cocktail chicken sausages sautéed in the same garnish. If it’s comfort food you seek, order their French toast: six butter-doused slices of brown bread served with sides of honey and Nutella. They also serve egg bhurji and eggs Shakshouka (a Moroccan preparation of eggs cooked in a sauce of tomatoes, peppers and onions).
Feel-good factor: Medium. As with most of the food at Basilico, the eggs were passable.
Classic Corner Building, near Holy Family Hospital, Hill Road, Bandra West. Tel: 2642 1484.
Time: All-day breakfast. Daily, 10am to midnight.
Price: Rs130 for an Italian omelette.
Disco balls and crimson-coloured fur wallpaper are much too jarring to the eyes when you’ve stumbled out of bed. But if you can ignore Mocha Mojo’s garish interiors, it’s a good place for a fulfilling, value for money breakfast. We recommend their Italian omelette: a two-egg preparation folded to a crescent and stuffed with chicken sausages. The dish is served with a side of French fries, slices of crisp, herbed ciabatta and chive butter, all for just Rs130. The carb on carb action (potatoes + bread) keeps you sated for a good four or five hours afterwards. Add to your order a plate of their buttermilk pancakes served with a swirl of fresh cream and a bowl of honey, and you’re done eating for the day.
Feel-good factor: Medium. Ideal for a cheap yet wholesome breakfast.
LE PAIN QUOTIDIEN
Dhanraj Mahal, CSM Road, Apollo Bunder, near the Gateway of India, Colaba. Tel: 6615 0202.
Price: A breakfast for one costs about Rs400.
Time: From 8am to 11am on weekdays; and from 8am to 3pm on weekends.
The Belgian bakery chain had to cave to Indian tastes by including upma and masala omelettes on their menu but frankly, like their other egg preparations, they’re better had elsewhere. If you’re at LPQ, it has to be nothing short of carbocide. OD on their fragrant bread basket made up of a warm pain au chocolate, croissants, a mascarpone and almond danish as well as their signature sour dough bread. This would also be a good time to slather on their complimentary hazelnut spread that is only served for breakfast.
Feel-good factor: High if it’s a carbohydrate overload that you want (or looking to break your Atkins diet).
B-9/10, Gangangiri Apartments, near Café Coffee Day, Off Carter Road, Bandra (West). Tel: 2605 3307.
Price: Rs210 for the Hangover Remedy.
Time: Daily, 8am to 1pm.
Ironically, Crepe Station’s Hangover Remedy, a dish of three fried eggs over grilled chicken sausages and toast, is the antithesis of a life-affirming breakfast. The eggs, cooked sunny side up, are unseasoned. We were served four pieces of chicken sausages that tasted cold and chewy, as if not thawed properly. The bread is a single, sorry looking piece of toast and the scanty garnish of gherkins over the eggs does little to salvage the dish. The slow and unenthusiastic service makes the experience even less memorable. Most egg preparations are served with a combination of mash, grilled tomatoes, coleslaw and chicken sausages. The accompanying fresh fruit juice (we chose watermelon) was the only saving grace of this soulless breakfast.
Feel good factor: Low. Both the service and the cooking seem forced.
Wodehouse Road, opposite Regal Cinema, Colaba. Tel: 2287 5752.
Price: Rs125 for a plate of two eggs served with multigrain toast and Lyonnaise potatoes.
Time: Daily, 8am to 11.30am.
A stack of the morning papers, Bob Dylan and David Gray on the stereo, free wi-fi and quick and friendly service are some of the perks of eating breakfast at Woodside Inn. The choices crammed into the two-page long breakfast menu can be a bit baffling. We opted for the bruschetta with chicken salami, pan-tossed mushrooms, poached eggs and balsamic rocket. The bruschetta is actually a lightly toasted English muffin piled with butter-sauteed button mushrooms, chicken salami, poached egg and rocket. The balsamic sauce doesn’t quite agree with the delicate flavour of the expertly-poached egg. We found no fault with the adequately greasy side of Lyonnaise potatoes or their fluffy, Frisbee-sized pancakes, served with fresh fruits, maple syrup, honey and Nutella. When feeling particularly adventurous, try a breakfast pizette (eggs sunny side up on a six-inch pizza) or the artery clogging double cheddar beef burger, which is also part of the breakfast menu.
Feel good factor: Medium. The restaurant has a cheerful ambience and a host of adventurous choices for those willing to experiment early in the day.
EAT AROUND THE CORNER
Ground Floor, 110 Cyrus House, near St. Theresa School, junction of 24th and 30th Road, Bandra (West). Tel: 2600 6717.
Price: French breakfast: Rs210; English breakfast: Rs320; American breakfast: Rs420.
Time: Daily, from 7am to 11am.
Eat Around the Corner offers three breakfast combinations: French, English and American, but you shouldn’t expect anything culturally relevant to France, England or America. All the combos let you pick the preparation of eggs. The French breakfast gives you a fruit juice and allows you to choose what kind of bread you’d like. There’s hash brown, a chicken sausage and bacon in the English breakfast. (When we asked if it was pork bacon, we were told, “no, it’s crispy bacon”.) With the American breakfast, you get cereal and either a plate of fruits or fruit juice. It’s all very ho hum and the service staff are rather grumpy.
Feel-good factor: Low. The eggs may be sunny side up but you won’t be, particularly once you get the bill.
SALT WATER CAFE
Rose Minar Annexe, 87 Chapel Road, Next to Mount Carmel Church. Bandra (W). Tel: 2643 4441.
Price: Breakfast for one costs approximately Rs500.
Time: Daily, 9am to 12.30pm.
It’s ironic that a restaurant with service as slow as Salt Water Café’s isn’t sympathetic to late risers. Their breakfast menu is available till 12.30pm. Walk in at 12.15, chances are that the waiter will take your order at about 12.35. If you order eggs or pancakes or waffles, he’ll give you a smile dripping with sweetness and sympathy, and tell you breakfast is closed. However, get there on time and Salt Water Café more than makes up for its sluggish service. This is the place to go to for a leisurely, delicious breakfast. They’ve got a wide variety of egg preparations, cereals, waffles and a nice selection of breads. You can add chicken sausages and bacon to your eggs, should you be so inclined. One of the biggest small pleasures is having their buttermilk muffin with an espresso. We’re quite partial to their fluffy Spanish omelette, which is perfectly seasoned and packed with veggies that make you feel virtuous first thing in the morning. The Spanish omelette is one of the breakfast items that is also part of their general menu.
Feel-good factor: High. Whether you’re a health freak or you need some grease to battle the hangover, there’s something for stomachs of all inclinations.
YELLOW TREE CAFE
33, Ambedkar Road junction, Bandra (W). Tel: 2648 7800.
Price: Breakfast for one costs approximately Rs400.
Time: Monday to Friday, 11am to 12.30pm; Saturday and Sunday, 9am to 12.30pm.
There’s a cosy feel to Yellow Tree Café that makes it perfect for a breakfast with friends. Sadly, the restaurant lacks consistency. On some days, the food is brilliant and on other days, it’s strictly so-so. That said, they serve up respectable eggs to order, along with hash browns, baked beans, toast and a baked tomato. Plus, they also have bangers and mash as part of their regular menu, which means you can have a joyously greasy breakfast at any time of the day. And yes, they use honest-to-goodness pork sausages. We’re also fond of Yellow Tree Café for how willing they are to serve up alcohol with breakfast. Whether you’re looking for a fruity cocktail or a shot to pierce through the hangover, they serve it up with good cheer and without judgement. We’d recommend you stay away from the juices, which don’t seem to be particularly fresh.
Feel-good factor: Medium. When the food is well-made, everything about breakfast here hits the spot but we’re giving it a medium rating because of its inconsistency.
Shop 1A, Ground Floor, Atlanta Building, Nariman Point. Tel: 2288 0055.
Price: Breakfast for one costs about Rs350
Time: All-day breakfast. Daily, 8.30am to 10.30pm.
Suzette is the latest entrant to the cafe field, and for early morning joggers with a penchant for all things nutritious, their energy breakfast hits the sweet spot. It’s made up of yoghurt with granola, honey and fresh fruits plus organic tea (opt instead for the fragrant Mariages Frères). Throw in one of their fresh juice combinations (carrot and coriander) or a “smoozie” (the banana, honey and yoghurt is dessert in a drink form) and voila, you have a perfectly balanced meal. For something less calorie-conscious, the savoury crepes, with egg and ementhal (avoid the chicken bacon at all costs, which’ll have bacon purists screaming for the hills), or the “sweet breakfast” with four mini-crepes are a good if still partially healthful bet.
Feel-good factor: Medium-high. While you might not necessarily satisfy your grease cravings, their healthful, mostly organic concoctions, will have you feeling ridiculously good about yourself.
5, Ground Floor, Pheroze Bldg, Opposite Dhanraj Mahal, Colaba. Tel: 6655 1010; Palladium Mall, First floor, Senapati Bapat Marg, Lower Parel. Tel: 4366 6666.
Price: A breakfast for one costs about Rs500.
Time: All-day breakfast. Daily, 9am to 1.15am.
For their crispy bacon alone, Indigo Deli wins a special place in our stomachs. One of the few that serves the pork version (and not chicken or turkey as it is elsewhere), it’s a side best had with just about everything—the creamy eggs Hollandaise, a masala omelette or fried eggs sunny-side up. Finish it off with fluffy pancakes served with some tangy fruit compote and you’ll wonder how you ever went without having a greasy Sunday morning fry-up for lunch, tea or dinner. The only disappointment are their chicken sausages: of a single homogenous texture, they taste entirely insipid and are undeserved of being part of this otherwise perfect breakfast menu.
Feel-good factor: High. It’s possible you’ll have to loosen your belt a notch after, but as Homer Simpson once said, “Mmm…bacon.”
Metro House, 5-A Shahid Bhagat Singh Road, Colaba, Tel: 22020591.
Price: A breakfast for one costs about Rs100.
Time: Daily, 7.30am-11am.
Cafe Mondegar, or Mondy’s as Mumbai fondly calls it, maintains its reputation for long menus even at breakfast time. There are three combination platters, and dozens of other pickings. The Mondy’s Special has two eggs to order, with ham, bacon or sausages, toast with butter and jam, fruit juice or a piece of fruit and tea or Nescafe. It’s not a pretty plate, the eggs and meat are oily and a tad tough. Le Petit Dejeuner, hardly French, gets its petiteness from skipping the meat from the previous list. The Energiser is breakfast you’d fix at home: fruit juice or lassi, cereal with milk, and tea or coffee. Also, not that we suggest that you try them, but Mondy’s makes pancakes. We recommend you pick the French toast and one of their many juices—pineapple, black grape, muskmelon— and then dominate the jukebox as you settle down with a cup of mint tea or Bournvita.
Feel-good factor: Low. Mondy’s is not a cheap place for the kind of greasy-spoon grub you get.
Mahalaxmi Race Course, Mahalaxmi. Tel: 23071448.
Price: A meal for one costs about Rs100.
Time: Daily, 6am-10am.
Elegant black wood fencing, overhanging gulmohar and ashoka branches, checkered tablecloths, and birdsong from koels and sparrows—Gallops’ courtyard is one of the prettiest breakfast settings in the city (provided you can wake up in time for it). The menu is limited and reasonable—few plates cost over Rs35—but it has all the staples: all manner of eggs with toast, baked beans, vegetable cutlets and their greasy but tasty akoori. The fried eggs have lacy edges and softly set yolks. Plus they have enough grease to make you skip the butter. The baked beans come on large, slim squares of crust-less toast, and even though the beans are clearly from a can, it makes for a hearty breakfast. Service is slow, but there is enough entertaining people watching with which you can pass the time. Make friends with the ants on your table and the club cats at your ankles and dig in.
Feel-good factor: Medium. The sum of Gallops’ many charming parts is greater than the whole of its menu, which makes it fully paisa vasool. Just don’t order the hot chocolate, it’s Rs28 for a measly half cup.