Restaurant Review: The Pantry
Morning fills the white dining room of The Pantry, a friendly new restaurant in Kala Ghoda located close to the tiny and consistently good, Kala Ghoda Café. Even though it’s only a 35-cover restaurant, The Pantry, with its high ceiling and pastel colour palette, feels larger than it is. It’s only been open a week and has already become the gathering point for office-goers and artsy folk. The background noise is a combination of their spirited conversations, the constant blitzing of fruits in the blender, and a tasteful playlist that features a mix of artists that we love including Zero 7, Lana Del Rey, and Bedouin Soundclash. With so much activity, The Pantry gets pretty loud even when half-full and is not very conducive for, say writers seeking creative solitude.
The Pantry represents a lot of firsts for the three partners at Neighbourhood Hospitality, the company that owns Woodside Inn in Colaba and Woodside in Andheri. It’s their first time running a place that doesn’t have a bar; the first time that they have a menu that focuses on locally sourced produce; and the first time that they are baking breads and pastries in-house. In the opening week, we found two of the three partners circulating amongst customers, keenly gathering feedback and even admitting to some that they’re still improving their systems and recipes.
We certainly felt that their Golden Triangle, a savoury puff pastry enclosing a not terribly exciting filling of spinach mixed with Pondicherry Lofabu (a mild cheese produced by Auroville’s cheese making unit in Pondicherry called La Ferme Cheese) needs tweaking. The shortcoming was in the pastry, which should have been flaky but was dense and chewy instead. We loved the earthy flavour of the powdered nutmeg over our thick and pulpy custard apple shake, which was a little blander and less sweet than we would have liked.
The sandwiches at The Pantry are beyond reproach. The Sammy with its ample filling of pulled pork sweetened with red onions and sandwiched between soft brioche would delight pork junkies. Vegetarians will find a satisfying equivalent in the Spring Feast, an assemblage of pickled zucchini, squash, spring onions and Lofabu cheese between slices of country loaf. Both sandwiches were served with salsa, and whole-grain mustard (both made in-house), and a side of sprightly greens tossed with a touch of a olive oil and lime vinaigrette.
Our Monte Cristo, a calorific spin on the French croque monsieur, comprising ham and cheese (lots of it) sandwiched between slices of French toast, had a soft, melting consistency. We rounded off the meal with a wonderfully gooey palm-sized chocolate chip cookie, and a comforting slice of banana bread.
We would not recommend visiting The Pantry on one of those rushed and unruly mornings because it’s designed to keep customers glued to their chairs. There’s plenty there that will keep you warming your seat—charming décor, free Wi-fi, good music, and a menu that is simple and focused on the fresh, the local and the seasonal.
A meal for two costs approximately Rs1,000. This review was conducted anonymously.Tags: Restaurants, The Pantry
Military Square Lane
Phone022 2267 8901
HoursDaily, from 8.30am to 11.30pm