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Contemporary twist

Tuesday, September 19, 2017

Another café, another range of contemporary dishes, but is it worth it? Aakriti Patni visits the Bogeto Café to find out

Cafés are present in abundance around the city, and it seems as though every time you blink, a new one is launched. Whether it’s a cutesy-style quaint café or a jazzy one that’s best visited in large groups, themed cafés have done it all. But quite frankly, it seems that cafés in the city have lost their charm. From pastas to Mexican bowls and nachos to onion rings, it just doesn’t seem exciting anymore. And each is trying to outdo the next with more elaborate dishes, taking away from the café feel. However, the good news is that there is a

cafe whose simplicity is actually its strength.

Located at the busy junction at Mumbai Central, Bogeto Café is not your Kamala Mills standard, uber-fancy destination restaurant; it’s an unassuming, unimposing café. Inside, cosy sofa tables, a decal-ed wall and dim lighting envelope you. Wooden furniture, French-style windows and a grafting ceiling adorn the restaurant, giving it a rustic and welcoming vibe.

Its tagline is: ‘Veg World Cuisine’, and its menu is filled with food representing countries from around the globe. From contemporary Indian dishes to the regular Italian meal, from a bowl of Khawsuey to a bowl of stir fry, its vast menu covers a variety of cuisines. But apart from a few Indian classics that they have revamped, much of it is similar to what the competition offers and that means that Bogeto may not be everyone’s cup of tea. Even though it misses a few crucial marks, it does have a few hits, and those made us want to come back for more.

Starting off
We began with their signature Jalapeño and Cheese Poppers (`220), which looked promising. Served with a creamy, mayonnaise-infused dip, the poppers were crunchy and filled with a gooey cheesy goodness. But, they lacked the spicy kick that  jalapeños bring and were far too oily and greasy for our liking. Next, we opted for the Assorted Tomato Brushetta (`220), which was laden with a delicious mixture of tomatoes, cheese and mushrooms, spread across a crunchy baguette. The only thing lacking in this dish, we felt, was a dash of fresh herbs, because the mushroom and cheese mixture can get a bit heavy.

The nachos on the menu have been given an Indian twist and you can choose either the Paneer Makhani Nachos or the Soya Kheema Mutter Nachos. We opted for the Paneer Makhani Nachos (`250), hoping for a scrumptious, contemporary version of regular-style nachos. However, we were left disappointed. The dish looked messy, with the tortilla chips drowning in the mixture of the cheese sauces and paneer makhani. The dish just does not work! The paneer is heavy and the gravy too tangy, whereas the cheese does not sit well with the paneer gravy.

However, the two starters that won this round were the Manchurian Balls in Schezwan Gravy (`210) and the Breaded Onion Rings (`210). The manchurian balls were coated and fried in a fiery schezwan gravy, which was spicy and flavourful. Crunchy yet chewy, they were served with a honey-scented sweet and sour dipping sauce, which bought freshness to the dish. The onion rings were one of the crunchiest we have ever had, and were accompanied with an assortment of dips, the best of which was the creamy chilli garlic mayo. Opt for either of these two starters or experiment with the Thepla Toquitos or The Bombay Crostini, which, we’re told, are their best sellers.

The main round
While the café has contemporary food on its mind, its menu is extensive and caters to everyone’s needs. If you’re looking to go simple, pick their salads, soups, pizzas or pastas. They have some innovative choices for their pizzas, and we recommend the Chilly Paneer Pizza (`330) if you are a fan of paneer and all things spicy!

We decided to have some fun and chose their meals in a bowl. Easily the best dish that evening, the Rajma Chawal (`275), won our hearts. A warm, comforting homely dish, rajma chawal is the home-cooked meal everyone craves. And Bogeto Café brings you home with this aromatic dish. The rajma was infused with the right amount of spices, and produced a spicy, tangy aftertaste, which left us wanting more. Served with papad, chutney, achar, kacchi pyaz and the essential chawal, this dish will have you scraping the bowl to extract every last bit.

The other dish that we chose was The Super Duper Sizzler (`240). A sizzling plate loaded with cottage cheese skewers, stir-fried vegetables and a combination of Chinese-inspired rice and noodles, the sizzler was nothing out of the ordinary. The combined flavours proved to be fruitful and the marinated cottage cheese just melts in your mouth, but since the sizzler doesn’t come with gravy or sauce accompaniments, it proves to be a bit too dry. Being a vegetarian café, Bogeto puts a vegetarian spin on classic non-vegetarian dishes such as the Kheema Pao and the Mushroom Stroganoff Pilaf, which are somehow better than the original!

Sweet tooth
The sweet tail end of the menu is the best part of any meal, and we were delighted when it was time for us to order dessert. Bogeto excels in its shakes and coolers, and while their Skull Shakes can be consumed as drinks, we chose to have it for dessert, and we were not let down!

The Michael Jackson Skull Shake (`350) was the highlight of our experience at Bogeto. Served in a skull-shaped jar with mystic fumes bubbling over from it, this one had us pumped from the very beginning. The dessert is essentially a white chocolate and cookie shake, and the skull had been dipped head-first into sprinkles and was served with a white chocolate ganache, cookie crumbs, vanilla soft serve, a fudgy brownie and toasted marshmallow pops. Heaven for chocolate lovers, the Michael Jackson was fun to eat and was simply delicious. The brownie was soft and fudgy and the toasted marshmallow melted in our mouths. But the finest part of the dish was the chocolate shake itself, which was smooth and full of chocolate, but at the same time was not so claggy and unseemingly heavy that we couldn’t enjoy it.

Bogeto also has waffles and various other desserts on offer, and we chose The Cookie Sundae (`325), but were left unsatisfied. The look of the sundae had us salivating — a huge cookie topped with a scoop of ice cream, drizzled with chocolate syrup and nuts. However, looks can be deceiving as we found out. The cookie itself was a disappointment, not just crunchy but rock hard. The dish fell apart without it — a scoop of vanilla ice cream garnished with nuts wasn’t enjoyable.

Not a place where you will be heading every Saturday night, Bogeto Café has fun options and tasty meals, and it’s definitely worth a visit, if just for the Rajma Chawal and the Michael Jackson Skull Shake.

Where: Jain Lakshmi Mansion, Opposite Navjeevan Society, Mumbai Central

Meal for two: `1,200

Alcohol served: No

Contact: 61054613

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