Grain & Bagel, Interface, Malad (W), Mumbai

It’s not like I miss my hometown too much, but there are too many points in my book that Mumbai loses to Delhi, hands down. One such is the lack of interest in going out for a breakfast at 7 a.m. People like to go out for breakfast at 8 a.m., not at seven. And even at eight in the morning, you can easily find a table, unlike Delhi. Yes, I am a morning person. But, let’s not digress. So, there’s a new place in town and it is close to home and work, which is great for me because I like to have hearty continental breakfasts. Must be something wrong with the amount of Punjabiness in my DNA because I prefer a bagel to a parantha any day.

Grain & Bagel opened a few weeks ago in Malad (W), just behind Infinity Mall. The place, surrounded by offices and a crowd of young professionals has already started pulling in the crowds. And they should, just because the food is so good. The menu includes a choice of crepes, pancakes, omelettes, bagels, soups, sandwiches, salads and entrées. The options on the menu, choice of breads and meats is good too. But the real ace up their sleeve is the kitchen boss. The executive chef of Grain & Bagel, Uday Patil, has trained on an international cruise liner for a few years before going ‘feet dry’. It shows prominently in the preparations and selection of ingredients.

We ordered the Fluffy Scrambled Egg with Chicken and Cheddar Bagel to begin with. Well cooked with the right amount of seasoning over a whole wheat bagel, this particular sandwich is to die for. No wonder, they’ve put this one in their signature bagel sandwiches section.

Next up was the Sage Roasted Chicken in Charcutiere Sauce. Let me try to describe this to you. A well roasted chicken with the skin on; with meat so tender you won’t even need a knife; just pull it gently with a fork and it comes right off the bone; take a bite and there’s a riot of flavors because the sauce is oh so good; then the chicken just melts away in your mouth. Not over cooked, just perfect. Served with grilled vegetables and garlic mash potatoes on the side… please excuse me while I try to calm down my taste buds.

To cap off a perfect afternoon, all that remained was a good dessert. Since I am a sucker for dark chocolate, we ordered a Dark Chocolate Tiramisu – heavenly.

Grain & Bagel intends to have stores across town and a central kitchen churning out the baked goods and partially cooked ingredients in order to maintain uniformity in preparations under the watchful eye of the Executive Chef. The breads, spreads, sauces, all are sourced from the central kitchen twice a day.

Grain & Bagel has chosen a rather tough path of good, fresh ingredients and a kitchen boss who likes to innovate. Tough because I’ve seen quite a few establishments which cannot keep it up. If Grain & Bagel were to go down the same path, it would be a crying shame because they have created something real good. Next time, I’m going to try out the Chef’s daily specials.

Ed: Cover photo is from Bagel’s Cafe.

Jaswinder Singh

I talk, write and then talk some more, usually about humor, wine and food. Creative arts = life. Nutella = bliss. Road warrior. Single, raising a dog, twice drove cross country from Delhi to Mumbai in a tiny car, can clean out nutella jars like no one else. Part time stand-up comic, full time joker.