Time to Turn Green - Foodscape - DNA India
A restaurant's succes can be fairly judged by the number of tables that are taken on a week night and Cream Centre has had it good - so far...
Dig IN: The big-sized Channa Bhatura, Ragda Pattice and nachos doused with cheese
Sipping on a tall glass of orange ice cream soda and munching on World's Greatest Nachos covered with melted cheddar and laughing at insane jokes can be quite a stress buster. Yes, Cream Centre is a good for one's mental health. A comfortable ambience welcomes you and even though you might need to wait a while before you get a table (unless you've reserved ahead), it doesn't really matter:
A completely vegetarian menu is what Cream Centre offers you and considering that it's targeted for families in general, there is no alcohol served. The menu looks a bit like a magazine - with pictures to illustrate what some of their best-sellers look like and I'd strongly recommend you to start from the chaat section.
The sev puri is a personal favorite - with nylon sev generously sprinkled over the puris that are laden with potatoes and chutney - and come in a size for two to share, unless you're famished. Here's an idea - take you friends or family along because there's a different sort of pleasure that goes into being able to share this kind of food.
The Bambaiya Ragda Pattice comes a close second to the sev puri. Now the ragda might have gone through a bit of cosmetic surgery and come out looking more refined and therefore tasting a bit different too, but in a place like this you really wouldn't want a sloppy patty slapped on your plate with ragda that looks suspicious. Plated neatly the dish comes with the two indispensable chutneys - green and sweet red - though the red chutney lacks the bite you'd expect.
We could not stay away from the nachos, which is drizzled with absolutely delicious melted cheddar cheese and topped with green peppers - it makes for a great conversational appetizer.
One of us at the table raised his hand for the Channa Bhatura and you have to see it to believe it - the bhatura (a puffed puri) is so massive that you think you'll need assistance to finish it. The channa is different from he chholey bhatura though because traditionally chholey is meant to be tangier than the channa masala.
What makes the whole experience at Cream Centre refreshing is that they haven't stuck to the whole vegetarian means Indian concept. Ofcourse, their tried and tested methods in Mumbai only needed to be replicated, but we really do love the idea of able to pick through western, oriental and Indian foods in their vegetarian form.
You can have a sizzler here, or even the Mexican Chilli, pizzas, pastas, Chinese stir-fries to parathas and Indian meals here. For instance, our Mexican Fajita Sizzler - where a good portion of vegetables, American corn, baby corn and paneer is sauteed in a Mexican herbed tomato sauce, served with buttered corainder rice (yummy b the by!), Mexican beans and then topped with a soft tortilla and chips even. It's hard to finish all that alone, especially if you've been digging into chaat earlier.
The other sizzler we ordered was the Schezwan Vegetable Sizzler, which isn't exactly an original dish, but no one was judging. Stir-fried vegetables, mushrooms, baby corn, capsicum, french beans, grilled tomatoes and sago chips are served with a choice of noodles and rice and that too, comes in a really big portion. Here's a piece of advice - don't do what we did, order too much. Go back another day to actually enjoy the place.
Critically speaking, it's not revolutionary food. Cream Centre is planning on serving you. Their concept appears to be simple - good quality food and a fun ambience for people to come together and share a good time - and it works really well. While the place does appear to be expensive(Rs. 99/- for a sev batata puri isn't exactly cheap!) you can take into account the location and overheads and forgive them because you know you'll go back.
On an end note, don't miss the Sizzling Brownie - even if you're on a diet
Article by Priyadarshini - DNA India.