Vegetarian: Mumbaiya style
Cream Centre has been synonymous with the food map of Mumbai for over five decades now. The place has been known for serving classic vegetarian food that promises a balance between the traditional and contemporary. And to carry forward its legacy of a vegetarian institution, in the city, it has found itself a place in Indiranagar. So, if the mood feels like
"famous foods from India and around the world and especially street style foods" then this is the place.
The menu is honestly vast and offers you much more than just Bombay food. It has everything that creates feelings such as
"cheesy", "crispy", "creamy", "masaledar", "chaat" and "sizzling". There are also the pastas, pizzas, sizzlers, Lebanese, Indian, Tex-Mex to please varying palettes. Beware: this menu is the sort that will add those extra layers.
There seemed to be chaos around the table for the first few minutes in deciding what we wanted
- the menu succeeded in bringing out our gluttonous selves. The Cream Centre Combination came with greasy, crispy coated Onion Rings with a sprinkle of chat masala, the combination of masala and oil was just divine and the rings disappeared in no time. The Golden Wontons were fried a little extra, but no complaint on anything that comes fried, the crisp outsides and soft insides were not spared either. The impressive cheese and golden corn loaded American Corn Cheese Balls had to be shared among the four of us. Just two seemed way too hard on us. This heavy-duty start was interrupted by an unimpressive meagre-portioned Kalimirch Tandoori Mushrooms
- over-seasoned and lacking the tandoori zest.
We hit upon the main course with the Original Channa Bhatura (they have been serving it for 50 years now). The soft chickpeas float in very rich gravy; one can feel that the chickpeas have been simmered in the gravy for many hours as one feel flavours seeping out of each bite of the channa. The bhatura are Soft, unlike most other places, and that's because they use no soda. Way to go!
What came rushing in next was Subz Dum Biryani; loads of well marinated vegetables blended with rice, very Bambaiya style and don't expect anything like authentic Biryani, it's just a good tava palace. The Sizzling Paneer Chilli came with loads of melt-in-the-mouth (I mean it when I say this) paneer, golden onions, crisp capsicums with very subtle yet flavourful garlic Chinese sauce. Vegetarian and paneer lovers will be merry with this one. The Spicy Italian Pizza succeeded in luring us and came in last
- oven roasted grilled tomatoes, juicy cherry tomatoes, thin slices of roasted garlic and soft shallots spread over classic Italian tomato sauce, and as promised, spicy. Thin crust pizzas which could be rolled up and eaten, fun, fun, fun!
Exciting as it sounds, it was sheer pleasure to watch the attendant serve us the Sizzling Brownie with ice-cream. The sizzling platter had a freshly baked soft chocolaty eggless brownie topped with a scoop of vanilla ice-cream. It was placed right in the middle of the table, the attendant picked the bowl of rich chocolate creamy fudge sauce and very stylishly poured the sauce over the ice-cream and there we were, staring at a sizzling plate of chocolate sauce bubbling away. We were engaged in a hot, sweet, cold, sticky, soft, nutty play in the mouth.
Go to Cream Centre to simply enjoy vegetarian food with family, friends and kids. However, keep in mind that you pay premium prices here! But you also leave with a feeling of pure satisfaction derived from an experience of rich, wholesome well-made food.