Ten-Second Takeaway

While most of us had just about given up on the tediously impossible memberships for gymkhanas, hope in the form of a new café and bar, Gymkhana 91 arrives in Lower Parel, Mumbai.

Charm Of The Ages

A large ticking clock tower, Victorian arches, neo-gothic windows and old-school tiles mark this new establishment. With 130 seats and multiple tables to house as many guests as they can, Gymkhana 91 truly gives an inviting look, calling out to everyone to sit down and spend time there. There are low tables, high tops, cane chairs, cushy couches – just about anywhere you’d like to plonk on. They’ve also set up a space for live gigs and percussion bands.

Chow Down

Everything served comes with a dressing of nostalgia and warmth, whether the tiny Kuber kulchas {INR 235}, stuffed with oozy cheese and chillies {named after a young boy Kuber}, or a Rati Aunty’s chutney edu pattice {INR 245}, after an eponymous aunt whose recipe passed down.

You’ll find Parsi favourites like patra ni macchi, the Parsi akuri and berry pulao, then you will also get chicken wings in hot chilly sauce and English fish n’ chips. Unlike regular gymkhanas, they have expanded their menu to include a large variety of steamed dimsums, baos made from fresh lotus seed flour, and sushi too. For the mains, choose from a range of Indian dishes, and Malaysian sambhal curry, sticky rice, chicken thupka, and more. The owner, Aditya Hegde, comes from a family who has spent years in the gymkhana catering business, and truly know how to do it right.

Sip On

We must laud the cocktails served, each one yummier than the other. You must try the Tsar of Rus, which is vodka-based with caramel, cream & kahlua, and basically tastes like a tiramisu in a drink. So delicious. The East Indian Gimlet {with lime, gin and coriander} and watermelon and orange mojitos are also easy to slip down. Anyone who does cocktails well, also naturally has their non-alcoholic drinks down pat, if you care to stick to the lighter drinks.

Must-Have

The dessert. For the experimental, they have actually invented a wasabi cookie sandwich – with lightly flavoured wasabi ice cream slabbed between almost cookie dough like sheets, making for a most astonishingly pleasant taste, as well as a classic caramel custard and Japanese cheesecake.

The icing on all the cake is an exploding chocolate volcano cake, which crumbles only to melt into a lake of glorious orange chocolate. Easily the best dessert we have had in a while.

So, We’re Saying…

The place is warm and inviting, the food, flavoursome yet reasonable and we definitely see ourselves taking off for a prolonged lunch, chatting over this and that and scouring down a meal, as is only befitting at the age old gymkhana.

It opens today, Feb 2 at 11.30am and is open till 1am.

Photos: Bhavika Govil/LBB