I still remember the first time I visited Café Mondegar, many years ago with my dearest father for breakfast. The crisp potato fries caught my fancy and I was the happiest kid in the world.
A decade and a half later, my beverage of choice at Café Mondegar has no doubt changed (cheers to that) but my love for this place remains unchanged. And here’s why.
1. The iconic location – who doesn’t love Colaba! Plonk at the very start of Colaba Causeway with Café Leopold, Alps, Harbour View, Woodside Inn and tons of other popular watering holes in shouting distance – this is pretty much the best location in town.
2. Cafe Mondegar, mirror of Mumbai. In a lot of ways, this charming little café is a true mirror of the city of Mumbai. It is packed in with far too many people and far too many tables – but hey, there’s always space for one more. Sometimes the tables are packed in so tight that you literally feel like you’re sitting on someone else’s table. Sometimes you fall over people as you make your way to the washroom. But nobody really minds too much. In fact, the lack of space creates a strange sense of comfortable togetherness – “we are all in this together.”
3. For the love of stories: unintentional eavesdropping. You just can’t help it. You’re so close to the strangers at adjoining tables that you land up hearing snatches of conversation ever so often. More often than not, they make for amusing stories. And you reciprocate by letting them overhear your stories in return. Sounds like a fair barter, eh?
4. All hail Mario Miranda. The walls of Café Mondegar are alive – wonderfully depicting the chaos and colour of Mumbai. I’ve spent hours staring at the walls, marveling the genius of Mario Miranda. And the beauty is that every time you look at the painting on the walls, you notice new things.
5. Bono or the Backstreet Boys? You can decide! One of the few places in Mumbai (the only place?) where you can still crank up a jukebox and unleash your preferred musical song onto a room-full of unsuspecting, beer guzzling individuals (at Rs. 50 for three songs). And boy, is that fun. From the soulful voice of Lionel Richie to the pounding beats of ACDC, I’ve heard pretty much everything and more at Café Mondegar.
6. The best breakfast in town. Most people are far too busy drinking beer to focus on the eating, but Café Mondegar has one of the best breakfast menus in town. Wake up leisurely and make your way over. The omelettes and orange juice will ensure you have a very good morning. Even better, you just may be treated to a work of art in your cup of coffee!
7. Endless conversations over clinking glasses. Gulp ice cold draft beer from glass mugs to the sound of laughter, chatter and occasional clinks of glasses being raised in a toast. So many happy memories live on among the colourful walls of this place. Did somebody say cheers?
Miss Wanderlust with her best friends at Cafe Mondegar.
Read More of Miss Wanderlust’s posts on Mumbai