An institution in itself; Café Samovar has been one of my most favourite restaurants during college days. Every time we went for a movie at Regal, Eros or Sterling (there were no multiplexes then), we would keep a few hours extra at hand to have lunch at Samovar, followed by watching the exhibits at the Jahangir Art Gallery, before rushing to see a movie!
Several cafes and restaurants in Colaba and Fort area have a lot of history attached and Café Samovar is one of them. My favourite items on the menu used to be ice cream float (two scoops of vanilla ice cream in a tall glass of Thumbs Up, it gave such a kick, I tell you!) and Mutton Kheema Rolls. It was so rustic and homemade, that it became a comfort food for us college kids at that time.
They make a special red chutney which is a blend of tomato and chilli sauce, with lots of finely chopped onions, tomatoes and green chillies added to it. It has got to have some more secret ingredients, as this kind of dip I have never found or tasted anywhere else.
Recently, I took my family to Jehangir Art Gallery to see the exhibitions and for tea and sandwiches at Samovar. It was such a delightful experience even after 10 long years and thankfully, it has not changed and succumbed to commercialism.
Café Samovar used to be an open balcony seating on the ground floor. It has now been covered with a mesh and overlooks a green patch of trees. Listen to classical music while looking at the paintings on display in the cafe and nibble on the hot piping pakoras, chicken sandwich and sip on a glass of cutting chai!
Chicken Mayonnaise Sandwich priced at Rs. 75/-, cutting chai priced at Rs. 5/- and a plate of prawn pakoras priced at Rs. 90/- makes up for a memorable high tea experience.
Café Samovar is closed on Sundays but offers amazing lunch which includes Goan Fish Curry, Pepper Chicken and evening high tea snacking options. They also serve beer, so good news for those who want to drop by for a brunch or a hearty lunch at Café Samovar.
Jahangir Art Gallery
161-B Mahatma Gandhi Road
Kala Godha, Fort
Mumbai – 400 001
Phone: 022-22848000/ 022-22047276