Café Sundance: Same Great Food At The New Sundance Cafe

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Mini Tenderloin Burger, Cafe Sundance
Cafe Sundance
Cafe Sundance

To those of us of a certain vintage, the early 90s were a time when the seeds of a mini fast food revolution were being sowed here in Mumbai. There were whispers of international chains like Mc Donald’s, KFC and Pizza Hut opening shop in the newly liberalized Indian market. But for budding, die-hard foodies like me, the impending MNC ‘invasion’, meant little or nothing. We were content with our faithful old cafés and bistros scattered across our island city that dished out comfort food like Mac-n-cheese, Hot Dogs and yes… those weird-n-whacky Ninja Turtle Burgers that you could only find at one place— Sundance Café!

Café Sundance's earth-toned interiors
Café Sundance’s earth-toned interiors

A veritable institution in itself, Sundance Café was housed in the iconic, art deco Eros Cinema building at Churchgate. But then, all of a sudden in 2010 it downed its shutters, only to be replaced by a short-lived French bistro that had an abbreviated run of a mere one-and-a-half years. However, recently Mumbai’s nostalgic gourmands rejoiced when Sundance Café re-opened at the same location, albeit in a new avatar, under a new management and with a slightly altered name of Café Sundance.

So, while the interiors of the bright and airy restaurant were still being spruced up for its grand opening, I got a sneak peek into its brand new menu—that celebrates comfort food in myriad ways—at a food tasting session that had me in the throes of a gastronomic frenzy, to say the very least.

Wild Mushroom Baklava, Cafe Sundance
Wild Mushroom Baklava, Cafe Sundance

Here’s what Executive Chef Mikhail Shahani fed me along my 11-course journey through the bounty of Café Sundance…
1.    Roasted tomato and basil soup served in a dainty demitasse
2.    A duo of wild mushroom baklava with a harissa smear on the bottom
3.    Grilled jumbo prawns served on a bed of tabouleh with a dollop of labneh on the side
4.    Quattro formaggi pizza wedges
5.    Honey-balsamic dressed slivers of beef carpaccio
6.    A mini tenderloin burger with fries and a rocket leaf salad
7.    Angel hair pasta with an aglio olio sauce
8.    Grilled filet mignon steak with potato and zucchini
9.    Spaghetti Bolognaise
10.    Fettuccine carbonara

Roasted Tomato and Basil Soup Cafe Sundance
Roasted Tomato and Basil Soup Cafe Sundance

The drama for the afternoon unfolded with a roasted tomato and basil soup served in a dainty demitasse that was full of flavour with a silky texture and heady aroma. A duo of wild mushroom Baklava with a harissa smear on the bottom was next on the list. Strictly OKish, I would say, but full marks for its novelty.

Plump grilled jumbo prawns served on a bed of tabouleh with a dollop of labneh on the side took me by surprise with its zesty freshness and appeal. Next on the offing was a lacklustre wedge of quattro formaggi pizza that did absolutely nothing for me with its bland, stodgy taste.

Beef Carpaccio, cafe Sundance
Beef Carpaccio, cafe Sundance

My dismay was quickly put to rest with the sublime honey-balsamic dressed slivers of beef carpaccio that was yum, yum, yum all the way. Cute and surpisingly filling was the diminutive mini tenderloin burger with fries and a rocket leaf salad that I chased with a serving of angel hair pasta with an aglio olio sauce that had just the right hint of garlic.

Making the chef happy by asking for my steak grilled to a medium rare I was ‘rewarded’ with a perfect filet mignon with potato and zucchini that I can still taste as I write this. It was that memorable. The roasted bell pepper lasagne cried out for a more robust cheese as the sweetness of the peppers made it taste like a dessert. Sad.

Spaghetti Bolognaise, Cafe Sundance
Spaghetti Bolognaise, Cafe Sundance

Nothing warms the cockles of my heart more than a bowl of homely spaghetti bolognaise. And Chef  Mikhail’s version reminded me of that of my Italian best friend’s nona’s that she cooked for us in Naples one summer. Also praise worthy was the fettuccine carbonara that was not so eggy as the original, something the chef says he has done deliberately, keeping in mind our desi intolerance for raw egg yolk. Well, I guess we’ll just have to train our taste buds sooner than later!

Although I was served no ‘dolci’ or desserts at the end of my HUUUGE meal, I sure wasn’t complaining. The sweetness was back in my life. Sundance is back. And Mumbai has every reason to celebrate a trip down memory lane… I know I sure am!

Address: Cambata Building (Eros Cinema), opposite Churchgate station, Churchgate-20.
Phone: 022 22026212
Cost: Rs 900 for a meal for two

All pics by Raul Dias

Post By Raul Dias (102 Posts)

Lists travel, food and luxury as the tantalizing trifecta that defines him. When he’s not travelling, eating or getting pampered at a spa, you'll find him assaulting his notebook's keyboard with a feral vengeance, churning out what he hopes are intelligent, informative and entertaining stories.

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Raul Dias

Raul Dias
Lists travel, food and luxury as the tantalizing trifecta that defines him. When he’s not travelling, eating or getting pampered at a spa, you'll find him assaulting his notebook's keyboard with a feral vengeance, churning out what he hopes are intelligent, informative and entertaining stories.