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Mumbai's foodscape saw the evolution of casual dining in 2012, which allows customers to relax and have a good time.
A massive door in a bylane of Kala Ghoda opens into The Pantry. The walls are swathed in white, and stray items that otherwise belong to a kitchen are lined up on shelves. High ceilings, a large kitchen counter, minimalistic wooden furniture and pristine curtains — all in pastel shades — lend a homely feel to the space. What completes this experience is the free wi-fi and unobtrusive staff that allows you to lounge around for as long as you want. This all-day eatery, with a vintage French look, is among the recent additions to the trend of casual dining.
The city has rarely had a dearth of options for eating out. However, for most part, dining outside made for occasion — one that was celebrated with the finest in food and finesse. But the rising popularity of spaces such as Candies and Yoga House in Bandra is an indicator that the city has, for some time, been warming up to eateries that see their patrons visiting for more than mere food.
This year saw a number of casual dining options come up across Mumbai. A part of the Todi Mathuradas Mill Compound, Lower Parel, was converted into Cafe Zoe — a cafe, brasserie and bar rolled into one — which opened earlier this year. Chef Farrokh Khambata launched Cafe at NCPA, Nariman Point, and Bandra Kurla Complex got its first casual diner in Otto Infinito. Spread across 2,000 square-feet, the latter, an all-day diner, transforms into a formal dining option by night. Last week's launch of Versova's latest quirkily designed outpost, Jam Jar Diner, was followed by the opening of Cheval this week. A well-lit space with a retro look, Cheval is an all-day diner in Kala Ghoda.