Thanks to being locked away for the most of 2020, the world has gained weight and a lot of knowledge about good food. We are all food critics in a way, and it takes a lot of skill and culinary excellence to impress us confessed home chefs, which is why restaurants have to really push the bar high to make a mark. Entrepreneurs Sohel Lalvani and Shaan Gidwani’s European and Latin American-inspired eatery Cafe Panama is Mumbai’s latest all-day dining bistro & bar that’s doing just that! Todi Mills at Lower Parel is getting back to becoming one of the undisputed bustling hotspots of the city with Cafe Panama’s addition! Take a step in, and it’s a tough call to decide what it is about Cafe Panama that you like most right from the start. Is it the 3500 sq. ft. restaurant’s ample roominess accompanied by an impressive 30-foot high ceiling and a giant glass roof open to the sky? You can’t ignore how these features liven up space and make you feel like you’re on vacation without having to take the dreaded COVID test. Cool shades of green, blue-and-gold offer an unmissable tropical vibe when combined with prodigious plantain trees, typically tropical elements like jungle murals, cane furniture, and indoor plants. The luxe factor comes into play in velvet sofas, art deco lamps, and terrazzo tabletops.
Thankfully while the eyes are certainly pleased, ones’ taste buds aren’t ignored either! All the tropical glam around you is joined by the same kind of impression on your table, too, with neatly plated, classic European fare with a tongue-tingling Latin twist. Breakfast options like Sugar dusted French Toasts, Sweet & Savoury Belgian Waffles, Creamy scrambled eggs paired with some authentic Latin coffee concussions are truly the best way to begin your chaotic days. If you want to hit the place for lunch, make sure you try the highly recommended Sopa de Champiñones, a Colombian mushroom, and kale soup. While you peruse the wide variety of food, nibble on bar snacks like Burrata with herb chili and mango salsa, some corn tamale with aged mole and spicy cilantro sauce, or universal favorite tacos with Portobello mushroom.
It wouldn’t be wrong to call the menu experimental as the mains line-up to include Amaranth & Quinoa Timbale with avocado, cauliflower, and sweet potato; Silken Tofu with kumquat, asparagus, and couscous. Mumbai city is one city that loves pav bhaji and pasta equally, and keeping the relentless love for the pasta in mind, a spread of distinctly flavored homemade maltagliata with Portobello, porcini, and chives is part of the menu, along with a sultry butternut squash risotto with fried asparagus and mascarpone and the smooth goodness of gnocchi alla Ciociara with bacon, pork sausage, and ham.
The dessert menu is tempting with current city favorites like Biscoff cheesecake, Dark Chocolate Mousse, and unconventional choices like Tora Negra, a vegan black cake. For the rest of you who need something for the soul along with the stomach, Cafe Panama will host weekly salsa nights, live music gigs, and guest DJs who will get you grooving to South American beats.
Where: Mathuradas Mill Compound, NM Joshi Marg, Lower Parel, Mumbai, Maharashtra 400013