Cafe Free India- NM Joshi Marg, Opposite Deepak Cinema, Lower Parel, Mumbai
Is it me or does the name of the restaurant doesn’t make any sense to you? In an ever increasing american fast food joints city, Cafe Free India is a burger/ soup / pizza and pasta joint that has come up in Lower Parel, which seems to be a favorite with the office goers in that area.
The Chef: Well after a round of drinks at the famous Ambiance restaurant and bar, we did not feel like eating the regular Chinese or Indian food that Ambiance had to offer. So a friend suggested we try this place, since he orders from here regularly (he loves a “more meat in the burger than the bun kinda” burger) So trusting him, we decided to give this place a try! A new place to try out and write about. Without complaining we left Ambiance and drove the 2 minute distance to Cafe Free India (The ninja was driving us in his fancy schmancy Audi A 2013 XYZ or something, and thinks he’s too cool!!!)
But then, he is cool and hot as well!!! Anyway, reaching Free India (name highlighted in bright green) at about 11 pm, we were told that we had to order everything at once since it was their last order for the night (which we thought was a li’l too early to shut) but it was their doom. We ordered the Bacon wrapped prawns, the Fiesta pizza, 2 juicy Lucy lamb burgers with bacon, one Swiss melt chicken burger, one Cajun spiced fried burger and one Southern fried burger. Yea, The Hawrats were back 😀
The wait was a long one, luckily with the ninja we also had our very own Superhero who kept us entertained with his stories. But when the food came, I heard someone yell ATTACK!!! And then there was silence. The bacon wrapped friend prawns and the Fiesta pizza came up first. Bacon = Life & Truth !! The Fiesta pizza also had bacon on it with sausages and salami.The bacon wrapped prawns were wiped clean in 5 minutes, it was accompanied with some kind of mayonnaise based dip. The pizza on the other hand did not have the best of bases, and did not do much for our palate or stomachs.
Then came our burgers, one by one, we had 5 juicy motherf*****g burgers on our tables, all with a side of perfectly fried fries and ketchup (WHICH I WAS AGAINST) I had the southern fried burger which had a full thigh piece of chicken marinated in something, I did not quite understand but was fried to perfection. The mayonnaise in the burger seemed a little too sweet and then there was the caramalized onions which made it sweeter. The swiss melt burger on the other hand was MAD! Chicken breast, stuffed with cheese and salami and deep fried!!! Just typing about this I have drool drops on my keyboard. The burger patty and the buns were sooo big I had to unhinge my jaw to take a bite. But in the end, unfortunately the burger won, we ate about 3/4th of the burger and the rest had to be left behind. The lamb burger with bacon was ordered by the Foodie and the Ninja, and i had absolutely no space to have a bite from their burger.
All in all this is great place if one wants to fill up their stomach, will definitely visit again when we are a li’l less boozed up, I hear the chinese food here is passable so lets just stick to the burgers and pastas.
The Foodie: We are always looking for new places, and if someone tells us “Oh! you guys should review this Burger place in Lower Parel” The sentence itself is appetizing enough to get us there. This place isn’t too far from your regular watering holes. And turns out is not just famous for burgers. It has all kinds of things! Think I saw Thukpa and Vietnamese something something written somewhere on the menu, I was just focussing on what I love the most, BACON. So clearly we left a lot to explore, for next time. After hogging on a plate of delicious chilli chicken at Ambiance ,while everyone else drank 😀 we moved to Cafe Free India. This place has a cozy vibe to it. You enter and there are these colorful plates on display on the main window, and paintings hung nicely on a white wall, a bookshelf with magazines for people to read, if they got bored waiting for their order (their service is a little slow) But that is not why I found this place cozy, there was a NANA PATEKAR movie running on tv, just when we entered. A 90’s Nana movie on dinner night! What are the chances ? #somuchwin. Moving on, I already knew what I was ordering here. I always Google a place before going there and in that process, found out that there was a Juicy Lucy lamb Burger on the menu, that everyone seemed to love. The name got me so pepped, think I may have even posted on people’s walls, announcing what I was going to eat at Cafe Free India, JUICY LUCY . Catchy no?
I really liked the bacon wrapped prawns, the dip should have had something that complimented it well. But honestly I don’t think people will or should care too much when there is Bacon on their plate. Next up was my burger. This Lucy wasn’t as Juicy as I expected, but was very very filling. Maybe they could pack a little more flavor into it. Jusstt a little 🙂 Fries that came with it were tasty and unlike the Chef, who has some life long grudge against Ketchup, I royally dipped them into in and ate like there was no tomorrow. I liked the burger mostly cos I had ordered it with Bacon. So for someone who can’t do that.. a little more flavor to the meat might help. The pizza wasn’t one of my favorites, though I liked what Basil was doing to it. I bet, with time, they’ll nail that as well 🙂 I liked this cute place. And I bet there are some really good dishes waiting to be discovered. What I really wanted to try, were the desserts.
Next time I go there ill try their Thukpa, make it a point to leave some space in me stomach, for some dessert and ask the owner why this place is called Cafe Free India. But till then a big Goodluck to the cafe! Hope they continue to make the people working in this area, even more happy!
Value for money : 3.5