There are some days when I wake up in the morning craving a wholesome breakfast. Unfortunately, I can’t always think of places to go to. I’d been reading and hearing about this Belgian bakery and communal table, Le Pain Quotidien that had opened in Mumbai. One look at their website: http://www.lepainquotidien.in/ and I was floored.
On a Monday afternoon, along with my friend/’food writer’, I made my way to Colaba. After spending some time on the communal table, we shifted to a private table to enjoy our meal.
My friend, Sonal was very taken with the small plant, a different kind on each table. We were informed the decor is pretty much the same in any Pain Quotidien across the world. They like to maintain uniformity.
The idea of a communal table is not entirely new to our culture. However, it isn’t exactly modern and the crowd seems to be taking its time to warm up to this idea.
Le Pain Quotidien (pronounced luh paN koh-ti-dyaN) translates to ‘the daily bread’ in English. It is just right to try their bread basket. It comes loaded with a choice of Baguette, Wheat, Rye, Five-Grain and Flute breads. Eating the bread by itself is encouraged. Butter is served during the day and balsamic vinegar in the evenings as an accompaniment.
LPQ employs the traditional method of bread-making. Their bread takes very long to bake, the starter itself up to 7 days. If you take-away bread, try to consume it the same day. If you leave it out over a couple of days, it might go stale as it is so fresh and devoid of preserves.
Since the both of us are vegetarian (like so many of you out there), we opted for the Asian salad - with carrot, cucumber, seaweed in a sesame dressing and tofu. The tofu was really soft and even if you are not a salad person, you’re bound to enjoy a bite or two.
Although I love tomatoes, Sonal can do without the seeds. Hence, a tartine meant to be a Buffalo Mozzarella with olive spread and marinated tomatoes was sent for us minus the tomatoes. We enjoyed it nevertheless. It was the buffalo mozzarella perhaps?
The Roasted Leek & Lemon Ravioli ravioli was an average fare but the potato garlic puree it was served on was a definite hit.
The vegetable lasagna with ricotta cheese and mushrooms was simply delicious. Apparently all restaurants that serve this Italian dish prepare it differently. We enjoyed this drier and perfectly cheesy version.
How often do you look at the dessert menu and wish you could eat everything? We plead guilty as charged. ;)
We were squealing with joy when this tart identified itself as lemon. So mushy!
The day’s bread is baked into this bread pudding. Interestingly, the taste might differ each time, given the uniqueness of the bread. Chocolate is a part of the mix. :)
The soft-centred chocolate cake was so soft it melted in my mouth. I had to use two spoons to eat this delicacy.
We did neglect the creme brulee and apple crumble a little bit in favour of the other desserts but we’re only human.
Photographs: Dhruvi Shah
As if the pictures weren’t enough to tempt you, I recorded a virtual tour. Look!
I definitely had a great time. I’m going back to try the waffles.
I wore my dress/tunic from Golmaal and sunglasses from Mango.
The address is: Dhanraj Mahal, C.S.M. Road, Apollo Bunder, Near the Gateway of India, Colaba, Mumbai 400039. All other details are on their website.
If you have any more questions for me, I’d be delighted to reply. When you do go there, please share your experiences. Treat yourself. :)