Two-One-Two's all day cafe & bar recently opened its door to the lesser fortunate side of the eastern suburbs at Phoenix Marketcity, Kurla. Located at the upper floor, 212 occupies the spot next to the Irish Pub and also extends at the backside into a descent al-fresco area too. The thought of having a Sunday brunch in al-fresco was near perfect, but was dropped as soon as we saw the construction work within a few metres and also the afternoon heat was making things all the more uninviting.

So, We settled on one of the corner high seating table with an 180 degree view of the restaurant. The Lime Green dress code of the staff and the classy wooden interior builds quite a contrasting imagery on first reception. On a good note, the well staffed service is easy to spot without having to stress your eyes.

Classic wooden interiors and shades of lime green moving around at 212 All day Cafe & Bar

Classic wooden interiors and shades of lime green moving around at 212 All day Cafe & Bar

Menu is well segregated and compact without much of a fuss. The same cannot be said about the Drinks menu, which is a lot more columned. Our brunch started off with a portion of beer battered onions rings along with one deadly indulgence, one of the martini and a glass of 'Rising Sun' to sober us up. Portion was large, rings were fresh and filled with absolute crunch from the thick beer batter coating. To cover the void, we had also ordered a flat bread pizza 'Bolognaise' which sits as a chef's recommendation on their zomato page, but was a bit of a dud on portion size. The crude rectangular shaped pizza seems to be fad these days and the same is followed here. It is high on taste, texture and ingredients though better justice on the portion size is needed considering the price of the dish (495/-).

Next up on our order was the Sunday special - Beef steak, but soon conveyed to us was out of stock. Weird that in first hour of service and not many tables filled, one runs out of the day's speciality dish hero ingredient ! Quite unacceptable in my notebook. Replacing the mains was a Three Egg White Omelette and a portion of Chicken Skewers. The fluffy omelette was served hot in a skillet with potato wedges, grilled tomato and a spoonful drip of Mushroom cream sauce. Neatly executed and it is high on combination of textures from the foamy egg whites with wedges and the cream sauce. Chicken Skewers is an absolute must-order dish. The bird meat is ever so succulent and the tomato chutney plays the perfect accompaniment for it along with a handful of mix greens. 

Lastly, Dessert was part disappointment and part orgasmic. My Crème brûlée ramekin was double the size of any other restaurant, but the custard inside was firm - Almost mousse like in texture than the runny one it should have been. Cheval's Crème brûlée in the past many months has been an epitome and I’m still to find someone to take that crown from them. The Lava Cake and it's oozing centre was copybook stuff. Piercing through the sponge and reaching for that molten chocolate is so sensual that there isn't any replacement for it.

212 defnitely has an audience in this mall and the potential to thrive provided their teething issues (mentioned above) are resolved sooner. One important fact to be noted here is the level of salt in each serving, which was always on the lower side and that surely gets them the brownie points. The fare for three people inclusive of taxes ran to slightly above 3k. That's on par with SMD or Tertulia or any other European cafe across the city.

So, Until the next one - Salud !

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Kurla is famous for a couple of things - Kalpana theatre for the sleazy bhojpuri movies, notorious car spares market and lastly a meander of miya bhai khana. Seek Kabab (not Kebab - coz kurla mein banta aisa ich bolte hai !) and Paratha is a quite a local hit and you have almost 4-5 great places that do this really well. These kind of eateries are not meant for the hygiene conscious folks at all.

I was introduced to this seek diner some 5-6 years back by a few friends who stayed in it's vicinity. They have a take away stall right at the footpath which shimmers under a white bulb and small branding. Full with heaps of mint leaves, sliced onions and round after round of smoking hot amazingly aromatic kababs arrive straight from their kitchen slash restaurant a few metres inside of that same lane. Usually the take away counter and the restaurant staff don't have a minute to spare but i got lucky last night to catch Mohd. Rafiq Qureshi at the counter as i discussed with him his daily routine at the restaurant and how it came into existence. Probably i'll reserve that lengthy conversation for some other post.

At this time of Ramadan, people are off to the Mohd Ali Roads of town in search of malpuhas, niharis and baida rotis. That makes Nawab's very much inviting and less crowded. What it does is - makes you sit on the bench, break the fried paratha- squeeze a piece of that tender grilled meat in between it- soak it in the runny chutney and live that moment. It's absolute guilty pleasures deal and one shouldn't mind it at all.

It's open till 4 am for now. So no matter how late you are from work do stop under the Kurla east west bridge, find Nawab's on the LBS marg and eat your heart out for 45 bucks a plate !!

*The protein used by them is what we bade ka gosht a.k.a beef.

AuthorAssad Dadan