“My two rules of cooking: Keep it fresh and keep it simple.” – Michael Isabella
When Above & Beyond in Mahakali opened their doors to public with a limited food menu to offer, their vision was to keep their food simple and fresh. Apart from predominantly vegetarian food (only exception being eggs) that this café is all set to offer during the day, it also doubles as a sheesha lounge by the evening.
The restaurant is divided into two levels. The lower level is a brightly lit casual dining section with an open kitchen counter on the other end of the hall and a flight of stairs leads you to the sheesha lounge upstairs boasting several low-lying, comfortable and multi-coloured sofas occupying most of the dining space and a few dining tables and chairs thrown in along one of the sides. The ambience promises you a relaxed evening with your pals, post a hectic day at work.
Lightly grilled yet puffy English muffins were topped with poached eggs revealing free-flowing yolks marvellously oozing out as we cut through them. The hollandaise sauce that was served separately alongside, was not only too solid for the perfectly smooth and creamy consistency but it also grossly missed out on it’s characteristic tangy flavour and was overly buttery instead.
Soya Kheema Tikki Burger
A thick and deep fried patty with a crispy golden brown exterior revealing a moist, flavourful, spicy and well bound mixture of soya kheema and potatoes rested on cushiony soft burger buns that were generously slathered with coriander mayo that further imparted some more moisture and minty freshness to the assortment. However, I would have also liked some crunchy and fresh lettuce accompanying the juicy sliced tomatoes within the buns.
Sundried Tomato Polenta Square
This was a hearty, tangy and garlic-y ratatouille with borderline sweetness topped with a generous dollop of mozzarella, rested on adequately cooked squares of cornmeal (I.e. Polenta). Since this central European dish is not commonly served everywhere in Mumbai, there are a countable few restaurants where I have tried Polenta so far and I must say that the one served here ranks second in my ‘best Polenta serving restaurants’ list!
Potholes of Mumbai Flyover
The brun pav with a hollowed out centre was filled with a mildly spicy combination of potatoes and onions and topped with a sunny side up fried egg. Unfortunately, the fact that we had to chew onto a lot of bread before we could reach the moist centre turned it into a ‘too-much-bread’ affair and even the runny yolk in the centre failed to impart the much needed moisture to the brun pav.
A rectangular, thin crust, crunchy and a slightly chewy textured pizza topped with some tomatoes, basil and copious amounts of springy and supple mozzarella that this was; too much of cheese effortlessly overpowered the rest of the elements making it taste quite average.
Wok Tossed Greens
The freshness and crunchy goodness of kale, broccoli and zucchini and a hint of citrusy and spicy tones let out by the mild tempering of chilli ginger teamed up to offer a delicious and hearty treat indeed!
Smooth & Silk Chocolate Cake
It was a dense, moist, rich, luscious, bitter-sweet (not excessively sweet) and fudgy chocolate cake that easily vanished within a few seconds after it arrived on our table!
This was creamy, smooth, light, silky and had the right amount of moisture imparting it a lush texture. It had faintly sweet notes revealing a characteristic sour kick so typical of the classic cheesecake in each bite with some thick and sweet mango syrup drizzled atop that somehow failed to impart a vivid flavour of mango to the dessert.
Both, the Passion Kiwi Sour Punch having a mellow and subtle flavour and the relatively sharp flavoured Mix Berry were thick, adequately sweet and soothing!
Our attendant for the evening was very warm, welcoming, kind, attentive and friendly host. The service was swift, prompt and food kept arriving at a consistent speed. The attendant in charge of the hookahs, also was really attentive and prompt in his duties, thereby ensuring a consistently smooth and unmatched sheesha experience for all the people present there.
Food quality – 4/5
Food quantity – 4/5
Ambience – 4.5/5
Service – 4.5/5