Fable, an all-day eatery in Juhu, attempts to be many things at once. With design elements such as white picket fences and the words ‘once upon a time’ painted on a wall, it is perhaps catering to families with young children. At the same time, accessories that make use of books and a tagline that reads ‘Cooking up stories’ are meant to attract youth who will view it as a space where they can lounge for hours reading a book and sipping on a cup of coffee or, even, a glass of sangria.
The menu, too, reiterates this confusion. They have a wide selection of pizzas, sandwiches and quiches, breakfast items like waffles, eggs and pancakes, apart from soups, starters and main course. It lists a few Indian all-time favourites such as kheema ghotala, Goan chilli sausage, and paneer bhurji. And then there are attempts at experimenting, such as methi thepla quesadillas or the Bolognese-style Maggi.
But the true test of a cafe and pizzeria, we believe, lies in the classics it serves. So we decided to begin with breakfast and slowly work through the menu.
We opted for a bagel sandwich with smoked salmon, Philadelphia cream cheese and capers (Rs 295) and a portion of waffles with maple syrup that they serve with candied fruit and chopped pear (Rs 195). Unlike most restaurants, Fable doesn’t serve its salmon smoked. The salmon thus felt neither fresh nor flavourful. However, in a city where soggy and soft chunks of batter cooked in a waffle maker passes off as the dish, Fable scored well. The waffles were thin and crispy and thankfully didn’t come doused in the syrup. The pear was fresh but the candied fruit was a tad too sour.
In order to cover as much of its extensive menu, we decided to follow up our breakfast with a pizza and a portion of prawn balchao (Rs 650). The Spicy Pepperoni and glazed onion pizza (Rs 575) ticks all the boxes — the base is fresh, thin and crisp, the toppings are ample and the pepperoni was flavourful. With the balchao, there was more fire — thanks to dried red chillies — than vinegar. It had very little tang, and was more akin to a Nagpurian saoji dish, if they ever made a prawn saoji.
What we felt about the dessert we ordered, a portion of their caramel custard, perhaps best describes our experience at Fable in a nutshell. It has things right but nothing quite stands out. If we go back to the eatery, it will be for the lack of more spacious cafes in Juhu and their waffles.
Oh, and the owners need to do away with all those management and self-help books that are part of the decor if they want any serious book lovers spending their afternoon at the cafe.
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