Cafe Mondegar is probably one of the oldest places to eat out in the city of Bombay. Popularly [and phonetically] known as "Mondy's", it is a favourite hot spot for Bombay's college students and yuppies.
The interiors are similar to those of a Goan restaurant, with walls painted to the likes of Mario Miranda's illustrations: white-washed walls with cartoon characters drinking, eating and enjoying themselves. A picture of Bob Marley, and another of a chimpanzee with a mug of beer, ornament the entrance.
The tables are small and round, and are meant for four people. Both vegetarian and non-vegetarian dishes are available at Mondy's, not to mention a bunch of different beer brands. A pitcher of beer costs about two hundred rupees, while a mug of beer sets you back by about fifty bucks.
The ambience is nothing to write home about, and the air is decidedly unfriendly to the non-smoker, but the crowd is good and the food is great. At the back of the joint is a jukebox, which lets you play songs of your choice.
The service is good, and faster than most other restaurants in South Bombay. Waiters speak to you in English, and are well-mannered. While the primary dining area is not conditioned, there is an air-conditioned section also. All in all, a classic example of a place filled with wine, women and waiters.
What we liked best, from the huge number of choices on the glass-covered menus, was the vegetable au gratin, coupled with a plate of garlic bread; needless to say, this was washed down with some chilled draft beer to beat the afternoon heat. Other offerings include fresh juice, soups, burgers, pizza, and sea food [including fish and chips, prawns, et al]; you can also get sandwiches, hot dogs, sausages and salami, and a whole bunch of different chicken dishes, including chicken shashlik, another of our favourites.
So, the next time you find yourself in Colaba, waiting for the next show at Regal Cinema or on your way to a business meeting, take a few minutes to drop in at Cafe Mondegar - it's a Bombay original!This article was first published on 29 Mar 2000.