Sunday, August 24, 2008

Prithvi Theatre Cafe, Juhu, Mumbai

This Cafe was one of my favorites in Mumbai. Yes, you read it right, it "WAS". (check my previous review)

Close to my house, this was where me and my husband often sat discussing the play we were going to watch over a cup of coffee and light snacks like cheese balls or dissecting and analysing the play we had just watched over raan and Prithvi's famous irish coffee :)

I often visited the cafe when I was feeling low on inspiration and creativity and it was marvelous how just being there in that location with the presence of immensely talented individuals like Makarand Deshpande and Kay Kay (does he go as KK now?) among others could charge me up.

There were the occasional Ekta Kapur actresses who would show up for a play, but they were completely ignored by the serious acting crowd (theatre) and the people who went there to watch talented actors.

This adda was like a 2nd home to me in Mumbai. The husband and me averaged at least one play a week and sometimes more than that. I was at the cafe with him or on my own twice or even more in a week.

Service was sometimes slow, but you could see the waiters doing their best to manage it all and you didnt mind. What few people knew was that the cafe had a really awesome dinner menu and it was amazing to sit under those lights hanging from the trees and enjoy a meal.

Once we moved to Egypt we watched on the news that the cafe had introduced a new, more Mumbaiyya menu. On our trip to India in January we decided to go back to the cafe for old times sake and we were HORRIFIED!

There were a new bunch of waiters who did not even seem to know the menaing of the word "service" It took more than 20 minutes of sitting at a table (which we found ourselves after scrounging vacant chairs from nearby tables) before the waiter even acknowledged our presence. Another 20 minutes to get us a menu. The menu had thrice the number of items than before, but not even 10% of them were available. We found this out the painful way, by ordering some items and then being told none of them were available. This process repeated a couple of times, till we finally asked the waiter, "just tell us what IS available" He hardly mentioned 5 items.

Since we were a group and had already waited that long and gone through all the trouble of parking et al, we ordered one of each and told him to bring each item as it was ready in case some items took longer than others to prepare. 40 minutes after ordering, not a single item had reached our table. We asked the waiter about the status and he said "another 15 minutes" without even a trace of an apology in his voice.

So we told him to cancel the order and we walked out. He looked at us walk away with more relief than dismay on his face!

Doubt I will visit the cafe again, unless something changes drastically and they can match the standards of the previous avataar.

Please observe 2 minutes silence for the passing of a great cafe, that once was @ Prithvi!

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