Townie Friend… Yo! Where you at brother?
Zoman Warrior… In Bandra bruv!
Townie Friend… What the fudge! Again dude. Are you shifting there?
Zoman Warrior … No way bruv, you know that ain’t happening!
Townie Friend….. Whatever dude (HANGS UP)
Another abrupt conversation and the zoman warrior is left scratching his head, much like a clueless capuchin wondering where his next banana is coming from.
While the zoman warrior’s townie friends sense his loyalties shifting, little do they know how much of a saviour Bandra is. Confused?
Take a townie zoman, a suburban damsel and sprinkle some love into the mix. What you get is a couple that can’t chill anywhere in the city without grumbling over which side of the sea link is better.
Unless………… They’re in that one place, just around the sea link and with an attitude unlike the other burbs – Bandra.
Per usual, we arrived in Bandra and had no clue where to go. With the thermometer rising and my damsel nearly famished, only the best could be trusted. And that…. My good zomans, is how we went to Candies (again)!
Gasp at mindless prelude….. Kick back to reality and begin review!
I get it, that many people are gourmands now. They’ve gotten around the globe and checked into some really posh places. Yes, there are many villas that are becoming cool hangouts now and Candies isn’t THE PLACE anymore. But no matter what’s your yardstick to rate a place is, this is still a great place to hang out every once in a while.
It’s like going to your relative’s house, picking up food from the kitchen downstairs or upstairs, and sitting down to eat wherever you get a spot. I mean literally, there is a seating arrangement almost everywhere throughout the place. At the bottom floor, while climbing up the stairs, and then of course on the rooftop. Or whatever you want to call it.
There isn’t much of the posh vibe going around anywhere at Candies, and the feel is actually similar to sitting at home and eating. Except, you’ve got to pay for the food and there’s a huge bunch of random strangers around.
I usually prefer sitting up stairs, which is always crowded. Luckily, I am too smart and pick non-peak hours to arrive at and have always managed to find a spot.
God helps those who help themselves! Candies took that seriously and let you do most of the walking and moving about to get your food.
Have a look around, stick your face onto the glass counters, and take a god forsakenly long time in making your choice. Whatever it is that you want to do, do. When you’ve had your epiphany and it is clear what you’d like to order and if it is available. Go ahead and ask for it. Take a slip, shove to the right, and pay your bill. Then there’s a bit of that waiting while your stomach builds up a monstrous appetite, whetted further by the aroma in the air. And finally, you move over a little more to the side, and collect your stuff.
Easy peasy, lemon squeezy!
It’s been many visits and a lot of time spent in front of those glass displays for me to have had a lot of food at this somewhat legendary eatery. While there are a few things on the fare that standout for me, I have usually walked away having eaten something really nice and new here at Candies.
Some of my favourites here are.
The usual. Macaroni, some cheese, fresh veggies thrown into the mix, and I do sense a hint of mayonnaise in there as well. Overall, I love this.
Best order this when you see a lot of it on display, because it’s usually a fresh batch. And try sticking to the veg version in this case, the chicken makes it a bit chewy and brings down the overall awesomeness by a notch or two.
CHICKEN / MUTTON BURGER
While these aren’t curried burgers, they’re somehow really moist. Both the burgers remind me of something similar at Infantaria in Goa. Juicy and succulent cubed / shredded meat which is complemented exceedingly well by the veggies and the sauce. They have a sweetish brioche like bun for the burger which pairs beautifully with the juiciness of the overall construct.
To cut costs, the burgers come with crisps instead of fries.
If you spent some time in a convent (especially a Jesuit one), you’ll be familiar with this style of serving a burger as that’s what they used to give us in the school canteens back in the day.
Bolognaise here doesn’t draw a parallel with the likes of Prego and its ilk. But it tastes epic nonetheless. Meaty, and absolutely saucy. The meat is cooked tender and the sauce has a lot of the tomato’ey flavour retained in it. I’ve never picked a feel for any wine being added into the mix, but the taste is great nonetheless. And they throw in a really generous helping of cheese as well.
The prawn puff stands out over every other puff on the menu, but I kind of have a fancy for the other ones as well.
The portion size on this is decent and the taste is really amazing too.
I like the slightly herby pilaf and the stroganoff sauce that they make is really amazing. It has a slightly tangy aftertaste which I am guessing comes from the use of sour cream. What I love most, is that is the sauce is perfectly velvety and to me that’s an ideal stroganoff.
Served with veggies, this is a sumptuous and hearty dish
Not the typical choriz poi that you would get in the bylanes of the old Mapusa market, but a smashing reminder of that very taste. If this is available and you chance upon it, get yourself a helping. The aroma of the sausage will linger around you for the rest of the day that I can guarantee.
This is Candies’ take on the homestyle chicken curry, which is feel is more Goan in nature. Probably the simplest meal you can have here. This dish contains no gloss and posh, just plain old loving.
The curry is mildly spiced and goes perfectly with the rice that is served along with it.
You cannot come to Candies and not have dessert.
Mille Feuille. A Thousand leaves in Italian. This is a flaky pastry dessert much like the Napolean. Layers of flaky pastry and pastry cream.
Cheesecake. Pick any from the cheesecake options and I guarantee they’d turn out amazing. There isn’t a single cheesecake I haven’t had here and I’ve loved them all. If I had to pick favourites though, Mango or Passion Fruit.
Carrot Cake. A tea time must have. Loaded with cinnamon and grated carrots. This is absolute heaven
Pineapple Upside Down. I remember my mum making these when we were little. I’ve always found this dessert simply too amazing. The mild sweetness of the cake coupled with the sharp sweet & tangy flavour of the pineapple is absolute heaven. Texture wise, the cake is slightly dry and contrasts perfectly with those gooey and moist pineapple slices.
From the times when we were pooling in pocket money to eat here, to now. I have always found Candies to be a reliable option even when the pockets aren’t heavy with ching ching.
Even if it’s the end of the month and you’re just up for a burger and a shake, this place is highly affordable. Shell out a bit more and you could add a cupcake to the affair as well.
There isn’t anything here that’s priced as per gourmet standards and since there’s a lot of college going crowd that frequents the place, the costs are kept lower. At least if you see the portions that are served.
While Bandra is becoming costlier by the day as a place to chill. Candies is still in a pricing limbo that is so early 2000’s and I love that about them.
As Bandra continues to shine like the only beacon of hope for the townie zoman and his suburban damsel, Candies remains as the one place we can go to whenever there’s that urge to chill, have good food, and avoid looking into your account balance after you’re done.
So here’s to, many more outings and many more of their delicious goodies. Here’s to Candies, the sweetest candy in the goodie land of Mumbai.
AMBIANCE. 4 / 5
SERVICE. 3.5 / 5
FOOD. 4.5 / 5
PRICE. 4 / 5