The brunch crowd in the city’s business district has a new place to hangout
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After tasting success in Bandra, pastry queen Sanjana Patel has opened La Folie Lab in Kamala Mills, Mumbai’s equivalent of Hauz Khas. Patel says that ever since her license at upmarket Palladium Mall expired, she was on the hunt for a suitable space before finally zeroing in on Kamala Mills Surviving in the urban jungle of Kamala Mills where many famous restaurants and bars have already created a niche might sound like an uphill task, but La Folie Lab follows up with a delectable menu to tempt in new diners. The minimalist décor with the chef’s hands in different poses was also an attraction.

FOOD

Patel’s concept is to offer all-day breakfast and compact lunch in an area where late-night dining is in vogue. It’s an effective differentiator as Patel says walk-ins by executives who want to meet over brunch has seen a sharp rise since the Lab opened. Keeping with the spirit, we started off with a Chili Cheese Egg (Rs 220) that gets its heat from a local chutney called Thecha. This was a promising start indeed.

We tried the Chevre Chaud salad (Rs 320), a warm goat’s cheese salad with candied walnuts, mixed lettuce, Dijon mustard honey vinaigrette enlivened by fig jam. We’re not salad people per se but this one had us eating out of the plate. Next up was the Spiced Chicken Mille Feuille (Rs 280) and Avocado Tartine (Rs310), two dishes that we liked on their own but couldn’t top the salad. The pineapple salsa on the former dish especially deserves a mention.

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Another specialty of the Lab is the in-house making of all the bread for its sandwiches. So when we dived into their Pulled Pork Mole Roll (Rs300) and Honey Mustard Chicken Croissant (Rs 320), we first tasted the freshness of the bread before appraising the delicious combo of meat and sauce on both the dishes. The bread’s freshness lifts every other element on the dish and makes you want to go back to its sandwiches.

DESSERT AND DRINKS

Along with the dishes we also had a couple of drinks and desserts. The Apple, Beetroot, Carrot and Orange juice (Rs 180) that was an instant lift-me-up with the right mix of ingredients blended together. On the other hand, their Vietnamese Coffee (Rs 160) was a let-down for anyone seeking the authentic drink. In fact, the drink was basically cold coffee with condensed milk than the real Ca Phe Sua Da.

We also tried some of the chef’s pastries (duh!). The Paris Brest (Rs 220) with its hazelnut dacquoise, choux, praline chantilly and nutty glaze was a delight in every way possible. On the other hand, the Carrot Patch (Rs 195) with its apricot compote, lemon cream and meringue in carrot cake was an experience we’d be happy to repeat whenever we go there next.

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We ended the meal with a heavy Soufflé Pancake (Rs 280) that had mascarpone cream, coffee meringue, dark chocolate chips and toasted pecans topped with an espresso shot. All in all, the pancake seemed to spring between sweet and bitter in schizophrenic bursts so we’re unsure whether we really like it or not.

LF REVIEW

With competitively-priced menu items that taste as well as they do, La Folie Lab seems to have put its best-foot forward. By catering to the brunch crowd in a business district and taking their learnings from the Bandra outpost with regards to the menu, the place seems set for a long innings too. One can also walk in and buy exotic chocolates, pastries and other light eats, an option that many customers seem to appreciate. We rate it 4 out of 5.

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