Light House Café has chosen its location well. With two bars-cum-casual-dining-outlets next door, the stretch on 3rd Road in Khar, just north of the station, is set to become a neighbourhood nightlife spot.
With plenty of seating and open space, Light House Café is equipped to handle large numbers of dancing and drinking twenty-somethings. True to its name, the restaurant sports rows of lights on the ceiling, lamps made from empty alcohol bottles on the columns and candle-shaped bulbs on the walls, to lend soft mood lighting.
The reasonably lengthy menu, which we were informed has not been finalised yet, is a compilation of international favourites — with a twist — and a handful of tandoori preparations. All the dishes are served as appetiser-sized portions — there are no main courses.
Some of the combinations are a bit weird: wasabi-flavoured tortilla chips form the base of Mexican Nachos, topped with refried beans and cheese, with salsa, guacamole and sour cream colourfully arranged on top. The toppings make an unholy mess once you start serving yourself, and the artificial wasabi flavour lingers unpleasantly. The basa banh mi, a take on the popular Vietnamese sandwich, replaces the crusty baguette with a mini-burger. This would have been a great idea if the bread hadn’t been so sweet and the pickled vegetables were more tart and crunchy. The peri peri marinade of the lighting wings was spicy, but the overcooked wings, stringy and dry.
Arabic influences appear in an open-faced sandwich of lamb kebabs on mini khaboos-style flat bread. The combination of the sour yoghurt-based tzatziki with sweet caramelised onions and meaty kebabs worked very well.
The lowest point of the evening came with the recommended baked moussaka. Slices of brinjal were interspersed with Arrabbiata sauce and cheese, arranged on a bed of Arrabbiata sauce. Unfortunately, the overpowering sauce was so sour that we gave up after a few bites. Noticing our mostly untouched plate, the owner apologised and took it off the bill.
This was followed immediately by the highlight of the meal: a yellow curry chicken pizza. We absolutely loved the combination of the mild coconut curry topping, the aromatic basil, the sweetness of the roasted brinjal slices on the thin crust pizza.
As with many new suburban bars, alcohol is priced sensibly at Light House Café: cocktails start at Rs 150, domestic beers at Rs 180 and Indian wines at Rs 350. The food is not their strength, but the ambience and the pricing certainly are.
Published Hindustan Times 25 June 2015