Finding the right tone for a new restaurant is fiendishly complicated. Café Noir attempts to recreate the magic of a tasteful French bistro, armed with an unpretentious menu, elegant interiors and a lot of ambition. A “brasserie de luxe” – the charming café has an old-world appeal, courteous and friendly staff and a pleasant ambience
By: Niyoshi Shah
Posted on: December 28, 2021
LF Says: ★★.5
Anybody whose taste buds are in working order can build up a good appetite for cakes, sandwiches, quiche, and succulent bakery items. After seeing success in Bangalore, Café Noir takes the concept of a French bistro to Mumbai, and mixes it up with an all-day dining carte du jour. The Cafe has a new culinary director, Daniel Koshy, who comes with nearly three decades of experience. It endeavors to enter the ever-growing Mumbai hospitality segment with a unique blend of style and panache.
The restaurant is intimate, comfortable, and refined. Designed to reflect a Parisian café, the walls are adorned with sconce lamps, a customary red ensemble de canapé (sofa set) and a stunningly detailed antique ceramic floor in a faux mosaique theme. Noir photographs adorn the walls and charming Leslie bar stools with tables are lined up on one side of the narrow passage giving it a coze, relaxed vibe.
Café Noir offers a variety of oven-baked croissants (classic butter, chocolat, danish, almond), sausages, bacon, skewers, street crepes and quiches. We chose from a seasonal à la carte menu. A sourdough bruschetta which came with sliced avocados and balsamic glazed roasted pepper and almonds, a Santorini mezze platter which came with a side of marinated black olives, a falafel wrap with house pickle, and a Pizza Caponata (red onions, eggplant, peppers, zucchini and pine nuts).
The bruschetta melted in the mouth and was full of subtle flavours that was only enhanced by the roasted pepper and almonds. The mezze platter did not disappoint. The pizza was slightly undercooked and the dough tasted soggy. The falafel wrap was balanced in taste. To top it all, we opted for a blissful glass of sangria au vin blanc, a citrusy drink made with sherry and white wine.
The staff came out to the gate to welcome each guest – showing the incredible experience of the staff in genuine hospitality. Its old world tone makes Café Noir a quiet respite in the otherwise buzzing city. It’s ideal for quite afternoons, early dinners or for a cosy glass of French wine.
French luxury restaurants can be wonderful, but they have to be played with conviction. Café Noir attempts conviction and ambition with a heartfelt dose of warmth. It’s menu is quite creative and expansive with well-known French favourites.
LF Says: ★★.5
Coordinates: Lodha World Crest Towers, Lower Parel, Mumbai, India