Fabel, an all-day meal of Juhu, tries to do a lot together. With white picket fences and design elements like the words ‘Once upon a time’ painted on the walls, it is probably suitable for families with young children. At the same time, accessories that use books and a tagline that reads ‘Cooking Up Story’ to attract young people who see it as a place where they can sit for hours and read a book and sip a cup of coffee or, even, One glass of sangria.
The menu, too, repeats this confusion. They have a wide selection of breakfast items like pizza, sandwiches and quiches, waffles, eggs and pancakes in addition to soups, starters and main courses. It lists some of India’s all-time favorites such as khima ghotala, goan chili sausage and cheese bhurji. And then experimented with fenugreek thepla quasadillas or bolognese-style maggi.
But the real test of a cafe and pizzeria, we believe, is in the classics it serves. So we decided to start with breakfast and gradually work on the menu.
Al fresco seats in the cafe
We chose a bagel sandwich with smoked salmon, Philadelphia cream cheese and capers (Rs 295) and a portion of waffles with maple syrup which they serve with sweet fruit and chopped pears (Rs 195). Unlike most restaurants, Fable does not serve its salmon smoke. Thus the salmon did not feel fresh or tasty. However, in a city where waffle maker leaves as a veggie and soft piece of cooked butter, Fabel scored well. The waffles were thin and crispy and fortunately came doused in syrup. The pears were fresh but the candied fruit was a little more sour.
To cover its extensive menu, we decided to follow up our breakfast with a pizza and shrimp balchao (Rs. 650). Spicy pepperoni and shiny onion pizza (Rs. 575) tick all the boxes – the base is fresh, thin and crisp, the toppings are enough and the pepperoni tastes good. Balchao had more fire than vinegar – thanks to the dried red pepper. It had very little tang in it, and it was like a Nagpur sauji dish, if they ever made a shrimp sauji.
The dessert we ordered, what we felt about a portion of their caramel custard, probably best describes our experience in a nutshell. It’s okay but nothing stands out. If we go back to the food store, it will be because of the more spacious cafes in Juhu and the lack of their waffles.
Oh, and the owners have to get rid of all those management and self-help books that are part of the decor, if they want any serious book lovers to spend their afternoons in the cafe.