It’s not very easy to find this place if you’re new to Shahpur Jat. An easy way is to get off at Green Park metro station and ask your auto-wala to take you near Shree Govindam sweets in the Shahpur Jat market and it should be simple enough to find it from there. Upon climbing a considerable amount of stairs you reach the restaurant themed in red and black colours.
The restaurant is dedicated to old Bollywood with posters and pictures of great Hindi films and their stars covering almost every inch of all the surfaces. Guessing who’s who, talking about their films helps you pass the time it takes for your food to be brought to your table. It is a very intelligent interior decoration trick. A Bollywood buff will have a great time eating here. These visuals are accompanied by the old and gold music from Hindi films. You will get to hears songs long forgotten, that revive some great memories.
The location is such that the outside world, sort of, quiets down while you are at Mumbai Matinee. The menu along with the food also shows some not-before-seen pictures of the stars like Nutan, the Bachchans, Smita Patil, Dev Anand etc. The restaurant serves a mix of Italian, Mexican and Indian food . Starting with salads and sandwiches it goes on to pastas, tacos, quesadillas and finally ends on some elaborate main course veg. and non-veg. dishes.
We started with creamy cheesy dip with chips and potato wedges. It’s a great option for an afternoon tea/coffee accompaniment. But we wanted to nibble on something as our main-course dish stuffed chicken steak, was going to take some time. This was followed by the Mumbai Matinee special foot-long sandwich. The colourful presentation of the sandwich deserves a mention. It is imperative, when eating a thing as lengthy and as uniform as a big sandwich, that there be something to alter and augment its taste after every few bites. Chipotle dip which came with it did just that. Though a softer bread can improve it further the filling of the sandwich was perfect as it is. It is highly recommended for a quick lunch for long days when work is a priority.
As our stuffed chicken was still not quite ready, we started looking at the pictures again. My friend pointed out how Kabir Bedi’s photo was hung next to Parveen Babi’s. And when I asked what was so special about she started regaling me with the stories of their very high profile relationship in the 70s. A Little further, pictures of beauties like Smita Patel, Dipti Naval, Supriya Pathak and Shabana Azmi hold you in awe with basic expressions on their faces. Then posters of Bawarchi and Chashme Baddoor takes you back to the time you first watched those movies and how amazed you were at their forwardness and humour.
We were pulled out of this charming mire by our waiter who placed a scrumptious looking dish on our table. Sending back the quarter plates he had brought for us to eat in like civilised folks, we retained the forks and knifes and dived right in. The stuffed chicken breasts set upon a mashed potato paste looked almost like a butter fly. The stuffing of spinach, mozzarella cheese and mushrooms added a lot of character to the dish. Apart from being tasty this dish was quite filling. Last, but also the most awaited, the desserts are always changing so you should ask you server for the special of the day.
A lunch at the Mumbai Matinee on a weekday has promise of being relaxing and almost romantic. The site of leafy branches from every window will give you the feeling of being in a treehouse, and who doesn’t like that.
Nearest Metro: Green Park
Price for two: Rs. 1500 (no alcohol available)