For decades, the Sundance Café, situated bang opposite Mumbai’s Churchgate station, managed to establish itself as one of the most recognisable addresses in South Mumbai. College kids, movie goers—the restaurant café is situated in the Eros Cinema building—professionals from the business district and old generation Parsis flocked to this establishment, lauded for its casual American diner feel and famous ‘ninja turtle’ burgers. When the eatery decided to down its shutters, a little over two years ago, this was met with much disappointment from Mumbai’s discerning diners.
The restaurant’s loyal clientele found a reason to celebrate recently when it was announced a new Café Sundance would reopen at the very same location. If the long waiting lists outside the restaurant every evening are anything to go by, Sundance in its brand new avatar has been rather successful.
In terms of décor and ambience, the new Café Sundance no longer has the old-world diner appeal, being replaced instead by a chic bistro-like feel. Its partner Two One Two Bar and Grill have gone the extra mile to lend to the restaurant a vintage chic feel—old fashioned coffee machines, quaint telephones, shelves with old books and comics and toy trains—while at the same time giving it a decidedly modern look with bright lights and modern wooden furniture. The owner of Café Sundance, Ketan Kadam, talks about the thought that has gone into creating this endearing space, “We have redefined comfort food while maintaining the nostalgic element of the café with its Archie comics, old-school artefacts, newspaper menus and by keeping it at a relatively affordable price.”
As an ode to the cult status of this restaurant, the offerings on the menu can best be described as unpretentious, comforting and honest—burgers, sandwiches, hotdogs, steaks, pizzas and pastas. Chef Amit Bhatia’s experience at Sundance has been challenging, “I have grown as a chef and innovator. I wanted to create a menu that features a range of flavours and textures, with as many locally-sources ingredients as possible.”
While on the subject of Sundance’s burgers, it is indeed a pity that their endearing ninja turtle burgers—with buns curiously shaped like turtles—do not make it to the new menu. Loyalists can, however, seek solace in the menu’s two-page spread of burgers and hot dogs. If your appetite is ravenous, you could try the Sundance sasquatch, a massive burger with 20 ounces of tenderloin beef, crispy bacon, mixed lettuce, pickled cucumber, fried egg, melted provolone cheese and avocado guacamole.
The breakfast menu features scrumptious regulars like the Spanish omelette, eggs benedict, pancakes, waffles and even a masala chicken bhurjee.
The selection of sandwiches is impressive. There is also an entire section of pasta preparations.
The main course section in the menu, wittily titled ‘mainstays’, impresses with its selection of classics—fillet mignon with jacket potatoes and mixed garden greens, fish and chips, pan-seared rawas with Lyonnaise potatoes to name a few. Vegetarians need not despair as the choice is ample like oven roasted vegetable lasagne, grilled aubergines layered with parmesan cheese and mozzarella etc.
Without meaning to deride neither the new additions to the menu nor the friendly but somewhat haphazard service at Café Sundance, it is pretty evident that the restaurant’s strength lies in the classics—good old fashioned Western comfort food—presented in a contemporary spirit.
Café Sundance Ground Floor Eros Cinema Building Churchgate, Mumbai