I’ve been craving some really good food, European style. Last weekend a friend and I decided to meet up somewhere in Bandra and while I had several options in mind, I’d been wanting to visit Le Pain Quotidien (or LPQ, as its called) at Bandra Kurla Complex since it first opened last year. So, we decided to meet there on a hot Sunday afternoon.
Le Pain Quotidien means “The Daily Bread.” And, that’s precisely what LPQ sells – fresh, warm, crusty bread – amongst granola, chocolate spread, jams and other condiments. Another unique feature at LPQ is its communal table, which is long enough to seat 12 people who can mingle with each other over bread and coffee.
LPQ was first started by Alain Coumont in Belgium and came to India in late 2010-early 2011 and is certainly here to stay. The eatery is located in Colaba and Bandra Kurla Complex in Mumbai. The interiors in both locations are characterised by warm wooden floors and furniture, and together with a display of fresh breads and condiments give a sense of warmth and comfort. The branch at Bandra-Kurla Complex also has alfresco dining in a beautiful courtyard.
Now, I’ll finally get to the food before I bore you anymore with details.
We were seated at a table facing the courtyard and the view was gorgeous. It;ll be much more gorgeous in the rains. I can imagine sitting facing the courtyard watching the rain fall and having a piping hot meal. And, I’m rambling. The menu is limited (and rotated every few months) and divided into various categories – easy to read and understand.
Once you place an order, you are served a portion of crusty bread that can be eaten with some olive oil and balsamic vinegar placed on the table – simple pleasures! For our meal, we called for mozzarella di bufala & plum tomatoes salad, seared basil chicken with mushroom risotto and spinach, and a spinach and ricotta ravioli in a tomato-based sauce.
The bread was crusty and fresh, but not warm. It tasted delicious with the olive oil and vinegar and even the salad once we’d asked the waiter to serve warm bread.
The salad was simple and delicious – sliced tomatoes with fresh buffalo mozzarella cheese with rocket, lettuce and spinach was fresh, zingy, and the pesto dressing just right.
The seared basil chicken (which looked simply gorgeous) was served atop mushroom risotto and spinach in a basil-cream sauce. The sauce was light and risotto perfectly al dente. The chicken was tender and well seasoned and together all these components made for a very delicious dish.
The ravioli was beautiful. I loved the texture of the ricotta filling, and the sundried tomatoes added a new dimension to the dish. Also, the parmesan shavings were aptly crumbly, while the ravioli itself was fresh with the perfect bite in the tangy tomato sauce.
We had a variety of desserts to choose from, but I wanted the chocolate, hazelnut and nougat eclair, and my friend fell in love with the mango and white chocolate tart.
The mango tart was quite delicious, but I found the proportion of mango to white chocolate lacking. It was more mangoey. However, it wasn’t overtly sweet and that was refreshing. Plus, the pastry was fresh and perfectly crumbly.
The chocolate, hazelnut and nougat eclair was – for the lack of a better expression – to die for. Lathered in chocolate and nougats, the flaky pastry was filled with oozy chocolate and was simply delectable. My only complaints – it wasn’t hazelnutty enough and the eclair wasn’t warmed even though we’d asked them to warm it. But, it made for a good finish to the meal.
Yes, I will go back there again – for the ambience the salad and definitely the bread.
Note: By the way, LPQ has announced a tartine-making workshop in association with Brown Paper Bag Check it out here and sign up NOW!