If there is one place in Mumbai that reminds me of ‘Cheers’, the famous Boston café immortalized in the American TV show by the same name, it’s Café Mondegar (or Mondy’s as the locals call it) on Colaba Causeway. Most Mumbaikars (i.e. Mumbai locals) frequent the café during their college days and then return to it for a sense of nostalgia, sometime later in life. Invariably it also becomes the Mumbai visitors’ local haunt because this is where they can really get to know the locals. Property deals and business contracts are struck on a regular basis at this Mumbai landmark.
Farshid and Hoshang Yezdegardi, the two brothers who currently run the establishment, form the third generation of an Irani family that has operated it since 1925. True to old Indian values, the Yezdegardis believe that for a business to be successful yet personable, it must remain within the family. Perhaps that is why spending the afternoon at Mondy’s is like lounging at home on the weekend. After all, at Mondy’s everybody knows your name!
Shahid Bhagat Singh Road
5A Metro House, Colaba, Near Regal Cinema
Nearest Train: Churchgate/VT
Phone: +91 22 2202 0591
Eclectic. Ranging from Continental to Chinese cuisine.
Average INR. 200
Hours of Operation:
CD Jukebox, and wall murals by famous Goan cartoonist, Mario Miranda
You cannot say that you have been to Mumbai if you have not had a meal at Café Mondegar. Located right next door to Regal Cinema, this restaurant-cum-bar is where you can catch a glimpse of bohemian life in Mumbai. Haunted by locals and visitors alike, Mondy’s friendly wait staff clad in green and yellow t-shirts, serve up draught beer, by the pitcher or glass amidst the loud tunes of a CD jukebox. The wall murals painted by Mario Miranda, a famous Goan cartoonist make for the unique décor that has been the café’s trademark since the 1987.
In 1925, the Yezdegardis, an Irani family, bought the home of a French sailor named called Monsieur Monde. Inspired by its Hindi reference ‘Monde Sahib ka Gar’ (Mr. Monde’s house) the Yezdegardis soon converted it to a café called ‘Monde-Gar’. It started off as a typical teahouse that also sold tobacco, foreign liquor, wine, breads and specialties from Iran like saffron, almonds, and pistachios. In time the Yezdegardis have developed an assorted menu influenced by Irani flavors.
In the seventies, the menu was widened to include keema-pao (minced lamb with bread), soups, puddings and Chinese food. Today, you can choose from a variety of food, everything from kebabs to burgers, bruschetta, chow-mein, grills, and sizzlers. But through the ages, the house favorite has always been the Pepper Steak, or Steak Boti.
Whether you’re looking for a Saturday night scene with great food and loud music, or a quiet Sunday morning spot where you can read the newspaper while you sip your coffee, this is the place to go.
Scenes from Cafe Mondegar: