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The best spots for date night

It’s your first date, and you want to strike a balance between casual and fine-dine; check out our top picks

You don’t want to go over the top on your first date. It’s not a great idea to spend most of your time wondering which of your three forks to eat with and at what angle to place them once you’re done. Your date would definitely prefer making great conversation over being spoilt for choice with too elaborate a spread.

At the same time, don’t take her to the local cafe that’s bustling like a fish market. She wants to feel special, so finding that perfect spot, which is a mix of upmarket and chilled out, could make or break it for you. Our top suggestions include Salt Water Cafe, Monkey Bar, The Bombay Canteen, Mamagoto, Eat Thai, Woodside Inn and Indigo Deli.

The latter, coincidentally, celebrated 10 years in Mumbai recently, and they’ve got all their favourites on the menu. Apart from this, there’s a spanking new range of dishes that cleverly tweak the ones you’ve loved the most over the years.

By far our favourite dish is from their sandwich menu – the most delish chunks of crispy chicken, sandwiched between chive waffles. The chicken is beautifully flavoured and cooked, but what clinches the deal is a slather of their finger-licking chimichuri that you may want to ask for some more of.

Not too many people would pick a burger as date food – it’s usually messy and rather unattractive to eat – but Indigo Deli’s braised pork belly burger might have you changing your mind. The flavour combo sounds unusual at first – with spring onion and apple slaw, plus a tamarind coffee glaze – but it really hits the spot. There’s no runny sauce oozing out from all sides either, so don’t worry about making a spectacle of yourself.

The deli even has a great new drinks menu, from which we loved the Cranberry Raspberry Lime Tea. There’s also a range of new cold pressed juices and shakes that we’re eyeing, undoubtedly for a breakfast date. The star of that morning could definitely be Eggs Benedict – given a twist with pork belly, lobster, Caprese and more. We went with the lobster and didn’t regret it, although the Caprese might sound just as enticing.

Shweta Mehta Sen

Associate Editor