The Lal’s Patisserie is a welcome addition to the food and beverage directory at Dolmen Mall
You’d think you were sitting in Europe if it weren’t for the distinctly desi eyeballs floating around, staring at the decadent chocolate strawberry waffle you were about to plunge a fork into. But that is the kind of ambience that the Lal’s Patiserrie has managed to create at Clifton’s beachside Dolmen City Mall. It may seem like being seated in a thoroughfare at times but nevertheless, Lal’s Patisserie is an extremely welcome addition to the food and beverage directory at the mall. It’s a delicately decorated space, populated by servers in mint and chocolate coloured uniforms. Tiny potted plants dot the wooden tables and large, hand-scrawled menus complete the bistro feel. Replete with the rich aroma of brewing coffee and a sweet smell of pastries, this waft has become the Pied Piper to tired, exhausted shoppers looking for a sugar break.
The menu, however, goes beyond desserts and delves into the delicacy of quick savory bites. A short selection of soups and salads plus sandwiches is what will give you the right amount of energy without pushing you into food coma. Friendly waiters seat you in a space that overlooks the entire mall and for a moment you are led into a blissful haven in which everything is okay.
The menu is as tiny as the patisserie itself so a couple of happy visits later, we had tried almost everything. The minestrone soup was heartening and the selections of salads provided the crisp freshness that one expects from a salad. We tried the Asian Noodle Salad as well as the Chicken Pineapple salad, which was more satisfying with its burst of tropical sweetness via the pineapple chunks and the surprise element of crushed oats at the base. Just as satisfying, the sandwiches are better hunger quenchers for they provide a hefty dose of carbs – taken as white or a healthy bran. The café hasn’t started its thin crust pizzas yet but it does offer a selection of light and creamy quiches; I would recommend a warm Chicken and Mushroom pie or even the Beef and Cheddar.
The only issue here is lack of an operational kitchenette. As most of the items are transported from the Lal’s Café on Shahbaz, they cannot be modified to the customer’s taste. Moreover, they run out pretty quickly, as was the case with the caramel éclairs which came and went by the time we tried to order them. It only goes to say that thedemand is greater than the supply.
Desserts being the Lal’s area of expertise, the éclairs were melt-in-the mouth, which was dangerous as one didn’t really count the calories until it was too late. For us, that point of sweet satiation came after several strawberry, caramel and chocolate éclairs, gelato and a slice of strawberry cheesecake. I have to say it was worth every bite!