Skip to main content

Bombay's Wengers

I don't know why I put off a visit to Candies for so long. Six years in the city, so many people recommending the place and yet I never made a trip to eat at Bandra's legendary bakery/cafe. Then Kalyan gave me a little nudge and just by coincidence, that weekend I found myself in the neighborhood of Lilavati Hospital. That first trip to Candies was accidental. The two subsequent trips absolutely intentional.

For in Candies I have found the answer to Wengers, my favorite Delhi bakery. Let's recap Wengers for you - an ancient bakery with several separate counters all selling goodies you'd give an arm and a leg for. Lovely bits of deliciousness in cakes and puddings and pies. Candies is all of this and a lot of extras. When you first walk into the cafe near Lilavati (there are three Candies, but this is the only one I've been to), you spot outdoor tables and an outdoor counter. A counter set with salads, sandwiches, tea cakes, petit fours and brownies. And puffs - glorious vegetable puffs and lovely little mushroom and corn puff pastries. The guy will tear out a bill and tell you to pay before he hands over the goodies.

So you walk indoors to a crowded counter that has a lot more in store. This is the world of samosas, spring rolls and potato chops. Also the world of mini-meals - the lasagne verde, the macaroni. And finally, the world of danish pastries. Remember that none of it is exactly fine dining and everything is precooked and just reheated, but it tastes so good when you bring it outdoors to eat.

And then you turn to the most important part of the outdoor counter. After the irritating "go back inside and pay for this", you get a cinnamon laced cappuccino that comes with a trio of petit fours. A bite sized jam tart, a tiny little cream pie and a fluffy chocolate coated eclair. All for free with your coffee; all lovely enough to get you hooked to Candies forever.

What Candies misses versus my beloved Wengers is marshmallows, jujubes and peppermints. But there is still enough variety to make you go back several times; just to sample everything in store.

Comments

Nachiketa said…
Answer to Wengers in Mumbai..... you must be 1 happy girl.... :)

I love that place.... :)

Cheers,
The Variable, Crazy Over Desserts - Nachiketa
Catch me on facebook @ Crazy Over Desserts
The knife said…
Hey, thanks for the mention :)

Guess what...I had a roast chicken from Candies for lunch while reading this aricle. And chicken and cheese sandwich from there for breakfast.

The Reclamation one was an old fav of ours. Now we have the main branch at Pali Naka which is just across the street for us. love the Petite Fours too. Unexpected pleasures of life
Shaheen said…
I love candies!!
Rushina said…
Hey there !

I am putting together an event for Mumbai bloggers please cld u drop me a linewith a contact number or email at rmgcsg@gmail.com. Thanks Rushina
Anonymous said…
Might be in Mumbai soon so Im keeping this one in mind!!!
Curry Spice said…
Hey Simran
Thanks for visiting my blog. I had just read your article as well (thanks to Kalyan). Nice blog.
I need to make a trip to Candies. Sounds delicious.
Curry Leaf said…
Wish I could visit Candies/Wengers.You put me in a spot Simran.Right now ,I could do with mush-corn puffs and samosas. :P :P :P :P :P
poonam,,, said…
candies is great! love their mince rolls,,
I can't believe this is your first trip to Candies! I LOVE it!!
chocoholic said…
oh i love wengers.... do try the chocolate swiss rolls and fig tart there. It's yummy...

making a trip to mumbai soon and have to make a trip to candies now :)
chocoholic said…
This comment has been removed by the author.

Popular posts from this blog

Farm to Fork in Chail

Back in 19th century, when Shimla was the summer capital of India, the Maharaja of Patiala got the British rulers riled over his dalliances and got banned from entering the city. Not the one to be put down so easily, he found a tiny little town about an hour from Shimla and made Chail his very own summer capital. Today, Chail still has the impressive Palace that the Maharaja built and the highest cricket ground in the world. There really isn't much more to the city apart from a small local market and a couple of hotels that get spillover crowd from Shimla in the summers. It's a pleasant little diversion but that's not why I went to Chail. I stopped nine kilometers short of the town to make Ekam my home for a weekend.

Sumeet Singal built this house on a cliff as his own weekend home. Today, even when Ekam is open as a luxury boutique resort, the cosy homely feeling remains intact. I asked Sumeet what there was to do during my three day holiday at Ekam. He told me that ther…

Mystery Fruit

This only happened a few times every year, just when the rainy season kicked in. A street hawker will come by, straw basket on head. He will yell "kaul chapni" and I will run out to buy a bundle of these. Stuck together like flowers, they looked like a bouquet. Every hole contains a little fruit. You break out the package, peel the tiny fruit that pops out and eat it. Done slowly, it can take you an hour to eat an head. Or did, when I was about 12 years old.

That was the last time I saw this fruit. I've never seen it again, didn't even know what it was called or where it came from. Three weeks back, Vikram Doctor wrote about a store in Khar that sells Sindhi foods. He described this fruit and I knew it came from my vivid childhood memories. And finally, I knew we were talking about lotus fruit.

Now talk about coincidences. Last weekend, I was passing by a lane in Bandra and for the first time in many, many years I saw the straw basket filled with my mytery fruit. It…

Of Brun and Bun Maska

There is more to Bombay's breads than the pao that goes into pao bhaji and vada pao. There's Brun. and there's bun. We will get there. First, you have to get to know the city's Parsis. And Iranis, who are also Zoroastrians, but came to city a little later, in the late 19th or early 20th century. And when they came, they brought with them these little cafes that dot the city.

I am no expert on Irani chai cafes. And I can't tell you whether Yazdani Bakery will provide you the best experience or Kyani's. But I can tell you a few things you need to ignore when you get there. Appearances don't matter; so ignore the fact that the marble/glass top tables and the wooden chairs look a bit dilapidated. Also ignore the rundown look the place sports.

Instead, get yourself settled. And order a bun muska. This one's familiar to you as a first cousin of the soft hamburger bun. It's similar, but just a tad bit sweeter. Maska, of course, is the generous dollop of b…