Nestled in one corner of Hill Road Bandra, Rays Café may just go unnoticed while you’re driving through Mumbai’s hip suburb and even hipper Hill Road. But don’t make that mistake because this namesake of New Yorks famous chain of pizzerias (Rays Original), is really worth it for those looking for a nice Italian supper.
Once you enter through the wooden gate and the façade you feel as if your transported to Italy more precisely Tuscany (not that I have been there in person, Discovery TLC zindabad). The flooring is made of natural stones, the one’s you find in cathedrals, with wooden tables and chairs under the shade of huge umbrellas. There is also an air-conditioned section again characterized by white walls and wooden seating. Gives you the feel of those road side café’s in Italy (again TLC and Sanjay Leela Bhansali’s Hum Dil De Chuke Sanam)
Enough about the ambiance and the interiors will get right down to the main purpose of my visit – FOOD. Rays offers an amazing variety of pizzas in 9, 12 and 16 inches. And the best part about this place is that a limited selection of pizzas is also offered in Single Slices! Yes you heard me right for those of us who like eating a little bit of everything than just 4 pieces of the same pizza, this is the place. So I tried the Margherita which was excellent, just the perfect amount of the homemade of tomato sauce, cheese and sprinkled herbs on a thin base. My next was Barbeque Chicken, in Shania Twain’s words “that don’t impress me much”. I thought it was a bit sweet for barbeque. I also tried the the Rays Special, a pepperoni pizza, which was muchos delicias! After slurping on it (yeah am quite a slop) I kissed my fingers. I wanted to kiss those of the chef as well. But my friends just rolled their eyes and asked me to behave!
Now am about to tell you what you must order if you are non-vegetarian –Weisswurst Sausages. German smoked pork sausages that are out of this world. Am not much of a fan of pork and hence I called for the Chicken Sausages but when my friends called the pork one’s and I tried that, the chicken was damp squib. These pork sausages are mouthwatering and delicious and a must have at Rays.
Moving on to the pastas, the Linguni with Asparagus and cream is a delight for those who prefer white sauce pasta’s. You may want to add a little salt to it but otherwise its delicately flavoured with asparagus and cream, the right ‘kiss the chefs fingers’ blend. However the Chicken in Tomato Cream Penne a bit drab. For the red pasts fans the Spaghetti with Fresh Tomato and Herbs is fiery with the generous amount of chilly flakes and cooked in that right kind of home made arabiatta sauce.
There are a variety of salads to choose from including the Classic Ceasars and also the very Italian. Insalate Capreseis a simple salad from the Italian region of Capri, made of sliced fresh buffalo mozzarella, tomatoes and basil, seasoned with salt, pepper, and olive oil. But I am not a very Salad person so I did’nt try. Salads,I feel, are food for ruminating animals and not for humans who have better options like the ones I described the one above.
There is also sandwiches, burgers & hotdogs but by now me & accomplices were ready to hit the bed so none for us. They serve wine over the weekend – Fridays, Saturdays & Sundays.
Verdict: Good Food, Good Ambience, Service is a bit confused maybe because they have hired new staff. The Damages: Rs. 500-600 per head (if you’re a moderate eater). Yes it’s a bit stiff on the pocket because of the 10% service charge. So don’t tip
Quick Tip: If you’re a guy, blindfold your girl/wife take her to Rays in the evening and get a table in the patio area (non air-conditioned), now would be the perfect weather for it. The moonlight, the breeze and Italian food would make for a perfect romantic date (yes I am a total sucker for Mills & Boons). If you’re a girl, ditch your guy and just take your best girl buddy (one who you would have married if she was a guy) and forget the diet for that day.
Rays Café & Pizzeria
133 Hill Road, Gazebo House (Behind Godrej Nature’s Basket), Bandra (W)
Mumbai, Maharashtra 400050
Telephone: 022 26451414
This is one of my first food reviews, and am glad to be a part of The Big Geek network, to read more of my writing, do visit my blog Luv4AllThingsYum
Timings: 12:00 PM to 11:00 PM