We’ve gorged ourselves on Mag St. Bread Co.’s melt-in-the-mouth cruffins and buttery croissants at The Table’s baking sales for five consecutive years. So it’s time for these baked goodies to have their own outpost! Like us, if you also wished, thank your stars and Gauri Devidayal who finally launched the Mag St. CafÃ©. With a menu made up of classics and other sweet and savory offerings to eat in and take away, the neighborhood’s new cafÃ© is already making a name for itself. Located in Colaba, the cozy cafe is a must-have with its adorable chalet appearance and large windows letting enough sunlight in, perfect for your Insta-worthy photo!
One-on-one with Gauri, we discover everything about Mag St. Cafe, the essential dishes, and more.
SHE : ! Tell us more about your new business and how it got started.
Gauri Devidayal (CEO): This is the third avatar of this space since we moved in. First it was the Southeast Asian restaurant and bar, Miss T, which we closed after a year and a half. The restaurant had a lukewarm response and we were unable to revive it. Despite that, we gave the location one more shot and pivoted to a Cantonese concept called Mei 13. We were open for 10 days, but Covid hit and our expat chefs had to return to Singapore and Malaysia. Sadly, we couldn’t wait forever for their return and had just remade the pre-Covid space. So the thought of leaving him was heartbreaking. We did one last try with a food court using the delivery marks that held us up during the lockdown – marks that meant comfort, which was the need of the hour. And that’s how the Mag St CafÃ© was born.
HER: Interesting! So what prompted you to open a bakery after such a long time?
DG: I have always dreamed of having a small bakery and a delicatessen since I worked there in London. But even if we had the products, the time was never right to open just a bakery. Also, from an operational point of view, this is quite a challenge since the shelf life of the product is usually one day, so this is a difficult business to do in a retail format. When we decided to open the cafe which would include everything from pizza to Asian cuisine and more, labeling the bakery made perfect sense.
ELLE: Were there any challenges in making the transition from fine dining to comfort food?
DG: I know The Table is considered fine dining because of the style of service and the ambiance, but we have always thought of it as fine casual dining. There is no dress code and no silver service, just a good ol ‘family style meal with a fine food and drink experience. Last year forced us to evolve and create a strong presence in the delivery space. And now we have a casual format with the coffee with good comfort food. It was indeed a year of learning and unlearning with a fair share of challenges ranging from keeping the team on the job to undertaking renovations during a lockdown. But sheer resilience has helped us overcome them.
ELLE: What can Mag St. Cafe fans expect?
DG: Fun community events and a great dining experience, of course!
ELLE: Are there any dishes to try on the menu besides the delicious croissants?
DG: It’s like asking me to choose my favorite child! But here’s what I’ve eaten in the last few days and loved it: blueberry pancakes, acai berry bowl, prosciutto and burrata pizza, beef pho, and mapo tofu with jasmine rice, and literally anything from the bakery! Oh, and how could I miss the spicy hot chocolate and when I want to relax, the Happy Mahayana or My Tai cocktails.
ELLE: What are your future projects with Mag St. CafÃ©?
DG: We’re just getting started, so you’ll have to wait and watch!