No, this isn’t the MasterChef version of the Mystery Box I’m unveiling today. No, I didn’t have to cook a dish using a mish-mash of ingredients that don’t fit together. This Mystery Box is different. This Mystery Box comes laden with goodies of the sweet and savory kind. This Mystery Box is a lovely patisserie in Mumbai’s sugar capital, Bandra. Read on to know more.
This six month old patisserie and cafe, is helmed by co-partners Chef Shahzad Variava and marketing man Ajay Agarwal. If the former name rings a bell because you’ve seen him on the small screen during his stint as a MasterChef India season two contestant. That explains the name of the patisserie, doesn’t it? I spent a lovely evening at The Mystery Box among croissants, chocolates, and conversation with the chef.
On His MasterChef India Stint: With some background in the hotel industry, but no professional cooking training, Chef Shahzad auditioned for the second season of the show. His signature brownies got him through the elimination round, and his skills with pastry cooking shot him into the top six! This is clearly reflected in the variety and taste of confections on offer at his store.
On The Mystery Box: He talks passionately about his six month old venture, and the trials that went into starting it – right from scouting a location to designing the boxes. But finally, hard work and perseverance paid off and that’s visible at his store. The Mystery Box retails cakes (made to order and delivered in four hours notice), pastries, cookies, brownies, chocolates, dessert jars and any other dessert you can dream of. On public demand, they’ve recently introduced a savory menu that I got to try. Everything is made fresh at their kitchen the same day, with premium ingredients.
The place albeit small is well utilized, simple and classy. The Mystery Box logo clearly stands out on the walls and boxes places strategically. There’s also some seating in case you can’t wait to reach home to dig into your dessert.
We continued ogling at the dessert counter while sipping on our refreshing Iced Tea and Cranberry Mojito (Rs. 80/- each). The latter was my pick which you must try if you’re a fan of the sweet-sour fruit.
The Chicken Dynamite (Rs. 190/-) is a massive looking sub sandwich that came with a spicy chicken spread and cheese molten on top, They were nice enough to ask if I am a veggie eater or want the sandwich ‘all meat’. No prizes for guessing what I picked. Decent filling, soft bread that did not turn crumbly, and some greens on the side make it worth the price.
I’d recommend the Chicken Stuffed Croissant (Rs. 80/-) because of how generous they were with the filling. Most stuffed croissants can have too much bread in every bite, which was not the case here. Soft, not too flaky, and with a perfect masala chicken stuffing, I’d recommend this hands down. Ekdum sasta, sundar, tikao!
Now moving onto what The Mystery Box is known for – dessert! In lieu of Nutella Day, I decided to get the Layered Nutella and Roasted Hazelnut Slice. Smother nutella on anything, and I’m a fan. This was no exception – with the crunchy hazelnuts providing texture to the smooth nutella. Must have if you’re a nutella fan!
The Sea Salt Caramel with Hazelnut Crunch (Rs. 140/-) is a technically brilliant dessert. A river of sea salt caramel comes enveloped in the finest chocolate ganache with hazelnut interspersed. Insert a spoon, and a river of caramel comes flowing through.
I tried Chef Shahzad’s version of the traditional BlackForest Cake (Rs. 170/-). Break through the cylindrical chocolate casing to reveal the good ol’ classic we’ve grown up eating and loving. Each dessert was visually stunning, technically brilliant and good enough to be shared by two.
I also got a sneak peak at their adorable Valentine’s Day chocolate box that comes with the prettiest assorted chocolates.
Go open this Mystery Box, you won’t be surprised. It’ll come filled with chocolate, candy, and loads of love!
The Mystery Box, Shop 3, Sai Pooja Building, 16th Road,
Near Mini Punjab Rest., Bandra West, Mumbai.
Call: 9920099381 for delivery
Follow: @themysterybox on Twitter and Instagram
Like: themysteryboxindia on Facebook