di Bella – disappointingly Not Bella

What is it about Australia and Coffee? I always thought that good coffee was grown in Kenya, South America and even India. I was quite surprised, therefore to find that there are two Australian coffee chains operating in Mumbai currently, Gloria Jeans and now di Bella.

My Ivy Moment

There is a restaurant called Ivy Wine Cafe & Bistro on Annie Besant Road. SInce this cafe is so conveniently located near Hubby’s office I suggested he try it the next time he has a business meeting over lunch as his office doesn’t really have a great dining facility. But for some strange reason, he never took up this suggestion.

I’ve frequently mentioned this restaurant to friends who also avoided it.

So now when I recommend any restaurant I’ve never visited, it is labelled by my family as my Ivy Moment i.e. recommending a place without any reference

To avoid the Ivy Moment

While I’ve never been to Gloria Jeans, I’d heard a lot about di Bella, particularly its Belgian Waffles and was keen to try it, simply to avoid it becoming another Ivy Moment.

So this afternoon I visited the outlet at VAMA, the once only department store in Mumbai where you could get genuine imported perfumes and oversized Benetton T shirts among other foreign brands.

With the proliferation of Malls in Mumbai, VAMA has deteriorated to a ghost of its former self and possibly the only reason people step inside is for a cup of coffee.

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The experience

It was getting on to 3 in the afternoon and we had to walk through the entire store to find the cafe. With no signs to point the way and disinterested sales staff, it took a while before we sat down .

With my experience of Starbucks, I thought that this too was a self service cafe especially when I saw the counter displaying all the products available. I was pleasantly surprised to find that there were wait staff available.

So we ordered an iced tea (synthetically flavoured and disgustingly sweet , with one desultory  ice cube floating on top) a cappuccino ( tepid and tasteless) and a strawberry waffle that looked exactly like the one that was sitting in the display though we were assured it would be made from scratch. This was obviously a lie because the waffles were just about warm to the touch which meant that it was re-heated in a microwave.

Half an hour later a gaggle of middle aged women occupied the table next to ours and began their raucous conversation which made our own conversation hard to carry on.

So we left.


Though the staff were polite and helpful, they looked half asleep . The ambience was nothing to talk about. The fare pretty ordinary. On the whole it is a pity that this is such a lack lustre coffee shop because with the nearby coffee joints sorely devoid of parking space, di Bella is missing out on the opportunity of being the best place for a cup of coffee on Peddar Road.


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An accidental cook who likes to travel, read, watch movies and do yoga. Currently busy with full time granny duties.

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