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Maska memories in Mahim

Updated on: 19 February,2024 07:06 AM IST  |  Mumbai
Phorum Pandya |

A new delivery-only bakery is baking one nostalgic city story after another

Maska memories in Mahim

Cynthia’s rose cookies

Food: Wholesome
Package: Spillage-free
Service: Attentive
verdict: 3/4

One evening, en route to SoBo, we checked out Maska Bakery. Designed as a cloud kitchen, they also welcome patrons to drop by. On that day, they were busy with a photo shoot, and so we excused ourselves after soaking in the wafting aroma of baked goodies. Last week, we placed a hearty order, and relied on a delivery app to reach us in Vile Parle. Our wish list arrived in excellent shape minus any spillage or shifting of food items.

There was sufficient buzz on social media about this new space that was dubbed as founder and baker Heena Punwani’s city’s iconic eateries and Irani cafés. The bakes take inspiration from the iconic Parsi and Irani outposts. The blue-and-white packaging is an ode to Art Deco elements; every order is padded with instructions, making it easy to follow and preserve the item. We got three generations of citizens to try the fare with us.

Bread jamBread jam

The Jewish celebratory sweet bread, is braided and dressed in good ol’ pudina chutney, and is presented as Kejriwal chutney babka (Chhota loaf; R381). It reminded us of school days and packed chutney-sandwich lunches. The bread is moist and light at the same time. A perfect afternoon snack with a cup of chai, the small-size loaf is enough for sharing and will keep you sated for several evenings should you choose to eat it solo.

Assorted eclairs (Rs 530 for three) come as a trio. Before we discuss the flavours, it is imperative to take a moment to appreciate the éclair base, which is like a buttery crisp biscuit. After our review, when we reached Punwani, she told us that she experimented with with the temperatures to craft the perfect bite. We try three flavours: chocolate hazelnut praline, classic vanilla bean and strawberry & cream eclairs. The first one is textured indulgence with a filling of praline cream and coated with a dark chocolate glaze sprinkled with thin Feuilletine (crumbled crêpe crisps) and caramelised nuts. We break the chocolate monotony with the hefty strawberry and cream éclair overdressed in tart strawberry compote, mascarpone cream and sprinkled with pistachio. The classic chocolate also has the creamy vanilla diplomat custard cream filling in no-nonsense chocolate coat and garnished with chocolate pearls.

Assorted eclairsAssorted eclairs

Bread jam (Rs 254) is our favourite pick, igniting a back-to-school nostalgia. In the ’90s, jam-butter-bread combo was every child’s sweet indulgence. In Punwani’s kitchen, it turns into a buttery brioche topped with seasonal strawberry compote, brown butter almond frangipane and toasted almonds.

The city-based baker takes a page from her own favourite French dessert Bostock (brioche and almond frangipane baked together) to add a twist to give the humble jam bread snack a lift. 

Kejriwal babkaKejriwal babka

From the solo indulgences, we’ve picked the almond toffee cake (Rs 402). We are reminded of a joke: As an adult we tend to forget that we can buy a cake, hop into our car, and nobody can stop us. This mini, three-layered chocolate cakelet slathered with a hazelnut ganache and chunky hazelnut toffee is for such days when there is a desire to eat an entire cake just because.

The prettiest of the lot is Cynthia’s Rose cookies (box of six for Rs 381) are the flavour dynamite that come in small packages. 

They are a baker’s version of Keralite rice achappams. 

It pairs well for a chai-time treat.

Maska Bakery 
At Unit 4 and 5, Nav Vivek Industrial Estate, Mogul Lane, Mahim West. 
Time 11 am to 9 pm; Mondays closed 
Call 8591162752 
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From the baker

Heena Punwani, who is an engineer-turned-baker, recalls her growing up days of visiting different bakeries and food spots across the city with her father. “Especially Yazdani, where I would savour the apple pie while my dad enjoyed his bun maska. The eclairs are a combination of my memories of the old-fashioned classics at Gaylord Bakery, and the elegant ones I encountered in Paris. The Kejriwal babka is so you can eat a Kejriwal at home with a sunny-side over it, but as is, it is the comfort of the classic chutney sandwich. I chose the name Maska because it tells you that this bakery cannot be anywhere but in Bombay.”

4/4 Exceptional, 3/4 Excellent, 2/4 very Good, 1/4 Good, 0.4/4 Average.  Maska Bakery didn’t know it was us. The Guide reviews anonymously and pays for meals

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