Hey earth child, the universe is sending you a sign. Earlier this year, Tavern, the heritage pub on this street, pulled its shutters down. Then the BBMP started some intense road work around here, shutting away easy access to many of the neighbourhood’s pubs. If it’s hard to imagine Museum Road without beer, though, brace yourself: its big new attraction is a tiny organic café.
We put on our yoga pants and sally forth for an infusion of cleansing energy. On the walls, tree-ring designs made in lime and clay are distractingly pretty; the furnishings are upcycled teak wood and the light fixtures are rescue pieces, picked up from discard piles and refurbished to lend warmth and some gentle pizzazz to the place.
We put on our yoga pants and sally forth for an infusion of cleansing energy.
We begin with perfect monsoon soup for the moody rain sequence playing outside: a wholesome bowl of Pho with soba noodles. Its mild broth is accented with sliced chunks of chili and peppery mushroom, although it is a bit too stingy with the noodles to be a one-dish meal. A mezze platter features good house-made spiced lavash and fluffy pita, but its two kinds of hummus and garlic yogurt dip are completely lacking in salt. Just what the doctor ordered to keep your peak-hour-rush BP in check, probably.
Risotto made with pearl barley comes packed with mini slices of carrots and bell peppers, bringing crunch to tangy roasted tomato sauce. Risotto lovers, you won’t miss arborio and cheese: the barley fairly fluffs up with flavour in this dish. Thai green curry with semi polished Kerala rice also hits a sweet spot with nuanced, coconut-y sweetness and the scent of fresh kaffir spiking through the dish. Despite the unusual combination, the rice complements the curry well, adding a distinct earthiness to the big bowl.
While waiting for dessert of the day to surprise us (flourless? sugar-free? a drop of honey from the first unfurled petal of the morning?), garden-fresh mint tea, made with generous heapings of the weed, keeps us fragrant company. Surprise: the sweet is a decadent chocolate mousse, presented on a bed of roasted pine and sunflower seeds. It’s shapeless, dark and gooey, but the most delicious black hole we’ve ever fallen into. It’s so good, it might almost be a guilty pleasure.
Getting there: 9/3, Prestige Pearl House, Museum Road, off Church Street, call 08049653389. A meal for two costs approximately Rs 1635.
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