Saturday, March 24, 2012

Cafe hopping in Bangalore

So, it's been almost 45 days in Bangalore and here is the update on cafes at Bangalore so far.

Overall, bangalore has scores of cafes and CCD is the dominating chain. But none of them have been Philz level. Most of the cafe's are actually restaurants selling food such as pasta/paninis and what not under the guise of a cafe. My other complaint is the size of coffee mug, smaller than any of US's sup and the lack of simply brewed cup of coffee.

But inspired by this article - I also decided to do my own cafe hopping today morning.

Koshy's cafe/restaurant: A very old place,must be about 40 yars old, the decor is still like those old ones (reminded me of Indain coffee house), it is a place to go just to remember those good ol' days :) Had cold cofee (good but sweet) with a brunch of omlette and toasted bread. The omlette with toast is definitely recommended. Also, they have a bike rack in front, hurray!!!

Next, based on the article i wanted to go and try Java city but google maps was wrong/out of date. Couldn't find it, so decided to check on Au Bon Pain and again the directions on Google maps is out of date. But found Au Bon Pain at Brigade and residency road.

Au Bon Pain: Fancy American style restaurant but again with small portions but the coffee is not that expensive. They have Baguette bread, and other interesting sandwiches which were tempting to try. The Latte that i ordered was decent, not that strong.  Receptive people, they even turned off the tv on my request.

The chocolate Room: Barely a month old, the chocolate room offers an awesome view of the Brigade street. It has tons of hot chocolate options, frappes, pancakes etc etc all featuring chocolate. I tried the classic Hot chocolate,  it was decent, again sweeter for my taste. Rates are on the expensive side. But the decor of place is great, they have lots of space and it reminded me of Peet's at Castro. Will definitely be going there again to check on their cafe. (My secret hope to get the Palo Alto Univ Ave hot chocolate is still unfulfilled....Bay area spoils you badly :))

General good cafes that i have visited -

~ Hotel Airlines : Located near Cubbon park, this place has filter coffee which is good (quantity wise as well). Even with a bad service, this place is a good hang out because you sit under big giant trees in an open space on simple chairs and tables. Just for this ambience, you are willing to forget everything else. Highly recommended.

~ Ants Cafe: This came from Parul's recommendation. Again it is mostly a restaurant, but coffee is decent. But this place is special because Ants is actually Action North East Trust. They sell handicraft stuff from North Eastern local manufacturers and they follow fair trade practices. Their collection is a must to check out and is something that draws you again and again. 

~ Claytopia: This came from Gurshi's reference. Not sure if it can be clubbed a cafe but definitely a great hangout place. I tried the Thai coffee and it was a disaster but still the ambience makes it special.

~ Krishna Sagar on Langford road: Haha. This close to office darshini is now a friend. He fills my coffee mug at the cost of three filter coffees (INR 36). Not only that, when i asked him to prepare a less sweet FIlter coffee he was able to make the correct ratio with 40% unsweetened milk and 60% sweetened milk. He also makes it extra song on request. This is a life saver if you ask me :)

~Kalmani coffee at Garuda mall: Good! Strong coffee, less sweet. Reasonable rate. Good place to have filter coffee.

CCD: I hate them. Here are my reasons : (a) Their quantities are even smaller than the rest of the world. Tried their exotic flavors and they are even smaller. (b) They are like Starbucks, have no emotional attachment to the coffee and (c) The ratio of price to quality/service is royally screwed up.

What Bangalore needs:
(a) Free WiFi at cafes.
(b) Simple black brewed coffee with large mug sizes
(c) People who serve should be more educated about the coffee and its history
(d) Live music at cafes.
(e) Good coffee.
(f) Stretch:  Invite people to open startups from cafe

If there is any cafe @Blore which has four out of above six, they can count me as a regular any day. 

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