Saturday, July 11, 2015

The Coffee Cup

The one-foot high coffee cup at the entrance.
Coffee Cup at Sainikpuri was that elusive bait dangling before me for a long time. I was holding back because of the distance and then traveling all that way just for a few snacks and coffee wasn’t too tempting a thought, But when a search for the Italian threw this as a surprise option, I didn’t think twice and decided to brave the threatening clouds.
I called before starting to confirm that they serve at that hour (5.30 pm) and was ensured that they are open through the day because of being a cafe.
The directions were rather hazy and I ended up meandering through a few lanes before I reached. For those who want to go, the directions are simple. Reach Radhika theatre, drive a couple of kilometers more and you find the BP petrol pump on your right, just behind is the outlet.
The entrance is a big round door like in an old fortresses. A tavern-like appearance with wood all around bowled me completely. As you bend to let yourself through it, it leads to stairs going up, opening to a small place thumping with music.

The entrance

The left wall on the entrance

 I was promptly seated close to a glass partition. This side of the partition were the diners and that side were the smokers playing around with a coffee and indulging in different games like ludo, chess etc.
The owner (Nishant) discussed various options for me, a vegetarian. 70 % of the menu contained non-vegetarian items and of the remaining few, some of the options weren’t available. Not having had lunch, I was starved and it didn’t take me too long to agree with the option that Nishant offered: a grilled sandwich with corn and spinach. Two slices of bread stuffed with cream, cornflour, spinach and corn made a very decent fare as it was served with some chips.

Cheesy Spinach and Corn Sandwich

The filling in the sandwich

Having the bread already, I decided to not go for the burger, another bread item. Instead, I asked for their appetizers. No vegetarian item in that section was available. The order of salads wasn’t encouraged. I was left with the entrees’ and nachos. I opted for the entrees and this is how colorful the fare was.

Cottage Cheese with roasted vegetables

I liked the mild flavors of herbs but wasn’t impressed with the amount of paneer pieces it contained. I like loads of veggies in my dishes and felt this was a very skewed ratio. I was left chewing lot of paneer (or was it tofu? ) I  loved the crunch of the well-sauteed vegetables. The bread served with the dish was rather dry and upon coming home, I saw in the menu that I could have opted for mashed potato instead. Wish I was told about it.
The third  order was the pasta. The pasta was very well cooked in white alfredo sauce, rightly creamy and with the right amount of vegetables. Served hot with two slices of bread. The bread slices were again a tad dry but this was quickly rectified upon asking  by the addition of some garlic butter which not only took care of the dryness but also introduced a sharpness to the overall taste.

Veg Penne Pasta

I resisted the shakes/mojitos because having come to Coffee Cup, I wanted to taste their coffee. I ordered for Frappe, their cold coffee and I must say that this was one of the creamiest and tastiest coffee I have had in a long, long time.  The Espresso blended with ice cream was worth waiting for till the end of the meal.

Cafe' Frappe'

Now for the Pros and Cons:

I didn’t opt for the dessert because the coffee more than compensated for a nice end to the meal. And also because EVERY dessert was made of chocolate and me being a chocolate hater didn’t have ANY option at all. But for chocolate lovers, there is a huge array to select from. On my way out when I went downstairs again, I discovered their ice creams. Had they provided the dessert menu along with their regular one, I might have ordered one. The menu itself was a printed paper stuck to a metal plate and was in a badly worn-out state which made it very hard to read in places. They should replace it, for sure.
The vegetarian section needs more attention. None of the appetizers in the vegetarian section were available. The vegetarians will definitely cater to a decent clientele with a repleted list of vegetarian items on the menu.

The ambiance was cool, hep and allows one to let one's hair down. I was not really dressed for the place as I was equipped more for the rain, yet I was not allowed to feel out of place. The service was very attentive and prompt. The washroom was decent too. The whole space spells cool.

Coffee Cup offers an Italian and Continental cuisine. The menu contains coffees, teas, shakes, sodas, burgers, pastas and breads among other things. Though slightly expensive for a cafe, the portion sizes are very decent. The meal I ordered was enough for two.

The food: 3.5/5
Ambiance: 5/5
Service: 4/5
This was a very decent experience for me. My first time is surely not going to be the last.