Foodies are spoilt for choice with the innumerable hubs opening weekly. Yet, those who know their food realise the options are few and far between and end up going to the same places instead of risking disappointment elsewhere. That is where this new spanking and spacious unpretentious restaurant fits in.
Rishad Nathani, managing director, Breadbox Hospitality, who’s brainchild, Café Felix, opened in the city this week comes from that place we revere — comfy, easy, friendly, simple but quality grub. The restauranteur and evidently sensible man left his job at Indigo Deli and ventured out on his own with Mumbai’s famed the Clearing House, which chef Nitin Kulkarni helms wonderfully.
This American diner-meets-café of sumptuous bites now claims an expansive space in 1 M.G. Road, with the most spectacular view of Ulsoor Lake we’ve seen in a long time, and a terrace overlooking a green vista below. Felix, or ‘lucky one’ in Latin, has Shreya Shanbhag helming creative direction. The all-day restaurant, café, lounge and terrace bar is unpretentious and simple in soul.
We started our meal with a bowl of soup, roasted corn and crispy curry leaves, perfect! The nobs of corn were served with curry leaf tenets in a creamy avatar: peppery and delicious. The baby spinach and water melon salad was fresh, leafy manna with fennel (interesting), and a douse of balsamic dressing which was a tad too sweet. The dish could have been plated better, too.
We also had avocado toast – an unusual concept with fresh avocado topping on sour dough bread with goat cheese and salsa. The bread was a bit soggy as it waited while we went exploring!
The menu has an all-day breakfast that we eyed with delight… it starts at 12 though… so brunch, maybe? American fare with the friendly Chef Nitin’s European leanings with some Jamaican, thanks to the chef’s forays into Jamaica, there’s jerk chicken, pork belly in a Panini, and much more. For mains, we opted for Goan Sausage pizza, thin crust, bite-sized Goan sausage, interesting though the sausage could have been spiced up, minced for more flavour, just ok.
The fish and chips, crumb fried Basa, not a favourite … was very average. It had a delish spiced mustard tartar we liked, was cooked flakey, but could have tasted better… might we suggest a beer batter that infuses depth?
The chef’s tenderloin burger came with caramelised onions, in a sesame brioche bun — yummy… we slobbered over a juicy patty… doused with cheddar, mustard mayo and lettuce that did away with all our feminine airs… we would have preferred add-ons on the side. A pretty parcel, though.
The chef’s beef medallions were good, the jus that he patiently bubbles in stock for hours was delectable. They were our favourite - succulent, tender, medallions marinated beautifully with a creamy, perfect potato mash… delicious with a hint of pepper bursting on the tastebuds. With broccoli florets. A tiny gravy bowl on the side would have been better to douse some more!
Shreya Shanbhag, brand and marketing, and Rishad were both a part of Indigo Deli before Rishad started out on his own. “Two years ago, my partner in Bengaluru mentioned a place in the mall on the market, which we visited but didn’t like. We had seen this place (where Blimey used to be) and the view was spectacular. When it came on the market, we refurbished it completely. It’s an American diner, casual, unhealthy, fattening, and perfect for your cheat days! We’d like to let the food and service speak for itself. Come in your shorts and chappals — our concept is yummy food! That’s all,” explains Rishad.
Shreya suggests pepperoni and Goan sausage pizza, avocado smoothie, dried fig and feta smoothie and the Chunky Monkey Sunday. Dessert is a veritable flurry of torts and flans, all very, very good, with the very young and very talented ex-Ellipsis pastry chef Husna Jumani ready with her portion of sinful goodies. The Lemon Meringue Pie came in fluffed up in peaks of cream, the most buttery crust, and welcome lemon cream. The Toffee Walnut Brownie was gooey, delicious, roasted walnuts with homemade icecream, just the ‘pick-me-up’ needed on a stressful traffic jam day!
Chef Nitin informed us the everything is made in-house, sauces, icecreams and more, as he scurries back to the Clearing House with chef Ritwik Sarkar joining the Bengaluru outlet. The plating was sumptuous, homely in taste, but could do with some creativity and verve, the taste was regular fare, could do with more flavour. Great views, ambience and now for the food… we will try the pastas and lamb confit next....
1MG Lido Mall, Level 5, Swamy Vivekananda Road, Trinity Circle, Bangalore, Karnataka 560008
Call: 080 2208 6644
Meal for two: Rs1800
Must have: Roast corn soup, tenderloin burger, beef medallions and all the desserts from the pastry like toffee walnut brownie, lemon meringue pie, crème brulee and cheese cake.