They call it your happy place, and it might be just the salve a harrowed city resident needs! A journey that started with a number game came to some interesting conclusions, but first, let’s take a walk across the central business district in the beautiful surrounds of Lavelle Road. In one bylane, silently brewing chamomile tea, with the aroma or fresh bread wafting and classical strains floating, lies a haven you have to unearth — The Blackboard Bakery. It’s quainter, cuter and welcoming(er) with its toasty warmth. Wrought iron windows, green shrubbery and creepers encompass this cubby hole open on one side to the road in an idyllic gazebo style with tables and chairs, to watch the rain.
The interiors are art noveau, the feel is countryside. Delectable desserts, coffee, tea and a menu that takes unique and turns it on its head, it’s where surprising ingredients and ideas meet happily. Yes, it’s that happy place, this haven that opened doors in July. Its friendly and amazingly talented baker and chef owner Nithya Sunil’s ode to food has a whimsicality and nurturing about it. As to why the number game had its interesting conclusion - One must traverse back to how this young chartered accountant left her job to get her hands deep into dough and started TBB. And thankfully, those numbers came in handy as she went from excel sheet to excel sheet to make her dream come true.
This bakery is just what the CBD needed — an informal, comfortable space to eat delicious, healthy and sinful treats. It also is reminiscent of the many you’d encounter on walks through the Mont Marte in Paris, with the the added warmth of Indian hospitality! Attached to the Southern Star, its a gentle breeze of goodness. “The idea was to give people a cosy haven to grab a bite, a stop gap if you don’t want a proper meal,” says Nithya. She offers a unique menu, with salads galore, skillets for a profusion of all things yum sautéed together, smoothie bowls, burgers and sandwiches, and all-day breakfast, and freshly baked bread and pasteries! There are plans to have student artists showcase their work on the “blackboard.” The blackboard is meant to be an interactive space for art and social causes,” chef-owner Nithya says.
We started with a delicious a Beetroot hummus tartine — a simple spread on multi grain bread, wholesome in taste. The next was the avocado, feta, pomegranate and olive oil tartine. This was even better, we liked the avocado texture with the wholesomeness of bread with feta sprinkling. One can order sides too, be it eggs, salad, cutlets or mushroom fricassee amongst a slew of other offerings. It’s a menu with millet, quinoa, chorizo, bacon, ham, harissa, coldpressed juices, smoothie bowls in what Nithya calls a “pinterested” soul! Our salad — Say Something, was crunchy and delicious with apples, brie, roasted walnuts, baby rocket, cider and honey dressing. Beautiful, a subtle tang to the dressing, though we would have loved more arugula. The portions could definitely be bigger, or even offered in small and large. We spotted a cranberries, almonds, spinach, shaved parmesan and romaine, and a tomato and boccocini and basil, for next time. We chomped on the Grilled Shrimp, a bit dry, with White Beans and Quinoa — more dressing, please
The Flame is the burger for any pork lover. It comes with a welcome twist. A patty of barbequed thyme pork and chorizo served with lettuce and paprika mayo which we wanted to take home! Oh, and grilled pineapple with onion straws — punch, juicy and spiced. Perfect meal, in the softest and most portly of buns (made in house) with baby potatoes fried with skin with sprinkled piri piri. Phew. Must order. Again!
The desserts are Nithya’s forte, and are made fresh, so when it’s over, it is over! Just like any bakery in Mont Marte! We had the most sinful banofee pie, freshest, delicious toffee, welcome banana packed inside, with cream over a crust that melted in the mouth. Wow. The chocolate too was gooey, not not too sweet, and as Nithya says, very popular. “Executing the menu has been a journey where as I also eat healthy and so does my sister, it was about bringing ingredients to work magic with each other. Reading it is one thing, and executing it is a challenge as we have a pretty elaborate menu for a café,” explains Nithya who has been on the pulse with the offerings. Like a gourmet bakery… that offers a spin on traditional, done wonderfully well.
The signature teas come from Tea Lab, and the coffee is from Coffee Mechanics’ able team of Ganga and Mihir. There’s much to be had and it’s a menu that makes you want to order everything, and then inevitably pack it for home!
“We do all the breads inhouse, that makes a difference. The idea is to do small scale production which keeps it fresh. “For NIthya baking and cooking is a passion which she has explored beautifully. It’s that corner mom and pop gourmet deli, only with a young and raring to go chef. The order takes time, as The team get all those ingredients to do the talking. It’s a blackboard that has chalked it’s place in to our hearts.
The Blackboard Bakery
40/2, Sri ML Subbaraju Road, Shantalanagar, Sampangi Rama Nagar, Lavelle Road, Bangalore
Meal for two: Rs 1,300
Call 99867 06451
Must have: Say Something salad, the Flame burger, tartines, smoothie bowls, milk shakes, cold pressed juices