Tuesday, 26 February 2013

Secret Garden Cafe, Bangalore

Secret Garden Cafe is a nice quaint little place located at the end of Edward Street off Queen’s road on the terrace of a lovely bungalow. Tucked away in one corner, what caught my wife’s attention was how this place has distanced away itself from all the hustle and bustle of the city yet located in the very heart of Bangalore. This has been on my list of ‘to visit’ places for quite some time now. Finally the day arrived when my wife and I decided to head out for a Saturday lunch and I just knew ‘Secret Garden Cafe  is where we should head.

The menu changes frequently and is listed down on a big black board placed on a stand. This board along with the stand is moved around the cafe from one table to another as the need arises. The menu is limited to a few dishes under salads, mains, dessert and some non-alcoholic beverages category; yet offering enough variety for both the vegetarians and non-vegetarians to choose from. The menu on our day comprised of some salads, European and continental, Parsi, and Moroccan dishes along with some cheese cakes and other desserts.

What we ate:
We started off with a very refreshing salad of avocado, tomato and figs to share along with a glass of ice tea each. The salad was a wonderful cocktail of flavors and textures – juiciness of the tomato, sweetness from the fig, creaminess of the perfectly ripened avocado, crunch of the sweet vinaigrette soaked lettuce. Must say, we were happy to have gone by the recommendation of one of the owners of this café.

For the mains, it was Moroccan veg Tagine and cous cous for my wife and Greek Moussaka and minced lamb for me. Moroccan Tagine was a flavorful assortment of chick peas, sweet potato dry fruits and more all served up with cous cous. My wife was all praise of the dish.

I was happy savoring the Greek Moussaka which was baked dish of minced lamb chunks, veggies served on a bed of eggplant slices and topped with a generous layer of cream and cheese. This dish was creamy and delicious. This was all mopped up by me in no time.

The portions here are good and well sufficient for one person. Having had a main each and a salad too share, we decided to share a dessert too. Our pick was ‘Passion fruit cheese cake with mulberry sauce’ which was a slice of passion fruit flavored cheese cake in the middle of a plate filled with mulberry sauce. Nice… The cheese cake had a mild passion fruit flavor and the tanginess of mulberry sauce was a good accompaniment to tickle one’s taste buds.

A first glance at this cafe and we were reminded of the cafes in Pondicherry housed on the terrace of residences that are run or rented out by food lovers. This place had a very relaxed non-restaurant like feel. The occupancy was about 50% which was a good mix of Indians and foreigners who came in as groups or just couples and spent time savoring the food, along with enjoying the ambiance and weather of Bangalore and/or reading a book.

On the service front, one of the partners attended to diners while another along with staff managed the kitchen. The show is run with minimum staff with each managing more than one department unlike a restaurant where normally each staff member is assigned a specific role to play. The service was friendly, prompt and fast. This cafe has an open kitchen and at no time it was difficult to grab one’s attention to our table. The food served was fresh and hot.

Located in a residential street, finding parking was not difficult. Yes, they do not offer valet parking.

For all the food we ate and beverages we consumed we paid about Rs. 1100 all inclusive.

Quick Tips:
Secret Garden Cafe is only open for lunch, Monday to Saturday. Sundays are holiday. This is definitely a good secret to know and I am most certainly going back here. 

Go here for a good food, chilled out ambiance  escape from the cities hustle and bustle (yet being in the heart of the city). 

Address: # 7/1, Edwards Road, Off Queens Road, Bangalore 560052
Phone Number: +91 80 41131365

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