Mindful munching

This café styled specially for millennials has introduced a meaningful element that encourages people to talk about social issues

Looking for good food and meaningful conversations? Head towards Café StayWoke at South Point Mall in Gurugram. Here is a millennial style café that serves gourmet food in a casual setting.

“Gourmet Casual” is what the young owners, Abhinav Aggarwal and Manali Guha like to call it. They say, “StayWoke is a destination that encourages you to talk about social issues that affect all of us. The café walls list out these issues – like eve-teasing, college cut-offs and homophobia.

The recently-launched eatery with vibrant interiors and an infusion of new ideas, looks all set to serve the best of European, American and Indian cuisines. The menu has been designed by a dynamic Chef Tarun Sibal. He has incorporated dishes which have a nostalgic value, — ‘Campa wala doodh’ that we drank as kids or Chicken Biryani Fried Rice, a wok-tossed biryani which is very “Delhi”.

My meal began with Ragi Upma, which was tweaked with the flavor of Thai sweet chili and peanut sauce. Next was fried ravioli, something different and delicious, oozing with fresh basil which I polished off immediately.

Then came one of Chef Tarun’s favourite dishes, Mushroom Vol Au Vent — Wild Mushroom Veloute with thyme filled in a crusty vol au vent shell, topped with blueberry jam. For health-conscious diners, Open Rye Bread Sandwich is a perfect choice. Avocado hummus, crushed feta, roasted peppers, beetroot, arugula, daikon and citrus segments on a sour dough bread, is filling and tasty.

Tofu Steak is another healthy dish not to be missed, served with sesame sauce and quilted spinach. In the mains, we got to taste Baked Paneer Lababdar with melt-in-the-mouth cottage cheese, baked with khoya crumble, and pistachio slivers cooked in a silken gravy. It is a complete meal as it comes with a nice and crispy Malabar style parantha.

Non-vegetarians can feast on a whole lot of signature dishes. There is a special preparation of Sumac and Zartaar Chicken — succulent chicken marinated with sumac, zartaar, and pomegranate juice, grilled and served with hummus, and cinnamon and pumpkin puree. Then there is chef’s special, Duck Madras Curry – duck cooked with wet grinded spices, onion, tomatoes and coconut, served with paratha.

For lamb lovers, Seared Lamb is the highlight of the menu — medallions of lamb slow cooked in port wine jus, served with baby carrots and potatoes. Chef Tarun takes great pride in serving Olive Oil Prawns — prawns poached in extra virgin olive oil, lemon, chili parsley and tomatoes. Fish and chips are a perfect on the go meal — Fresh River Sole fried to perfection, served with fries, mushy peas, lemon tarter and boiled egg.

Round off your meal with sinful desserts like Chocolate Semifreddo —eggless dark chocolate semifreddo, served with vanilla bean ice cream and fresh orange segments. Chai Kulfi Parle G is not to be missed, tea infused frozen rabri, served with Parle G crumble and Vanilla Pancakes served with maple, honey, fruit compote, whipped cream and fresh fruits.

The owners are always around to make your experience more special. Don’t be surprised if they get your food to your table, play a game of Pictionary with you or lure you iton a discussion. Can I forget that afternoon when Manali was playing Mafia with a bunch of kids who were having a party at the café? Kudos to their spirit, I must say.

Address: 104, 1st floor, South Point Mall, Golf Course Road, Gurugram Café opens at 9 am for breakfast

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