In a nutshell:
A long drive from Gurgaon proved futile as we ended up eating a lot of average to just good food. Did not come up with anything outstanding except for 1 item.
Address & other details: Carnatic cafe
Meal for 2: Rs. 500 onwards
Cuisine type : Vegetarian & Nonvegetarian
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I rate all the food items & then give a final overall rating which is a simple average of the individual item ratings. What the ratings stand for: 5 = Excellent, 4 = Very Good, 3 = Good, 2 = Fair, 1 = Disaster.
Short Description – in case u r in a hurry:
Had heard about this café from quite a few people. They said it was ‘different’. Yes it was but it was not ‘different & better’. Learnt it the hard way after driving all the way from Gurgaon to eat out here.
The eatery is located in a weird Mall with dirty surroundings on one side and a market on the other side.
The café has a nice board near the entrance that has hand written menu. Inside the café there were quite a few nice ‘natural’ decoratives / handicrafts.
A part of the area near the entrance was open see thru kitchen.
Furniture was basic wooden, but made nicely.
Service was excellent. The people took utmost care of us thruot our stay.
The 2 page menu card was easy to read. I loved the cover design.
Feeling I got was that the fieryness of the original versions of food were toned down at Carnatic café to adjust to local tastes. Better than nayvedyam type of joints but nowhere near to Murugan idly and even saravana bhawan.
Detailed Description – In case u have the Time to NJOY reading:
The Sambar was just average. The Basic balance of food was absent in this dish. The salt in the dish was sub optima & sour over optimal. In texture it was not very thin as u get in South Indian homes. I rate it 2/5.
The Chutneys served were however slightly less than good .
The Green chutney lacked punch & rusticness. It was a bit flat. Rate it 2.5/5
White chutney had lots of coconut & other honest ingredients but the final resultant taste was not beyond good. The texture of the chutney was Good I must say. Rate it 3/5.
Red chutney lacked punch. It was a bit flat again. Rate it 2.5/5
To begin the lunch we ordered Paddu – A small roundal that looked a lot like paniyaram. It was a tasteless, flavorless food with no salt. The texture of this freshly made food was however very enjoyable – crispy on the outside & very soft in the center. Tasted good with chutneys. Rate it 3/5.
We then ordered Rava Idly (strongly recommended by the gentleman taking order). They were soft, did not exude any particular flavor & were low on salt. They were large pore dosas with some filling in them. Nothing great as it is. Good with chutneys. If Murugan idly is 4.75/5, this one is 3/5.
For main course we ordered Kai Sasvi Anna (Mustard rice). It was very good. Flavours of mustard were integrated with the rice. Soft, Independent and short grain rice was used to make this dish. Did not look like the local rice used in Southern parts of India. Rate it 4.5/5
Veg Korma was slightly sweet and just about good. The veggies were not fully crunchy but a bit. I rate it 2.75/5.
We also had Malleshwaram 18th Cross dosa. It was a thick dosa with crispy outer & soft inner. There was a layer of red paste inside which was again toned down to adjust to local needs I guess. It took 6 -7 bites for the taste to grow on us. Statred liking it then. Rate it 3.5/5.
Majjige (Chaanch / buttermilk) was good. It was of average thickness. Refreshing. Rate it 4/5.
Rasam papad was good as well. Rate it 3/5
For dessert we went for Kesari Bhaat. It was low on sweet, high on liquid fat, had no particular taste. Pretty flat once again. Rate it 2.5/5.
Overall rating averages out to 3/5.
I am unlikely to get back here unless I am in the vicinity & I am hungry. How about u?