Surfing for crepes at Sandy Bottom Cafe
By a serene beach at Mahabalipuram, the quaint and humble building that houses Sandy Bottom Cafe can easily go unnoticed. It has been around for just about seven months now and has been serving up a limited array of home-cooked comfort breakfasts. Husband and wife duo, Mukesh Panjanathan and German Anna Goetzke, handle the little kitchen making fresh-to-order items. “We aim to provide authentic food with fresh ingredients, so that limits the menu to an extent,” says 32-year-old Mukesh.
From the start
The couple were inspired by cafes and eateries that they found during their visits to different countries last year to use one more portion of the building, adjacent to Mukesh’s Mumu Surf School, and turn it into this 10-seater cafe. “Though there are a lot of restaurants serving Westernised breakfast items, none of them felt as authentic as required,” says 26-year old Anna. Also, there is nothing in the cafe that is priced over `250.
Freshness is key
We were greeted with a lavish spread including chocolate and banana crepes, fresh juices, fresh fruit crepes and a colourful breakfast jar with a filling of muesli, yogurt and fruit. After the exceptional amounts of fruit that we had taken in for the morning, we were treated with freshly baked whole wheat bread with a spread of hazelnut and chocolate. “Though he doesn’t accept it, Mukesh is the master in the kitchen,” says Anna with a laugh, as we dig in.
Speaking about the kind of food they serve for lunch and dinner, Mukesh explains, “We don’t serve elaborate dishes, just simple salads and sandwiches for lunch and sea food items for dinner.” He later adds, “Our speciality item for a mid-day meal would most definitely be the tuna salad, which Anna makes and we keep the salad as fresh as possible.”
When asked if the simple decor was deliberate, we learn that the furniture used for the cafe is all wooden and either recycled or reused. Reusable items from beach clean-ups that Mukesh, who has lived by the beach all his life, carries out every other week has been used in the decor, like the makeshift table and surfboard fins painted by Anna, used as wall-hangings.
Meal for two at Rs. 400. Details: 9789844191