Kolkata's Cafe Central has it all from fresh bruschetta, world-class coffee selections to convenient delivery options
Cafe culture in the city took a serious hit amid the shutdown, but the break has also made way for some necessary calibrations, and the newer joints in the city are making things right. Cafe Central is one of the few places which opened during the pandemic crisis; situated at 93 Park Street, right opposite St Xavier’s college and just beside the Park Street Police Station, the standalone duplex structure of the outlet is hard to miss.
“The location played a huge role since it’s so accessible to so many people, it’s a thriving business hub and bustling with students,” Isha Arora Jain, of Cafe Central, tells us. The idea behind the 70-seater cafe was to create a space where specialised/ gourmet coffee will go hand-in-hand with authentic global numbers.
“The food in the city’s cafes are usually pretty mediocre, most outlets usually have a particular focus. You don’t find a gourmet experience in a cafe, that too, at good rates. You get standard food, but nothing exceptional. We have tried to introduce a world class menu, that’s diverse, things like avocado toasties, an authentic khao suey, fresh bruschetta, these numbers are quite difficult to find in a cafe. And our regulars won’t get bored with the food, since they can order Asian one day, and Italian the next. And since, everyone has started making everything in their own kitchens, we really wanted to offer some specialties that are difficult to make at home,” Isha remarks.
Cafe Central’s global spread is curated to be utterly binge-able and also makes room for some small plate options which are great for brunches, or a work lunch. The Apricot Jam, Cream Cheese, Pistachio and Mint bruschetta is a particular best-seller owing to its nuanced, flavour profile which brings together a sweet and an earthy profile. The Khao Suey is easily one of the best things on the menu, and comes with all the right fixes and condiments, along with two kinds of crushed nuts.
Cafe Central has also picked up on the steadily growing global breakfast culture in the city, and also offers some gourmet egg-based selections like the good ol’ Eggs Benedict and a Mediterranean Shakshouka which features a poached egg in a sauce of tomatoes, peppers, olive oil and peppers. We even spotted a traditional Parsee Akuri.
There are some easy appetisers like Pita Pockets, Nachos Grande, and a terrific selection of delectable bruschettas from Fresh Tomato, Mozzarella, Chicken, Basil on a bed of Pesto to Sauvignon Mushrooms, Thyme and Balsamic toppings. Though opening up a brand new FandB outlet amid a global pandemic comes with its own set of challenges, Cafe Central has manoeuvred itself to cater to the foodies of the cities, and has also started delivering.
“We are actually quite surprised with the number of walk-in customers, who are showing up even amid the current scenario. We obviously have a huge focus on proper sanitising and cleanliness regulations, that too with proper equipment. Every seat gets sanitised after a customer leaves, and we are following a lot of precautions for our deliveries as well,” we are told.