Zuka @ Aura Café at Puducherry serves a global coffee selection and quick bites overlooking the waves
Hot chocolate and a view of the waves crashing against the shore. That’s a combination hard to beat. Add to the mood, a gentle drizzle as we sip on our warm brew and we are about ready to call this moment ‘postcard-perfect’. We’re at the new Zuka @ Aura Café which overlooks the Promenade Beach at Puducherry. Owner Srinath Balachandran is hosting us for a special tasting of his new menu, that apart from Zuka’s expected boutique chocolate options also has savoury finger foods like Mediterranean-style mushroom tarts and an assortment of Egg toasties.
The fact that this space is outdoors (with a roof overhead) is perfect for the cool weather, and ambient noise does not include honking horns given that this beach road is currently a vehicle-free zone. Expect a cosy space with a seating capacity for about 20 people. And of course, the fact that you can do some impromptu shopping at the Aura store, which is a few steps away, as you wait for your order to get ready, is another fun bonus.
Given the rain on this particular cloudy afternoon, we find ourselves drawn toward the global coffees on offer. Srinath recommends the Spiced Hazel Cocoa (an Italian cappuccino laced with hints of hazelnut, nutmeg and cinnamon and single origin dark chocolate for some added decadence). We quickly follow this up with an order of the Mysore Maharaja that arrives in a swank stainless steel mug, fit for royalty, with an intense decoction and a luxurious topping of creamy milk foam. For a quick bite, we opt for a croissant sandwich with spinach, walnuts and smoked tofu, as well as delicious baked egg squares. The tub of French fries with butter sautéed garlic is another recommend, if you are looking for something light with some crunch. Dessert turns out to be a sinful Brazilian Chocolate Treat. Expect a 68 percent dark chocolate mousse blended with a vanilla white chocolate ice cream cut by the tartness of strawberry purée with bits of brownie crumble for texture. If you’re looking for a ticket to heaven, while still on earth — this might be it.
Meal for two INR 300.