Indulge 14th anniversary special: Cafe Le Pondichery serves indulgent and healthy desserts, alongside wild forest brews
The cafe is located within Casablanca on Mission Street
Inside Casablanca on Mission Street sits a tiny oasis — Café Le Pondichéry. It seats just 20. But with a sprawling white marble countertop taking centre stage, woven white leather chairs and the sun shining through the glass dome 40 feet above — this space is as lavish as they come. Gold rimmed pillars add a touch of royalty to the mix, as we take it all in, and eventually get down to placing an order. Expect to find pastries, macarons, sandwiches and hot and cold beverages, including a Wild Forest Tea foraged from the hills forests of Manipur.
We’re keen to get a taste of the latter and opt for the prized Wild White, packed with nutrients we are told, given that the trees are over a hundred years old. “It looks like champagne,” owner Dilip Kapur tells us, “and it’s so smooth”. We can’t help but agree. A few sips in, and we feel like we’re drinking meditation from a cup! The owner of Hidesign joins us with his partner in the venture, Ruth Sequeira (incidentally HR director at the same brand) and over shared bites of a delightful Lemon Tart that we would gladly order again, we hear the story of how the café came to be. “A friend and I spent a lot of time exploring Parisien cafés, and we decided we would set up our own here,” Ruth reminisces. But then the lockdown hit and plans changed. At the time, Ruth would have never imagined her dream coming to life in a 200-year-old heritage building, nor that the kitchen duties would be handled by the expert team of chefs over at the Promenade a few streets away.
Gaga over gazpacho
We listen to this unravelling of events, over slurps of a refreshing Watermelon Gazpacho. And later, a Goat’s Cheese and Mushroom Quiche that hits the spot. If you’re looking for some healthy bakes, try the Chocolate Ragi Cupcakes and Sugar-free Mango Cheesecake. We are far from this endeavour it appears, as we wrap up with a chilled Vietnamese Cold Coffee, laden with a base of condensed milk for that extra oomph of goodness.
INR 800 for two approx.
Off the shelf
Look out a line of six chocolate bars including Cashew and Sea Salt and Coffee and Cacao Nibs, cashew spreads and granola. Also in the pipeline, Ruth tells us is a collection of packaged gourmet foods that comprise novel flavour combinations of jam (fig and balsamic), pickles (cucumber, tamarind), cookie hampers and flavoured nuts.