Chennai's bicycle cafe Ciclo cafe turns five, and is serving up fresh flavours to sweeten the ride
Look out for new Japanese and kebab sections on the menu
There's a spin-the-wheel game for any customer who walks into Ciclo Café through March. The options that the pointer could land on range from flat discounts off your bill to a complimentary dessert. And we clap our hands in childlike glee, when we give it a whirl — and it lands on the dessert. “It’s a fun way to say thank you to all of our loyal customers as we turn five,” says founder Ashish Thadani. Having set the trend as the city’s first bicycle café — it is fitting of course — that the wheel is a cycle tyre.
• A Japanese section featuring fried sushi, non-veg gyozas and
chicken karaage as well as a new kebab section.
• Smaller portions of favourites like Mac & Cheese and the Hulk burger to smaller appetites.
There is a new menu as we expect, to mark the café’s fifth anniversary and this means a roll-out of additional offerings to their already bursting-at-the-seams menu. “We may need to trim down soon,” says Ashish, who is also MD of Absolute, the larger umbrella brand that houses other F&B offerings like The Velveteen Rabbit and Aki Bay @TVR. He hands us a copy in an all-new ‘colour’ avatar. This is an upgrade from their black-and-white newspaper theme, as some might recall. We spot a new Japanese section (featuring bestsellers from sister brand Aki Bay) but are more curious to samplethe Jalapeno Cheese sushi that sits pretty in the appetiser section — non-intimidating for a first time sushi eater and quite the treat.
The Sweet Potato Fries are straight forward enough, and seem to be making the rounds in multiple café spaces, but the sweet and salty offering here has us involuntarily reaching for it, even past dessert. Speaking of dessert, there’s a sinful five-layered creation that has just been added to the list which customers have been invited to christen with a name. Imagine this: praline with vanilla crisps, hazelnut dacquois, chocolate cremeux, milk chocolate cream and finally, to lay a sense of finality to it all, a milk chocolate slab. Sigh, are we in heaven already?
But we digress. Back to our main course which serves up a hulk-size Greek Lamb Burger (so juicy) and an extra indulgent double cheese Deep dish Pepperoni pizza. To say that we had to skip our next meal, might be an understatement after this food train. The ‘greatest hits’ from menus past also make an appearance at our table — including Mrs Jila’s Mutton Dhansak, the Peanut Butter Protein Shake (which is green, courtesy the spinach blended in) and the OMG Banoffee Pie.
Wheat a minute
Ashish, who is as hands-on as they come when it comes to what goes into the menu, has one final surprise for us before we bid him adieu. He summons the waiter to bring us a croissant from his latest test batch. “What’s in it?” he asks us to guess, once we have taken a bite. It’s a tad dense, we realise, and certainly unlike the usual. The secret base: atta! We did not see thatone coming...
Meal for two INR 700 approx.