At R’vive Cafe in Kilpauk, you could help someone with their mental health by simply ordering a cup of coffee

The café has integrated seven recovering patients from the Institute of Mental Health, Kilpauk into their staff

Sonali Shenoy Published :  01st October 2021 04:36 PM   |   Published :   |  01st October 2021 04:36 PM


If you happen to pass the Institute of Mental Health in Kilpauk, don’t miss a chance to visit the new R’vive Café next door. Just a little over a month old, this space has integrated seven recovering patients from the hospital into their staff. Now, this is an impressive feat as is, as you might have already read about in the main edition of The New Indian Express. But it gets better, we find out when we visit the café for a taste of their menu. We slurp on a deliciously thick Mango Banana smoothie as M Mahadevan — whose charitable trust Chennai Mission has collaborated with IMH on this project — introduces us to the term ‘psychosocial interaction’. Broadly explained, this means the influence of one’s surrounding social environment and its impact on their well-being and ability to function. Simply put: your friendly face might be therapeutic to your waiter. 


Tex Mex pizza

Wontons and waffles
While goodwill is the heart of this café, good food is what will keep us coming back. And to that end, this menu does not disappoint. Expect Small Plates of Fried Egg Wontons and Mini Chicken Kieves, a Toastie section with options like Chicken Mince and Spicy Cheese and House Specials including French Toast and Waffles with Tribal Honey. On this particular afternoon, we find ourselves leaning toward the Asian section led by their veteran chef Puran Pradhan, who has been with the restaurateur’s group for over 30 years (all the way back to China Town). We opt for the humble Egg Foo Young (omelette sautéed with carrots and beans) that comes with slices of toast and a chilli mayo dip; and later, upon recommendation, try the Chilli Coriander Chicken (chicken meatballs tossed in a spicy soy sauce with diced onion and capsicum). The latter turns out to be the highlight of our meal with succulent meat, packing in a burst of flavour from the soy and freshly ground ginger and garlic. We definitely put it down to a must-try!


BBQ Chicken Wings

Tuna paloma blanca
Meanwhile, the Spicy Chicken Wings which we hear are a crowd favourite come in at a close second. We cool our heels with a dollop of Vanilla ice cream paired with crisp waffles and squiggles of chocolate sauce before moving on to the pizza section. The Tex Mex with a topping of chicken sausages, capsicum and tomato is fairly standard but a definite steal for the price (INR 150) while vegetarians can try the classic Margherita or desi-style Mumbai Potato (INR 120). We wrap up with a Tuna Melt we had our eye on from the beginning — topped with a generous serving of mozzarella for comfort. It is noteworthy to mention that all the breads and pizza bases are made in-house; also available is an elaborate section of pastries and breads from Mahadevan’s long-standing Hot Breads. 

Meal for two at INR 500. The net income from the café is donated towards the welfare of IMH inmates. Incidentally, a second R’vive Café employing individuals with disabilities from the Banyan, is open within Urban Haat in Mahabalipuram.