This cafe offers a jammer corner, so you savour your coffee better
The last time we read the phrase ‘coffee and conversation’ it was at the bottom of a Coffee Day menu. So, when we heard that a ‘convo’ cafe was opening up, our curiosity, needless to say, was sufficiently piqued. And as we enter the newly opened Convo@C20 (C20 stands for Chennai 20, the pin code of Adyar), a 32-cover cafe right next to Odyssey, we are given the option of locking up our phones in their ‘Jammer Corner’ (rows of lockers) so as to have a “real conversation”.
Ashwin Somasundaram, who owns the cafe tells us, “Of course, it is not something we force our guests to do. We give them the option of actually putting their phones away so that they can actually talk to each other. If they run out of topics, we help them along,” he adds, as he shows us some board games (think Bug in the Kitchen, Oh Snap! etc), which he says, “are not the usual games that people are familiar with. The idea is that they figure out how to play the game together and they get talking that way.”
The cafe is divided into a few sections, says Ashwin, pointing out to the far end, which has two tables and Japanese-style seating on a raised platform. “We call this the Friend Finder zone, where if you’re alone, you could take one of the tables, and someone else who is also alone could join you for a cup of coffee. But it can also accommodate large groups,” adds Ashwin.
Right in the middle is the Buddy Bonding area, with a few tables-for-four set up. Here, you get served not only your order but also a board game of your choice. A small porch extends beyond this space, with French windows opening out to a mini golf course, which can also be used to play sit-down football and basketball (the use of this space is charged by the hour, and includes food and beverages). We’re told the menu is typical cafe food, or ‘Conti-style’ as Ashwin puts it. So there’s a little bit of everything — from little bites of bruschetta to classic grilled chicken.
We begin with an assorted bruschetta platter with toppings ranging from a creamy pesto and cheese to spicy lamb, in addition to the classic salsa. Next up are the crunchy crumb sausage rolls, which reinstates our belief that anything that is panko-crumbed can be nothing but delicious, especially when it comes with the option of four dips to choose from. We wash these down with their highly-recommended Mud, a chocoholic’s dream, which comes with milk, ice cream and cookie crumbs, all chocolate flavoured.
With our appetite for the mains sufficiently worked up, we sample the sliders, made of flavoured buns that are made in-house. While the bite-sized plain and sesame sliders were delicious, it was the tomato flavoured slider that bowled us over, with a subtle hint of tomato seeping through the bun. We recommend you eat this with their wonderfully light, seared (not fried) lamb patty filling. If you’re
in the mood for something heavier, insist on their lasagne (veg and non-veg), which is nothing but a bowl of cheesy, comforting goodness.
We sampled the vegetarian option, which came loaded with vegetables and cheese between layers of perfectly cooked pasta, served with a side of garlic bread, to mop up all the leftover sauce at the end.
However, if you’re weight-watching, you can always choose from the green and red salads for an appetiser, and the roast chicken with couscous from the mains.
Timings: Noon to 11 pm. Meal for two: Rs 1,000 (including tax). Details: 96290-09086