The Little CAFE On The Corner
Good food, great coffee, refreshing tea and a sublime ambience. Would you need anything more than what this cafe in Delhi offers for a timeout?
One of the reasons why I stopped by Cafe Tesu was that it had a striking blue facade, not common among the designs of coffee shops that are mushrooming in the capital. It gave a very Greco-European feel to the exterior. Located at Essex Farms, the cafe offers a space that marries the wonderful worlds of food, coffee, art and imagination in a beautiful union. Along with the warm waft of freshly brewed coffee, the interiors also add to the allure of this quaint place. Warm pastel tones, intricately patterned mosaic flooring and floral hints in the furnishing and decor bounce off the daylight that flood the place through its large windows. I found this a welcome change from the dimly lit coffee shops of various chains. Taking us through the genesis of Cafe Tesu, its owner, Dhruv Goyle said, “What began as a simple idea of a relaxed, casual, earthy cafe, quickly transformed into a more collaborative offspring, a space for co-existence, where we work in harmony with those best at what they do. At Cafe Tesu, we believe that people walk in not only for the food, but also for the experience. And within the warm and artsy interiors of our abode where one can linger for hours at a stretch, lies a beautiful backdrop for an intimate and inspiring culinary experience.” I made myself comfortable on a table next to a window from where I could have a vantage view of the restaurant. I was presented a neat menu that had a lovely mix of organic and healthy options to choose from. Of late, because of the rise of health conscious people, restaurants are doing their best to cater to the healthy food demands and Cafe Tesu is no different. There is an array of salads – Slow Poached Pear with Greek Feta, Quinoa Spring or Prawn Avocado Mango – to choose from. Salads are perfectly balanced. Apart from their breakfast dishes, their all-day menu is a mix of recipes that are classic and innovative which has pasta, dim sums, burgers, dumplings, sushi, pizza and desserts. A few of them seemed interesting such as Baby Back Pork Ribs, Parma Ham Wrapped Chicken and the Crab Meat Sushi Roll from the Sushi Bar. The Penne Primavera from the pasta section is good to try, with its taste of fresh vegetables, olive oil, penne and parmesan. Or you could choose to go all out with their indulgent and hearty Coq Au Vin Burger. The entire menu is brimming with wholesome and shareable offerings made with both homegrown and handpicked ingredients. If you find Chef Sahil Mehta at the cafe, make him come up with something off the
menu and be prepared to be pleasantly surprised just as I was, when he rustled up a pizza for me. It was a thin crust pizza topped with blue cheese, zucchini, caramelised onions and baby tomatoes with a dash of truffle oil. As I was waiting for my order to arrive, I again found myself admiring the beautiful walls. The architectural design tells a more ornate story with three arched walls hued in pastel pinks and blues featuring homegrown artwork. It envelopes the space in an expressionist vibe full of energy and passion. The decor is perhaps best exemplified by the scene-stealing chandelier of trumpets adorning the ceiling and overlooking the space below. The Art Nouveau backdrop within, other-worldly luminosity and the urban and comfortable setting together render a simplicity that is simultaneously sophisticated and opulent. The pizza that arrived was one of the tastiest creations of round flat bread baked with toppings that I have had. They have many interesting permutations and combinations as pizza toppings and it is a must try. Chef Sahil Mehta has come up with a lovely dessert menu as well that includes pastries, cakes and signature dishes as such as tiramisu, croissants, macarons etc. Cafe Tesu takes its coffee and tea seriously and this is evident from their four-page menu dedicated to the beverages. If you are a coffee addict, you have just found your new favourite place. They have got a range of hot and cold brews. These are sourced from a brand called ‘Devi’ from Goa, including coffees infused with vanilla, dark chocolate, whisky and rum. They don’t use bottled syrups. You can choose your coffee in a French press or a pour over. I chose the former and indulged in the Whiskey Barrel Coffee. The whisky flavour was strong but not overpowering. But if you prefer tea, then get your hands on their signature Sunshine Waltz, which is a blend of Tesu flowers, rose petals and aniseed. The teas have all been done by Anandini Himalaya Tea. This quaint little cafe on the busy road of Delhi has all the ingredients to make it a place where people would love to hang out and have conversations, which is great to take a break from big and small gadgets.
Goat Cheese and Slow Poached Pear salad
Chef’s special croissants