Esther Ozil, from Paris, leads a busy life these days. Besides designing jewellery, she is also a consultant for Hotel Red Lotus on Nehru Street and the head chef at Buddha Lounge, the hotel’s rooftop cafe. Entering the two-week-old café, we’re drawn to an unfinished Buddha painting, on which a young man with a bed-head hair and a paintbrush is busy working. He is later introduced as Yen, a 19-year-old artist from Delhi. Ozil is an all-rounder at the café—she welcomes guests, cooks, serves, and chats with visitors. Not to forget, every visitor gets a hug from her before leaving.
For now, Ozil offers a limited menu that includes breakfast and drinks. “I don’t have a full-fledged lunch or dinner menu. I generally like to surprise my visitors. My food is a mix of spicy and sweet,” she says, adding, “I had six Australians visit a couple of weeks ago. I made each of them a dish. I like making food after knowing my customers. For a bubbly person, I like making spicy food, but for a quiet person, I’ll make something sober.” Her specialties are marinated chicken with mango sauce, grilled chicken with orange, chocolate cake with mango and homemade pesto pasta.
For breakfast, she offers bread from Auroville with generous servings of their homemade jams (pineapple and mango), which is also retailed in bottles. They also serve omelettes and scrambled eggs, with a mug of coffee or tea. As our fluffy cheese omelette arrives, we are pleasantly surprised to see mozzarella and feta cheese served on the side. While we try their low sugar watermelon juice, Ozil tells us they also serve dosa and idlis for tourists and foreign visitors. We leave the cafe with a hug and a bottle of jam to remember them by.
Meal for two costs Rs 750 onwards. Details: 9944237698