With the soon to open Ahavaa, Kilpauk gets its own ‘Amethyst style’ café cum boutique with a studio in the mix.
I AM not new to the quaint old house at the corner of Ramanathan Street. Having visited the pillared residence more than two decades ago, I now go back to explore the yet to open Ahavaa (“Hebrew for unconditional love”) — café, boutique and dance studio. Fortunately, not much has changed. Shrouded under old mango trees and edged with newer bamboo and palms, the garden accommodates an ample car park of nearly a dozen cars and an al fresco dining area that could seat 35.
The owner of the café and the 55-year-old building, Kavya Abraham (23), tells me that it was her mother Deepa Abraham’s idea to complement it with delicately refurbished interiors and furniture. “This kind of space has been my dream, where it has dance and food, lots of creative stuff,” says the alumna of Stella Maris College, who works in her dad’s company, the Aban Offshore. The ground floor houses the café, the Poo Shop (florist) and soon a reflexology centre and organic store, while the first floor will be the boutique featuring “designers from across the country”. An external staircase leads to the dance studio — the “creative space” — on the second floor, where Abraham plans to conduct Bharatnatyam classes (the space can be hired on an hourly basis from Rs 700 onwards).
The menu at the two-room 24-seater cafe has wholesome offerings like sandwiches, homemade pasta and wraps besides fresh juices and starters like tandoori bacon wrapped chicken, among others. The red bean, millet and mushroom burger with chilli mayo seems a healthy option for vegetarians. Meanwhile chef Arun Munusamy, formerly with the Carnival cruise liner, suggests I sip on Vampire’s Blood (a mix of water melon, beetroot, capsicum and basil) even as the peri peri wings pack some delightful heat. The salad, though heavy on vinaigrette, is fresh, and Munusamy assures me that they will soon be using only in-house cheese. Though sourcing desserts from The Table presently, they plan to offer assorted cakes and caramel pudding from home bakers, including chef’s specials like delicious fresh-out-of-the-oven carrot cake, preferable without the sweet frosting.
Opening on April 10, on New Avadi Road. Meal for two at approximately Rs 950. Details: 7092040556
— Sabrina Rajan