The week-old Crisp Cafe, headed by Pooja Srinivasan, offers cake shakes and other experiments in the dessert category
Having grown up on the many treats that her dad’s Cake Walk had to offer, it’s no surprise that Pooja Srinivasan found herself drawn to pastries. “After my major in management and marketing from the University of Melbourne, I took up an advanced diploma in hospitality management and pastry at Le Cordon Bleu, Sydney,” she shares, as we sit down for a brunch at Crisp Cafe, the newest offering by the Cake Walk group. The lover of chocolate happened to start her career with the Australian dessert destination Max Brenner, before joining as COO of Cake Walk. One thing led to another and Srinivasan, 25, found herself behind the reins of Crisp, the 62-seater cafe/restaurant (also present in Bangalore) perched above the flagship Cake Walk outlet on Sterling Road.
The light and heavy
Contrasting black and yellow interiors, naked air conditioning vents, a few brick walls and quirky one-liners (we liked ‘keep calm and order dessert’) on the tablemats and wall hangings — Crisp has all the ingredients that make a modern cafe. The menu has just the right mix of starters, mains, salads and all-day breakfasts (red velvet pancakes, anyone?), and we also spot an unusual section that is Srinivasan’s handiwork — cake shakes. Bypassing creations like the salted caramel & white chocolate freeze, we go with the cake batter & cookie dough — a really thick milkshake of sorts (don’t attempt to drink), made with pasteurised and eggless versions of the two ingredients.
Room for creation
Starters include chicken wings, bruschetta, cheesy fries and herb-crusted chicken, among others. And while the mains offer everything from lasagna to lamb chops, if it’s a quick snack you seek, we’d point to their sandwiches, like the teriyaki beef and wasabi mayo panini. We tuck into a hot and sour Jamaican grilled chicken with brown pepper sauce before finishing our olive and caper crusted basa in red pepper coulis, both served on a bed of coarsely mashed potato. Desserts here are hand picked by Srinivasan and feature a sticky date mousse cake, hazelnut praline, cola cake and the brookie — a cross between a brownie and cookie, this one is like a large chocolate cake embedded with choco chips. “Variations in dessert will be the next big thing,” feels Srinivasan, adding that they also offer the cronut at Cake Walk, but by order only. Approximately Rs.700 for two. Desserts at Rs.200. Details: 9629930007, facebook.com/crispcafe
Since joining Cake Walk, Srinivasan admits to having made “minor changes,” starting with basics like dough and fillings. “If you look closely, you’ll notice that we’ve also changed our packaging,” smiles Srinivasan, who introduced macaroons, tarts and new pastries as well. Since desserts in jars were not feasible at Cake Walk, Srinivasan created the cake shakes at Crisp Cafe.
— Ryan Peppin