Whipped curd infused with falooda-style seeds, anyone? Fit food choices just got fun
YOU just had to fall in love with its candy-pink and white striped interiors, its matching tablemats, and plate glass windows over-looking the swimming pool where you could watch bikini-clad guests stretch out on sunbeds.
It’s where you had your first bite of an authentic pizza, in the days when everyone believed that mozzarella was the name of a James Bond villain.
Or drooled over the crisp waffles that they served with tiny pots of melted butter and maple syrup. And of course sipped the Coorg coffee, from where else? Mercara!
Café Mercara Express at the ITC Grand Chola has become daringly dark and mysterious by comparison. It’s as if it has shed its teenage groove and become a member of the haute cuisine set. We shall not call it middle-aged, but certainly with its emphasis on healthy eating and mindful luxury it’s taken dining to another level.
Fries for all
The good news is that there is mozzarella on the menu.
This time around it appears as a Burrata, a dome shaped creation stuffed with cream cheese and surrounded by slivers of pickled beat, tomato, orange and scattered with pine nuts and balsamic pearls.
“As for waffles, they are still there,” Ajit Bangera, the senior Executive Chef assures me. “You’ll also find the best club sandwiches, the burgers and also…” he adds, as I watch anxiously when they roll out their new healthy eating menu, “French fries!”
Do a Charlie
The new menu at Mercara, the all-day dining option at the Grand Chola, is about pampering your inner child while introducing that spoilt brat to eating sensibly. They bring you glasses with sparkling juices that combine fruits and veggies with a zing of ginger. Or offer you a glass of whipped curd that has been hung and infused with falooda-style seeds and scattered with fruits and nuts.
It would make Charlie at Roald Dahl’s chocolate factory laugh with delight.
Believe it or not, there’s even a chocolate factory next door that makes the fabulous Fabelle brand of chocolates. It’s worth a visit. There’s drumstick soup for those who like the comfort of the South and a carrot and coconut cream combo that’s like drinking pure silk. The mains come from all across the world.
And if that doesn’t turn you on, there’s always coffee from Mercara!
Priced at Rs 2,000 per head. Open 24 hours.
— Geeta Doctor