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You can eat, read and shop, while backing a cause at the city’s newest café

BEING a bookworm and a foodie, Writer’s Café, located down Peters Road, is right up my alley. Barely a week old, it is a charming collaboration between the country’s oldest bookstore Higginbothams and the city’s serial restaurateur M Mahadevan. Featuring walls lined with book shelves, a dine-in menu, a bakery and a team that includes burn survivors, one must concede it is more than just an eatery. Mahadevan confirms that and shares, “I have been working with PCVC — the organisation which works with burn survivors — and I support them year after year. I wanted a self-sustaining
project, wherein I invest once and the monthly returns will directly benefitShots from Writers Cafe. Express/ Romani agarwal for Indulge
the survivors life-long. Thus was born Writers Café.”

The Swiss connect
This spacious 100-seater has cosy nooks with sofas for those who would like to browse and linger over a cuppa. Though only the ground floor (the magazine section) has service right now, I discover that there are sections upstairs for fiction, Tamil and children’s books and more, amidst dining space. Karan Manavalan, Chef and Unit Head, tells me, “I feel, now Chennai is ready for new ideas.” With the team trained by Switzerland-based Chef Silke Stadler, their menu has the usual fare besides unique offerings from Europe like the flammkuchen. Rectangle-shaped with a paper-thin crust, and white sauce with toppings doused in cheese — it is a close cousin of the more famous Italian thin-crust pizza. Besides all-day breakfast staples like waffles and pancakes, their offering of health drinks like a carrot, apple and ginger concoction are interesting additions. Perfect with a cup of cappuccino, is the zucchini cake. Stuffed with the yellow and green vegetable and walnuts, it is surprisingly delicious. While the bakery is laden with thickly iced pastries and confectioneries, the generous Milkmaid cake, the baked yogurt cake and the light coconut cake are exclusive recipes from Chef Silke.Shots from Writers Cafe. Express/ Romani agarwal for Indulge
Kitchen tech
Another shelf that caught my attention was the one lined with different-sized glass jars of colourful pickled vegetables (Rs 180 onwards). Alongside, I find, they are launching and retailing Spar’s shiny table-top planetary mixer machines, for baking aficionados. Meanwhile, the delicate looking siphon coffee makers (also for sale) can be kept at individual tables as it percolates the brew.
From 9 am to 9 pm, a meal for two at  about Rs 600. Details: 48611604

— Sabrina Rajan


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