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    A passion for food and a strong desire to work was what led 19-year-old Jessica Khera, and 20-year-old Kirtana Vurgese to set up Us — a cosy two-cover restaurant, that promises an experience rather than just good food. Located on the rooftop of a building at a busy junction in Koramangala, the cute little space is surprisingly quiet and rather welcoming.

    1The al fresco area is done up with potted plants, stacked rubber tyres which are actually comfortable chairs, and a wall featuring a painting done by Vurgese herself. In fact, all the interiors are done by the girls themselves, and certainly add a charming, handmade touch to space. In the small room inside sits a wooden table with two chairs, floor cushions and a hammock, which is strung up in one corner. “I was actually doing an internship at The Hyatt, and wanted an opportunity to work with them part time. But it didn’t happen. So I teamed up with my classmate, Kirtana, to kickstart our own food venture,” shares Khera, the marketing mind of the two, who are students of hotel management at Christ University.

    Diners can choose from six experiences — The First Date, Anniversary, High Tea Premium, High Tea, Just Another Date, and Live Ambience. Meant mainly for couples, the two high tea options are suited for friends and family as well. Spanning Italian, Mexican and French cuisines, most of the packages come with a three-course meal, a mocktail jug, and a three-tier dessert with a fondue pot. “People bond over fondue instantly, and we thought it would be a nice inclusion,” explains Vurgese, the chef. Live Ambience is accompanied with live music to set the tone for a special date, while the anniversary package will have you decorating cakes with your better half, as part of the evening.

    For the purpose of this story, we tried the kiwi mocktail which was soaked with sliced orange. We were delighted to learn that it had no added sugar whatsoever. We also sampled a vanilla panna cotta served with lime jelly, basil and thyme cream, mango curd and vanilla crumble. The mix of textures and refreshing flavours made it the perfect dessert for a hot summer day. “I like to keep the flavours, light, subtle and clean, though Mexican tends to get slightly more spicy,” shares Vurgese. Reservations need to be made 24 hours prior to give the chef enough time to put together the elaborate meal.

    Rs 1,250++ for two. At 5th Block, Koramangala. Details: 49653277

    — Rashmi Rajagopal Lobo

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