Owners of Mango Hill, Francois and Debarati Laederich, give us La Plancha—with quirky interiors and giant buns
In just a couple of weeks since opening, La Plancha is already running at full capacity. And why not? Francois and Debarati Laederich from Mango Hill seem to be spot on with the new burger address in town. This could very well be Pondicherry’s new hangout with tasteful interiors, relaxed 64-cover seating, live music on weekends and a select menu of burgers, signature platters and desserts to delectably intersperse your conversations with. This rooftop café marries Chettinad tiles with oversized circular lamps, keet roof and old fashioned folding chairs with names of your favourite Hollywood screen idols on them.
Mix and match
Located in the French town, on Rue Romain Rolland, Francois puts his bar-tending experience at a top 7 star hotel, Hôtel Fouquet’s Barrière in Paris, to good use. A wide range of cocktails promise to keep your spirits high as Debarati enquires about your food order. It was love that brought the former clinical trial analyst from Bangalore to Pondicherry, Debarati admits, while claiming that she prefers to ‘‘under hype and over deliver. ‘‘This is the place to be and hang out with your favourite musicians and actors (referring to the furniture).’’ Food, drink and ambience need to work together.’’ Open from 11 am, La Plancha serves starters, salads, pasta, burgers, different varities of planchas and desserts.
The smoked fish platter comes on a wood chopping board with large slivers of smoked fish, stacks of warm crispy baguette, homemade ricotta cheese, sliced lemons and a sprig of green onion. A sip of fresh fruity Planter’s Punch is sure to keep you going till the burger arrives, which is a thick medium patty with a light crunch on the outside, melted chees and a soft bun that doesn’t crumble. Lettuce and mayo with tomatoes and relish and a generous serving of coleslaw on the side completes it. And did I mention the wedges? Perfectly done with a great bite and a thick crispy skin. “When you have an American coming repeatedly for a burger then you know you’ve done something right,’’ says Debarati, who quickly excuses herself to see off some guests. We end the evening with a Chocolate Moelleux — molten lava muffin with créme anglaise and a sprig of mint.
Open from 11 am to 10.30 pm. Happy hours on weekends from 6pm to 8 pm. Three-course dinner for two is about Rs 1,000, without drinks. Detail: 0413 4300333
– Dipen Desai