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    From a small café to a sprawling restaurant, the Hegde siblings seem to be in the business for the long haul

    Namratha and Nikhil Hegde might have managed to get their first 138 sq feet café, Smally’s, into the Limca Book of Records, but it’s their latest space — 38, Castle Street, conveniently named after the address — that is currently talk of the town. An expansive 5,000-plus sq ft coffee shop and restaurant, it’s kind of hard to miss this one. Apart from it being rather a pretty sight, the space inside lets you stretch your legs in peace.
    Inspired by the cafés along the Greek coastline, the restaurant is done up in white brick walls, with turquoise blue paint in places, and picnic tables that can accommodate anywhere between two people to a much larger group.
    The menu here is quite approachable, with very little experiments to deal with. But it’s more than just a sandwich, and burger joint. The idea was to offer good food at pocket- friendly prices, and the menu includes creamy bowls of pasta, crunchy salads, steaks, and of course desserts.
    So don’t let the names get to you. We began with the broccoli monzana ensalada con pollo jamon salad, which is an interesting combination of garden broccoli teamed with green and red apples, and chicken ham. The creamy dressing and the crunchy apples make this salad delectable. The Parmigiano cauliflower bites with Tabasco and sweet chilli chicken crispers arrived next. While the chicken lacks the fiery punch of the Tabasco sauce, the cauliflower was perfect with the right amount of Parmesan sprinkled on it.
    What we really enjoyed was the mac and cheese pizza, with the generous amount of cheese and macaroni topping on the pizza bread. Yes, it’s loaded with calories, but we can always make an exception once in a while. Incidentally, the pizza is smoked with woodsticks sourced from left over barrels at the Jack Daniels Distillery in the US, if trivia interests you that is. And instead of a wood-fire oven, the chef here uses the flame from a shot gun to smoke the pizza leaving bourbon-infused flavour to the pizza.
    The chef’s fish steak, a lemon butter garlic grilled fillet of sole, served with mash potatoes and veggies is a must try here. Also try their mama’s tres leches for dessert. This Mexican butter cake is drenched with three types of milk that make this a specialty.
    Finally, this place serves breakfast too, so now you can drop by (on weekends) for some delicious eggs benedict (with a vegetarian version too!), and delicious Belgian waffles, among other goodies.
    `1200 (for two). At 38 Castle
    Street. 8-11 am (weekends).
    11.30 am-3.30 pm, 6.30 -11 pm
    (restaurant). 11 am-11 pm (cafe). Details: 9513333256
    — Nandini Kumar

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