A cracker of an eatery
The Nutcracker, which opened last week, serves fresh, delicious food complete with bread and compote made from scratch
Anaheeta Bafna is a walking oxymoron. She’s Parsi, and vegetarian. But things get a little familiar from here. She’s a Parsi who loves food.
Baked Philadelphia Cheese Cake
The city’s latest eatery, The Nutcracker, located in a charming bylane of Kala Ghoda, is Bafna’s brainchild. Outside, the café looks quaint, with its gleaming brown woodwork and glass-panelled doors, which hold the promise of a warm, cosy interior.
The 36-year-old believes that a restaurant or café should be an extension of the owner’s personality — a mantra Bafna sticks to. For starters, there is no meat on the menu.
The café gives off a warm vibe through its casual, comfortable interiors, done up with wooden chairs and tables, topped with jars of fresh plant. Pics/ Shadab Khan
Much like the owner herself, the café gives off a warm vibe through its casual, comfortable interiors, done up with wooden chairs and tables, topped with jars of fresh plant. It is as intimate as the living room of a very good friend.
On Bafna’s recommendation, we have the Salted Caramel and Banana Smoothie (Rs 160), Ginger Lemonade (Rs 130), Iced coffee (Rs 120) and Breakfast in a Bottle (Rs 160). The Salted Caramel and Banana Smoothie has what my fellow diner calls ‘depth’. It’s multi-layered in terms of the flavour — when you sip on the smoothie, your first impression is that it’s an out and out banana smoothie and just when you make your peace with that, the sea salt salted caramel makes its presence known with what can be best described as a knockout punch.
Salted Caramel and Banana Smoothie
The Ginger Lemonade was instantly refreshing. The blend of the iced coffee is top-notch, with its double shot of coffee made from a darker version of roasted bean. While a few coffee drinkers might find the drink a tad bitter (blame it on the too-sweet, too-milky coffee that we are used to drinking in the country), die-hard fans of the beverage will agree with us that this is how real coffee must taste.
The Breakfast in a Bottle, a healthy concoction of oats, milk, dates and nuts, is heavenly light and instantly gratifying. For the main course, we have the Warm Lebanese Sandwich (Rs 260), Pesto Panini (Rs 260), Cottage Cheese burger (Rs 360) and Soya Spinach Jalapeno burger (Rs 310). The Lebanese Sandwich, which comes with shredded red and white cabbage, carrots, crispy falafels and tahini sauce, is fresh, crunchy and lightly flavoured.
We also like the Pesto Panini, layered with portobello mushrooms, roasted red peppers, zucchini and feta cheese so light that it gently oozes out with each bite. The Soya Spinach Jalapeno burger does not really stun, but the barbeque sauce in the Cottage Cheese burger — made in-house — is simply to die for.
We also munch on Salli Eggs (Rs 190) and Akuri (Rs 130) from the eatery’s special All-day breakfast menu and while both are delicious, it’s the latter that wins this round. The consistency of the scrambled eggs in the akuri (made with tomatoes, onions, coriander and spices) leaves us wide-eyed — the eggs are so creamy that they can be properly scooped off a plate.
For dessert, we have The Seven Layer Cookie (Rs 260), Warm Gooey Chocolate cake (Rs 240) and Baked Philadelphia Cheese Cake (Rs 260). The Seven Layer Cookie has a biscuit crumble base, Belgian chocolate and butterscotch, topped with sliced almonds and is served with a scoop of vanilla ice-cream.
We are as gleeful as a bunch of kids on summer break, as we lightly tap on the cookie and scoop out, deliciously sinful, layers. Suffice to say, we stop short of licking our spoons. The Gooey Chocolate cake stays true to its classic roots.
My friend, meanwhile, declares that the Baked Philadelphia Cheese Cake, served with blueberry compote, is perhaps one of the best she has had in the city. It is light, just like a cheesecake should be, and coupled with the compote the Nutcracker delivers a cracker of a dessert.
If you are a fan of sandwiches, burgers, salads and coffee, The Nutcraker is likely to be a favourite haunt. And our advice to non-fans? Go anyway.
We cannot rate the experience as it was a preview.
At: The Nutcracker, Modern House, DR VB Gandhi Marg, Kala Ghoda