Suddenly, the suburb of Wanowrie seems to have blossomed. We have almost four new cafés as well as a huge hospital of repute that shares its address. Perhaps, it’s the fact that new up-scale builders are brimming around the locality or the city is growing exponentially. Either way, we aren’t complaining.
Cuppa, one of these newbies on the block, is a chain with its home-ground in Bangalore. Bright red squares, garden furniture and a café that prides itself on its teas as well as its coffee. When we walked in at 2 pm we were the only ones around and the staff (a single person manning the café) stinged on the lighting.
The menu begins with a variety of teas — Darjeeling, Assam and even South African rooibos adorn the list. There are even options for chilled tea (iced teas, chai lattes and on the rocks). Then there’s the coffee section where they serve regular as well as special varieties such as Ethiopian coffee. The drinks continue with delicious-sounding shakes and smoothies.
We settled for a Chocolate Shakey (`95 plus taxes) and a hot Irish Coffee (`114 plus taxes). Being a public holiday, they didn’t seem to have a whole lot on their food menu. With foot-longs, croissants and pizzas not available, we stuck to a Chilli Cheese Toast (`55) and a couple of sandwiches. Do not fall for their Monsoon Combi Meal options; strangely, they are more expensive than ordering singles. What then, we wonder, would be the point of offering them as couples?
Our Chilli Cheese Toast arrived — a single slice of white bread cut into four triangles and layered with grated cheese and finely chopped chillies and baked. Just the soulful perfect way your neighbourhood sandwich guy makes it. Our Smoked Chicken Sandwich (`80) came well-grilled and well-buttered with a generous stuffing of shredded chicken done in a spicy Indian dressing. No smoky flavours here but, not bad nonetheless.
As we ate, the café soon filled up. We were almost through with our meal by the time our drinks arrived. But then, this seemed to be a one-man show — managing both kitchen and guests — and the guy was doing the best he could. We appreciated his effort. Soon, our drinks arrived. The Irish Coffee came looking pretty in three layers. Once we swirled it, it tasted almost original.
Cuppa is quite a cheerful place to hang out with friends over decent drinks and eats (scores at least five points above our popular cafes) or simply sit by yourself and get some me-time or work done. While the attendants were polite and attentive, we would’ve walked away happier had the portions been as generous as the hefty service tax plus value-added tax (VAT) they charged us.
At Supreme Classic, off Salunke Vihar Road, Wanowrie.