Yari Road, the film industry hub, believes in hoarding all outdoor spaces, be it Scrumptious, Leaping Windows or BRU Café. But what really brews around is off Yari Road — the ‘Takeaway Lane’ with the smoke, grime and behind of Audition Nagar (oops, Aram Nagar, we meant). So Fresh & Fast, the new pumpkin orange and lime green open café amidst black tandoors lured our rumbling stomachs and light pockets.
With dark brown cane furniture, glass-topped tables, and a tree draped in tingly lights, the place seemed welcoming but not hoity-toity on our first visit, we were met with a deserted place with no cheery lights and a trickle of a staff. After we ordered Pav Bhaji (Rs 60) and BBQ Delight Pizza Slice (Rs 60), we noticed huge cutouts of burgers claiming these to be ‘stars of the menu’. At our behest, the secret of two menus was unravelled.
After ordering a Mystical Moroccan Burger, we were told that the chef had left early because of the LBT-Octroi embargo. Disappointed, we decided to give them another chance. Verdict on Day One: Pav Bhaji was above average though not lip-smacking; the slice turned out be two 12-inch pizza’s slices that with too many toppings and meagre cheese heaved onto a base that we suspect wasn’t fresh. The owners had knocked off R40 from the bill lamenting the ‘Nos’ they had to answer.
Day Two: We sauntered into the place that suddenly brightened two notches higher. The décor was welcoming enough but the display refrigerator with random eggs and bread loaves alongside the strewn cardboard boxes and cylinders dampened our enthusiasm.
A Bacon ‘n’ Cheese Burger (Rs 290); Maki Rolls (in sushi, rice with seared tuna, scallions, lemon rind and khimchi vegetables inside a nori seaweed sheet) priced at R250, and a Fusion Thali (Rs 390) that combined Mexican and Thai cuisine; simply rolled off the tongue without any delay.
Rinsing off the dust, we dug into our starter of the thali (after half an hour of waiting), which was simply one as opposed to the promised, two. Digging into deep fried chicken, we were none too impressed. But with the arrival of sushi and the burger, our mouths widened into appreciative munches. The burger’s patty and fillings were the high point urging us to tick at least one dish in our head. The non-gourmet sushi that is doled out in chicken, meat and beef options will make for good chatter food.
Arrival of the thali was nonplussing especially due to its unappealing presentation. The cuisine’s flavours were quite there but again, tempered into food that you chomp rather than savour. Finally, a scoop of Cassatta Ice Cream (R30) gleed us into childlike giggles (desserts were tucked into a third menu!). Fresh & Fast has something for all but needs to take its name seriously.
Fresh & Fast
At 13, Mangal Nagar, next to Orange salon, Yari Road,
Call 9920758617 / 629
Fresh & Fast Cafe didn’t know we were there. The Guide reviews anonymously and pays for meals.