With a name like Cape Town Bistro, we had illusions of ocean-fresh seafood, tall beers and various kinds of meat. This one was nothing close. With a board that announced that Dum Biryani was their specialty, our hopes sank further. Still, their menu did include the Indian / Punjabi gamut and what passes as international fare (read burgers, pizzas, pasta and a few mains).
With memories of Cape Town’s coastal dining, we ordered the Lobster Bisque (Rs 150). It was nothing beyond regular restaurant-style tomato soup blended with cream. To top the disaster, it had prawns instead of lobster. Milling in some fresh pepper really helped it along.
Next, we tried a regular snack — something that Pune shares its love for with South Africa. The Barbeque Chicken Burger (Rs 150) looked good, albeit with a cherry on top. The double-grilled bun was loaded with chicken chunks in a sweet barbeque sauce topped with a fried egg and cheese. The side of red cabbage and crisp fries added to the bite.
Hopes revived and we tried to get experimental with the pizza. However, they didn’t have what we wanted, so, we settled for a Sausage Delight (`340). The 10-inch, thin-crust was topped with thin slices of regular chicken sausages and had a few olives strewn around the cheesy base. There was nothing wrong but nothing special either.
The Spaghetti Al Pesto (Rs 200) was a big bowl of over-creamed pesto drenching the spaghetti, again with some more olives. There was no sign of any other veggies in this bowl of vegetarian pasta and no sign of the subtlety that the pinenut-based grainy sauce demanded.
Still, at least it was edible. Not so the Grilled Fish (Rs 350). It arrived on a designer plate, with the two fat fillets sitting pretty on a round little cushion of risotto. Alas, while the mushroom risotto base was quite well-done, both chunky and distinct, the fish itself had gone bad. Obviously, Cape Town needs to pay much, much closer attention to quality control.
When a restaurant announces that they are good at something, take their word for it. Don’t presume that just because they have a long menu, they excel at it. We should have stuck to that Dum Biryani in Koregaon Park’s own Cape Town avatar. The fragrances from the only other occupied table in the cafe wafted promise.