Paw-some! Cocker spaniel reviews a pet cafe in Lokhandwala
Muffin, a five-year-old cocker spaniel, becomes our first canine reviewer as she checks out a pet cafe at Lokhandwala. Does it get a wag or a growl?
Muffin didn't seem to enjoy the pet-friendly pizza
While we wait for our lunch date, a five-year-old cocker spaniel, we settle ourselves in the al-fresco section of Pefe, a pet-friendly cafe in Lokhandwala whose sign reads: Not Café, it's Pefe - Pets Emotions Food and Everything. A lot is going on in the frame, and we sit back and soak in the space.
Whipped cream with honey and dog biscuits
The corner seating is lined with cushions that have faces of dogs and cats printed on them. Soon, these badly Photoshopped and colour-corrected faces begin to look a bit eerie. This, combined with tacky animal-inspired décor gets a bit overbearing. We order a mocha frappe ('189), which is a simple cold coffee with chocolate, though the whipped cream leaves a synthetic taste on our palate There's an unavoidable feline-meets-canine scent in the air, which has been curbed with air fresheners. It is reassuring that plenty of effort goes into keeping the space clean; this includes placing sanitisers at each table.
While the in-house Golden Retriever pup, whose name is also Muffin, sleeps under a chair, a month-old retriever is crying for attention in his crèche. A shih tzu has strolled in wearing a red-and-black polka cape. He is here for a haircut at Ohh My Dog, the parent company of dog accessories that set up this café next door. A staffer is running behind the sprightly pup with a newspaper. “He is going to relieve himself,” he second-guesses, chasing him across the floor.
Nikhila Palat pets another guest at the cafe, as Muffin enjoys her meal
In the midst of all this, our date struts in on four legs. She's bigger than most cocker spaniels and flaunts cotton-soft fur, which is a cascade of white and brown that ends in curls. She wags her tail incessantly, frolicking around and sniffing the space in delight. Her owner-parent, Nikhila Palat, is at ease. “She likes this place. She'll sit on the table once the food arrives,” she reveals.
The pet-themed interiors
We order her a starter of malai paneer ('195) and pizza ('195). While she licks the former clean, she doesn't seem to like the pizza, which is flat bread with cheese sans tomato sauce. When we ask the server about the ingredients that went into the making of the pet food, he says that it's a trade secret. “But rest assured, it is pet-friendly. We are all for pets,” he affirms.
From the regular menu, we order a Mexicana's famous (but not the drugs) - yes, that's what the dish is called. In layman's terms, it is a quesadilla stuffed with a cheesy savoury filling of veggies ('365). Dipped in a side of sour cream and salsa, it has a generous filling. The Alfredo pasta ('325) has a thick cheese sauce, and crunchy veggies like broccoli, bell peppers and mushrooms add some texture. The touch of basil makes it a palatable dish.
For dessert, Muffin gets whipped cream with honey and dog biscuits ('245). She licks the cream and ignores the biscuits. The bowl is too small for her mouth and flips over, leaving her face covered with whipped cream. Muffin is not happy, and settles only once her face is wiped clean. “The bowls should be flatter so the ears don't drop in the food. Also, it would have been nice to have a water bowl at every table. Some dogs don't like to share their water,” Palat suggests. Muffin's eyes seem a tad droopy. She likes her afternoon nap, Palat shares. It's time to leave, not before she gives an approving wag.
Time 12 pm to 12 am
At Pefe, shop 4/5, Ohh My Dog, Clanfield, opposite Ashoka Academy, Lokhandwala, Andheri West.
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