Cafe Arpan in Juhu has a warm vibe, scrumptious snacks, and it's run by 13 differently abled adults
Kiran Rao at the opening of Cafe Arpan in Juhu. Pic/Ashish Rane
For the past three years, a team of 13 differently abled individuals, guided by Yash Charitable Trust, have been successfully running Arpan Tiffin Service in Juhu. Taking the endeavour to the next level, the trust opened Cafe Arpan in Juhu on Thursday.
The inauguration was attended by the ever-cool Kiran Rao, and the response has been overwhelming, says trustee Ashaita Mahajan. The café is run by adults with developmental and intellectual disabilities, such as Down syndrome and autism.
Spinach and Corn Pav
On day one, we walk in for lunch past a teal green pastel door that reads, "Come on in!" Inside, photo frames of the staff in many moods don the walls. We take a seat and a server walks up with a big smile, and the menu. "Please take your time to go through the menu, and order at the counter. Welcome to the café," he tells us. We order a spinach, corn and cheese pav (Rs 80), falafel tikkis (Rs 120), special Arpan salad (Rs 100) and the soup of the day (Rs 100). The food is brought to us by the same server.
First, we break the tikki into two, and a hot peas and chickpea mash breathes out hot steam. The salad has pasta with crunchy bell peppers and black olives in a lightly herbed seasoning, but it is drowned in a pool of olive oil. The soup — mixed vegetable with corn, spring onions, carrots and cabbage — is peppery with a tang of tomato. For dessert, we order Ferrero Rocher and caramel brownies (Rs 100 each), which are decadent and chunky pieces. We take home a box full.
The café has a beautifully warm feel, and we already picture ourselves reading a book or working on our laptop on one of our next visits here. The service is impeccable, and the staff is ever-smiling and eager to make us have a hearty experience.
TIME 11 am to 8 pm
AT Shop no 20, Juhu Ruturaj CHS Ltd, opposite SNDT College, Juhu Road.
Cafe Arpan didn’t know we were there. The Guide reviews anonymously and pays for meals.