In a city where you find a Cafe Coffee Day outlet at every nook and corner, a good cafe with good coffee and good food is always welcome. Cafe Studio, located bang opposite the Bengal Tennis Association in Sector 3 in Salt Lake, is the kind of cafe that the city needs. It is neither over the top or too expensive, but it gives you a definite feel good vibe. And that is what I believe a cafe should do. A quick review.
The coffee better be nice: If you call yourself a cafe, the coffee better be nice. I would surely be very harsh against a cafe that serves bland or carelessly made coffee, Cafe Studio has the usual coffees on the menu, with only a Hazlenut Cappuccino among flavoured coffee options, but the coffee is damn good. The Americano is full bodied and richly textured and it is not black coffee.
So is the cappuccino. The ratio of foamed milk and coffee is right, it is bold in taste and toned down appropriately.
Debasish Paul, Chef, Cafe Studio says that they use imported Brazilian beans for their coffee and there are strict checks on the roasting, the ratios, specification and all other details. And it does show. You can visit the place just for a cup of coffee after work. And your day is made.
Food for thought: The food items are nothing too fancy, but interesting nevertheless. As Paul says, they offer cafe food, a few dishes that rank high on the health quotient and also main course meals as dinner options. He particularly mentions the healthy burger which is a patty wrapped in lettuce leaves and the lasagne uses thin slices of vegetables instead of the lasagne sheet and is gluten free, though it is almost of a similar texture. But the food does not get caught in a healthy food trap, there popular dishes- Balinese Satay Chicken with sweet chili sauce, Quesadilla Veg with salsa sauce, Chicken Ala Greque which is accompanied by a feta cheese salad and the sinful walnut brownie.
The choice of starters, salads, sandwiches, pizzas, pastas, risottos , main courses and desserts gives the menu a lot of variety.
Value for money: What many new and fancy joints in the city mess up with is the price. A good location, good food and a good ambience does not necessarily mean that prices need to be like a 5 star restaurant. I guess many of these places spend loads on marketing and have to recover their prices. The prices at Cafe Studio are reasonable and as the chef says they do not want to be very expensive or exclusive. “ We provide the best ingredients but we try and keep our dishes budget friendly,’he says.
One thing I would like them to do is to open earlier so that people can go their morning cuppa. Now the opening at 11.30 is a bit too late. And yes, if they maintain their standards of food and coffee, they are sure to make a mark soon in the Kolkata cafe scene.