For a middle-aged heart patient who’s intolerant to several items, finding a good place to eat out in a city that exclusively enjoys spicy oily junk food, is a remarkable challenge.
The Rogue Elephant is an odd name for a garden café, but one had heard good things about it, and decided to take a chance. This rustic little cafe is located next to Krishna Rao park in Basavangudi, one part of Bangalore that still retains some of its original character. No vulgar condos and foul-mouthed H1B types here.
The café is part of an old Bangalore home and is flanked by another classical bungalow. Ambience is quiet and homely. A huge gulmohur tree provides shade and an avian concert as well. Barbets, koels, tailorbirds and sunbirds dart to and fro over my head. Thankfully, no monkeys.
In any eating house I venture into, the one factor that really really pisses me off is bad co-diners. This place is a pleasant change. The people who feed here are generally well behaved and keep their voices down. Another plus – no loud music.
The food is advertised as Mediterranean and North Indian. Wonder why they take the trouble to offer pedestrian stuff like palak paneer, aloo tikkies and the like. The Mediterranean offerings are actually pretty good.
I start with roasted pumpkin soup, billed as the soup of the day. It’s hearty, non-spicy, piping hot, as I like it. A trifle heavy on the butter, but a good robust soup to start a meal.
The waiter recommends hummus with grilled chicken and pita bread. The hummus is well made, with a nice smooth texture, served with two olives and a hefty amount of olive oil. The grilled chicken is not exactly world-class, however.
A half-portion of spaghetti with meat sauce follows. The quantity is right for one lonely soul and the meat sauce is generous.
For dessert one indulges in apple pie and ice cream – in direct defiance of my cardiologist’s orders. The apple pie is passable.One finishes the meal with french-pressed coffee, strong and fresh.Prices are steep. My meal cost me about Rs. 800/-.
Overall impression – chalega. Not bad.
Minus points for: Bottled water being sold at twice the legal retail price. And the 10% service charge. Which is why I do not strongly recommend this place.
Cheers … Srini.