Phone: +91 9444448603
Address: First floor, Express Avenue Mall, Whites Rd, Royapettah, Chennai, Tamil Nadu 600014 India
Time: 11:00 AM to 10:00 PM
Meals for two: Rs. 400
Cuisines: Fast Food, Beverages, Desserts
Facilities: Indoor Seating
Mixed Cafe, Royapettah, Chennai: Decor
Coming up the escalator, right in the middle of the landing, an open eatery greets me. And I simply cannot miss the Mixed Cafe branding.
The concept is good, and the decor utilitarian. No fuss, just plain metal and wood seating, movable tables, comfortable cushions to lean back on in case you are here for the long haul.
Mixed Cafe, Royapettah, Chennai: Food
All cooking and food prep happen in the central kitchen close by, and no food is carried forward to the next day. They call it ‘healthy fast food’ — a concept they explored in Australia. No refined flours or oils or sugars are used. The menu is essentially on three pages and has salads, soups, sandwiches, wraps, beverages, juices, smoothies and desserts complete with calories you would get from each item, dressings included.
I try the Smoky Shrimp and Peas Soup. No soup thickener touched this stuff in my bowl. All is well till the shrimp in the soup disintegrates in my mouth. No shrimp texture, whatsoever. I’m told this is because the soup is kept at 60*C so that it arrives to the table at a palatable temperature. Wish they would add the cooked shrimp just before serving, like they do with salads.
The Drumstick and Lentil Soup is different. It has winged Murungai seeds intact and carries flavors from the vegetable quite nicely along with the dal’s texture.
By far the best, in my opinion, is the Mushroom and Parmesan Soup. I’m wondering if it is the mushroom or the parmesan. Maybe it’s both, I conclude. As I spoon up the last vestiges of it, I realize the seasoning is just right, as is the temperature.
As simple as it looks, Mixed Cafe is complicated. Because, the three-page menu offers so many permutations and combinations. One thing is clear, though, I like the dressings that go along with the salads. I liked the Tangy Peanut Dressing with the Bocconcini Cherry Tomato Salad.
Sandwiches, made using proper whole wheat and baked in their kitchen, are noteworthy because of the bread.The fillings though need a bit of sprucing up to become memorable.
Memorable, though are their desserts. I must commend them on their Orange Almond Slice. Moist, yet crumbly, sweet yet zingy, it is made using almond meal, orange juice and orange zest. A little jaggery sweetens it without going over the top. Another one that needs mention is the Golden Harvest Cookie made of atta, jaggery and butter: Gur Papdi or Sukhdi in a different shape.
Plus & Minus:
Healthy fast food, eat fresh and no preservatives are great ideas. A little of the unexpected could blend in nicely with the expected adding surprise elements without being totally unfamiliar. Ease your customers into healthy eating by adding a bit more familiar and loved flavors to your food. It is totally possible, and I know this because of the really nice salad dressings I tasted. Attention to tastes, flavors and textures will go a long way.