A perfect hangout zone near Park Circus !

That horrible situation of being stuck at Park Circus with friends, with the only option to hang out being the very family friendly Biriyani-Mughlai restaurants, now has a solution, which is An Idea. This lovely café has newly opened , just opposite to Haji Saheb, near Meher Ali Road crossing, away from the hustle and bustle of the Park Circus Traffic.

I was invited here with Team Panchphoron for a food tasting session. An Idea is quite spacious, and spread over two floors. While both the floors are well decorated with multicolored posters and photo frames with inspiring quotes, it is the first floor which sort of gives a more cosy feel , and is more suitable for romantic dine out. The seats are cushioned and comfortable. We got seated in the ground floor. I liked the idea of placing the seats at a good distance from one another which will not hamper the privacy of the customers. Also, it was good to find that the cafe hasn’t made the most out of its space and has focused mainly on the comfort of its customers.

We were served with gum flavoured hookah which I didn’t have, but my fellow foodies loved it.

Since it is a café, we sampled a wide range of mocktails:

1. Blue Lagoon – This was a really refreshing drink. Made on soda base, it was slightly frothy and citrus in flavour, with a kick of lime.

2. Mango Smoothie – Even though this drink was made out of rich Mango Puree mixed with milk, it wasn’t too sweet, just the way I like it. However, the ice cubes weren’t crushed properly when mixed to the drink, making the texture coarse, and difficult to sip with a straw or otherwise.

3. Green Apple Lemonade – My favourite among all the mocktails here, the subtle green apple essence gave the drink a new dimension. This is a perfect drink for a summertime hangout.

4. Ice Frappe – The drink was slightly watery and tasted average. Also, the vanilla ice cream topping wasn’t a proper scoop. So, it was poor in terms of presentation too.

5. Masala Lemonade – The masala lemonade was also good and tangy with masala and lime.

We were also served hot chocolate, in the hot drinks category, which was pretty rich, think and welcoming.

We then moved on to the burger and sandwiches section, where we sampled a variety of them. Among burgers, we had egg fried burger, veg burger, chicken burger and chicken cheese burger. All of the burgers were brilliant. The bun was soft and the patty was well-seasoned, soft and moist. The egg fried burger came with a perfectly cooked sunny side up egg, and the chicken cheese burger had a layer of cheese. All the burgers came with tomatoes and lettuce to add some freshness to the protein bases, and were generously drizzled with spicy mayonnaise dip.

Next we had sunny side chicken club sandwich and veg sandwich. Again, both were brilliant. The stuffing of the chicken sandwich with a layer of chicken sandwiched between two layers of egg was heavenly – one of the best sandwiches I had till date. The veg sandwich was stuffed with mashed potato, tomato, onions, etc.

Unlike the Burgers and Sandwiches, the pizzas didn’t impress us as much. The tandoori chicken pizza was not so well made. The crust was thick and dry. Also, the topping had generous chunks of chicken but the taste was average. However, An idea special veg pizza, which we had next, was better than the chicken pizza. The crust was well baked and not as hard and dry as the earlier one. It was topped with cheese, pineapple, corn, olives and other veggies which tasted good.

The next dish was mix sauce pasta. This was good except for the fact that the penne needed to be a little more boiled and the sauces were not mixed properly in the entire pasta.

Crispy chilli chicken was presented to us in a very typical way which didn’t appeal to any of us. The dish tasted average as the chicken was crisp from outside but dry from inside.

To end our meal, we had brownie with chocolate sauce and vanilla ice cream. This was the most disappointing part of the meal ! The brownie tasted very poor and was not at all hot as it should have been. Neither was the chocolate sauce hot. The vanilla ice cream scoop at the top was again in the form of a chunk and not a proper scoop.

We had a good time but there are a few areas which need a bit of work. The music was too loud. Also, the staff was too miser in providing napkins. Overall, the place has scope for much improvement. Some of the dishes like drinks, burgers and sandwiches were brilliant. The pizza, pasta and the brownie were average and hence need improvement. Also, incorporating some more dessert options in the menu apart from brownie would be beneficial.

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