Summer time in India is synonymous with Mangoes. Restaurants and microbreweries are going all out to tame the ‘King of Fruits’ and put their best foot forward. Presenting their take on the summer special, is Café Felix; a restaurant that has very quickly turned out to be one of those places that almost always makes it to my list of recommendations for folks looking for a nice quiet evening out with great food and ambience. A couple of weeks ago, I was invited to try out the dishes from their on-going ‘Dear Mango…’ festival. As it turns out, this festival was also their way of celebrating Cafe Felix's first anniversary. Naturally, expectations were high.
Any summer festival deserves some delicious cocktails. My pick for the evening was the spicy concoction of vodka, white chocolate ganache, ripe mango and chilli. Being the very friendly bloggers that we are, we shared what everyone had ordered. And while I really liked my cocktail, I was wishing that I had ordered the Mango & Strawberry smoothie instead. We skipped the cold soup and went straight to the salads.
The salad enthusiast in me ( YES! I like salads also. It’s not craft beer and meat all the time okay???) was absolutely over the moon with every salad that came our way. I quite honestly have a very tough time choosing my favourite. There was the Prawn and Mango salad that was a lovely mix of crunchy prawns with celery, ruccola, honey mustard, balsamic and gorgonzola, that was deliciously sweet and made me do the very uncouth thing of saying “ Oh my God, I love this” with my mouth full of food . There was the Asian Steak Salad (steak, soba noodles, mango, peanut and black bean miso) whose meat was cooked to perfection. I’d be more than delighted with just a steak whose meat was cooked that way. And not forget the melon and mango salad that was a riot of summer flavours with melon, mango, fig, cashew nuts, and crispy fennel that was topped with Sambuca vinaigrette. I would more than delighted with a large bowl of salad from this menu.
The main course was a more sober affair with the Asian curries (served with pork and tofu variants) and basil cashew pilaf. The vegetarian option was a lot more flavourful with tofu, spinach, pumpkin, coconut and mango. While I’m a big fan of the gnocchi that’s served on the regular menu, the potato gnocchi with mango-apricot nage, pinenut and basil pesto was equally impressive.
Café Felix has always impressed me with their desserts. And the mango specials were no different with people getting just a tad impatient as pictures needed to be taken (#FoodBloggerLife) . I’m not even going to attempt to list favourites here. The mango tart with the raspberry mousse and vanilla bean meringue was a pretty sight to look at, with flavours to back up the very Instagram worthy dessert. The coconut and chia seed panna cotta with home-made mango ice cream is ideal for someone not looking to be too indulgent. Crepe fans will love the crepe with mango and mixed berry mascarpone. If you held a gun to my head and made me choose one dessert from the sinfully delightful set on the menu, I’d go with the frozen mango yogurt with seasonal fruits and cinnamon crispies. I really hate it when a dessert looks so pretty and one has to do the terrible task of destroying it. But oh well… that dessert led a good life and fulfilled its life’s purpose.
While there isn’t any particular end date for the festival, I would recommend heading over while we’re still in the mango season. In terms of cost, most of the dishes are priced between INR 495 and INR 545 (Except the pan seared salmon that’s naturally priced higher). Kudos to Chef Ritwik and the team at Café Felix for putting together yet another delightful festival. Here’s looking to more years of delightful food and dessert.