Chennai Restaurant Reviews

Tryst Cafe, Neelangarai

A late, relaxed lunch with family was the plan for Pongal festival after puja and an elaborate breakfast at home. It was almost 3PM before we were even remotely close to being hungry. Decided to check out a place with an outdoor sitting. A few names popped up in my mind – Amethyst, Bella Ciao, Shiraz Art Cafe and Tryst Cafe. Few of these places closed around 3PM and 3:30PM and that wasn’t going to work! So wanted a place that was open for all-day dining ! Remembered a recent post from another foodie in one of the Facebook food groups, and immediately decided to try Tryst cafe, and I was glad I did!

It was almost 3:30PM by the time we reached there. I’ve seen this place earlier while passing through ECR, but mistook it for a Pâtisserie from the looks of it. Today I realized that there was ample seating space inside the cafe and a lovely outdoor seating too. We preferred to sit outdoors as that was the main motive of this lunch!
Today being a festival, it had to be a vegetarian lunch according to the order of the Home Minister 🙂 After a quick look at the menu, we were ready to order ! Felt a bit weird ignoring the Chicken dishes in the menu 😉
We ordered Mozarella Sticks and Garlic Bread with Cheese for starters. Both of them came with 8 pieces each and were very tasty! I should admit it was a bit of an overdose of cheese, but then, it was really tasty and the dip with Mozarella Sticks helped neutralize the cheesy feeling! I was a bit surprised with the plates, we got different patterns which is not usual in a restaurant. Not that it was a problem for me, but just an observation! There were only two Vegetarian options for Pizzas and we opted for both of them – Margherita and Siciliana. Only later realized that they were quite close in taste, felt should have ordered something different. Would have been nice if the waiter would have suggested that proactively, anyway, no worries, the pizzas tasted very good. I would have personally liked the crust a little crispier, but definitely its not worth a complaint. Loaded with cheese, the thin-crust wood-fired pizzas were very good! We also ordered an Alfredo-Veg Pasta with Spaghetti. This was absolutely yummy with loads of cheese, crunchy vegetables, and the kids loved it! Ordered two drinks – Mint Cooler and Blue Hawaiian, I liked the latter better. Mint cooler was almost served at room temperature. I would have definitely liked it chilled. Didn’t want to add ice cubes, so in the end had to leave half of it. One black Coffee, exactly how I loved it! A fitting end to a wonderful lunch.
The place also had quite a few cats, probably pets of the owner. The cats got the kids quite excited, and in fact came pretty close to the table a few times. They didn’t disturb us one bit, so we had absolutely no problems. People who have a phobia for cats and dogs, please be informed. They can get a bit close to the table.
This was one of the very satisfying dining experiences I have had in the recent past! A relaxed, late lunch, seated in a pleasing outdoor setting, eating tasty food, enjoying my coffee, spending quality time with family, couldn’t have asked for anything better !
If at all I had to point out a couple of minor things, the table that we sat in had dry stains probably from the glasses of previous guests, and it wasn’t wiped clean. A guy did come and wipe it with a dry cloth, but it wasn’t enough, a wet cloth would have helped. Ensuring a clean table, especially when its glass-top and even a small stain was going to be so obviously visible, is very basic, and i would expect that in a place like this. The waiter was initially a bit grumpy, no welcoming gesture, no pleasant smile, it really looked like he was doing an obligation by removing the ash tray, when I asked him to do so. As we progressed with the meal, he was much better, smiling, and things got along really well after that! That’s also just an observation, not a complaint. I did thank him for a wonderful service at the end of the meal.
We were very full and decided to skip the desserts. In my mind I already decided I was going to come back for their Chicken dishes, and would try desserts then ! The lunch cost us a little less than 2K and was absolutely worth it!

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