Nostalgia hits you as you enter the Koel Cafe courtyard, which brings back memories of watching your grandparents sit back, basking in the early morning light, in the ‘sehen’ at home. Revolving around the same ideology, Koel, café is where you will find a lot of old school, familiar faces who’d come there to sometimes simply have a soothing and refreshing ‘shikanjabeen’ to cool down the worries of these long summer days.
In this feast of aesthetics, one finds the freshest ingredients worked into recipes that are a treat for simple food lovers. Althoughshikanjabeen has been the signature drink since its inception, Fire and Ice is a pleasant discovery, with lime, mint and a hint of green chilly that leaves your taste buds excited and wanting to explore more on the menu.
The maturity of flavors in the cuisine establishes confidence in a place that serves nothing but comfort food at its best.Paneer tikka on a bed of chopped salad accompanied by toastedkulchas and homemadeimli ki chatni(tamarind sauce) is perfectly succulent and just melts in your mouth. Simplicity and honesty in flavors, to me, is koel’s signature style, which is reflected in all its entrees fromdhoklas to the spinach and artichoke dip (served with a generous helping of bread).
The summer delights include a scrumptious raw mango salad, which can be served with prawns or chicken, as per your choice, and yet again a serving that leaves you feeling satisfied with the experience of those flavors. Their seasonal menu of Turkish feta cheese rolls with mango salsa and a mango smoothie with a hint of pineapple is just what you need when wanting an overwhelming encounter to satisfy your love for the king of all fruits.
Venturing to the west, pasta alfredo withherbed chicken, just the right amount of sauce coating the pasta and perfectly balanced flavored and Teriyaki chicken served with Korean rice with a hint of garlic and pepper are for those partial towards continental flavors.
Some just stroll in for their love of chocolate lava or koel’s black chocolate pudding, which lifts your mood instantly at any given time. You can rely on the chocolate to ooze out as soon as you dig into it, a warm and sweet heaven in a plate.
With a good selection of local music in the backgroundand laughter of the birds complimenting that of the folks making merry over delightful food, Koel, is truly a spiritual experience, with the scent of lime leaves, the hues of green and the soothing sight of lilies floating in water. Truly a food-spa for the wandering soul.