Roots-Cafe in The Park

Visited this place on a Sunday morning with a group of friends. The idea was to catch up over breakfast and Roots-Cafe in the Park played the perfect host. Set amidst the Rajiv Gandhi Renewable Energy Park (close to Iffco Chowk metro station in Gurgaon), the cafe is an ideal place to laze around in a weekend. The straw thatched roofs and the bamboo infrastructure exude coziness and  instantly take you away from the hullabaloo of the usual fancy cafes serving European breakfasts that have thrived almost everywhere in the capital. The beauty of the place is further augmented by the presence of a small back lawn like place containing a few low earthen benches and tables and stand fans at each corner to ensure a comfortable time spent in a hot sultry summer morning in Delhi.

Staying true to its exterior, the food that you would expect here is nothing fancy or out of the box. The cafe serves simple yet delectable food popularly made in all Indian homes. The breakfast menu comprises of the very basic egg and bread, poha (flattened rice), chila (pancakes made of gram flour or pulses) and upma (stir fried semolina with vegetables) which are some of the very popular Indian breakfast items. To be honest, while flipping through the pages of the menu, I got quite excited to be able to taste the popular home breakfast items outside home. We ordered ‘Railway masala omlette sandwich’ and ‘Bombay egg bhurji on toast’ for the non-vegetarian bunch and ‘Stuffed moong dal chila’, ‘Lemon vermicelli with peanuts’ and ‘Pesto, tomato and cheese sandwich’ for our vegetarian friends. I loved the Bombay egg bhurji on toast since the egg bhurji had the right balance of spices and tanginess coming from the ketchup. Many like their egg bhurji or scrambled eggs creamy and buttery but I like it spicy and hence it was apt for my taste. The Railway masala omlette on the other hand was slightly bland but one plate of it will keep you full for the next few hours. I loved the lemony flavour in the vermicelli but the moong dal chila would have been better off had it not been stuffed. The pesto, tomato and cheese sandwich was again very fresh and filling. I also had a banana and peanut butter shake which was lip smacking and so was the banana oreo shake but was disappointed for not being able to taste the lemon grass iced tea which I was really looking forward to.  Overall the food was tasty but not great but the portions are large enough to get you going without food till late afternoon.

Things that were disappointing about this otherwise warm and cozy cafe were the service and also the fact that there are fewer non-vegetarian options in the menu as compared to their vegetarian spread. I checked out the full menu and even for lunch and dinner there were not many non-vegetarian options. The lack of chicken, mutton or fish in their menu would restrict the non-vegetarians from visiting this place much. Also the service is not up to the mark. I assume that the place is crowded at all times over the weekend and so it would be wise to order everything that you want to eat in a single go because ordering in steps at this place would make you wait till eternity.

Nevertheless, visit this place more for its ambiance if not for its food. It would be a great hang-out for vegetarians and eggetarians and the reasonable pricing makes this place a crowd puller. Many might just think that why spend money on poha and upma when you can make them so easily at home but it is a different feeling to taste them outside home once in a while. Visit this place during winters if you want to indulge in long chatty sessions with your close group of friends over a few simple home-cooked food items.

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