A Cafe with Heart

A while ago, I visited a lovely little cafe in Koramangala, which is actually the coming together of three different brands, Mitti Cafe | Enerjuvate | Oak + Hill Coffee, each with a different offering but an altogether shared ethos. Enerjuvate is the food, Oak + Hill, as the name gives away, is the coffee, and Mitti Cafe is the staff.

Mitti is about inclusivity, with all their people being differently abled, across physical, intellectual and emotional disabilities. So, the cafe is staffed by these folks, a cheery bunch who will surely put a smile on your face as they go about the business of taking orders, serving and clearing up.

In terms of the food and drink, Enerjuvate (which I had frequented in its previous iteration in Jayanagar, and which has since reopened on KR Road in this new format with Mitti and Oak + HIll) focuses on healthy, vegetarian offerings – and yes, the devout non-vegetarian that I am has and will again, visit, because the food’s delicious! My favorites are the multigrain pizzas which are a must-order, the sabudana khichdi, and the Buddha bowl and the hummus and pita platter. Oh, and if you love chaat like me, then you will be pleasantly surprised by the ragi cracker base Aloo and Dahi Paapri chaats – crunchy and flavorful.

Oak + Hill is the result of one man’s passion, who brings a variety of specialty hot and chilled, regular and flavored coffees with the beans sourced from his family’s estates in Chikmagalur and Coorg. As a sometimes coffee drinker, who likes flavored coffees only, the citrusy cold brew with tonic was my pick – the perfect pick me up on a summer day.

Here’s a look at all the food and drink I enjoyed…

The day I visited, the staff had been gathered from the different locations for a shoot with Better India and I thus got the chance to get a photograph with most of the team. It was lovely meeting and interacting with them, and with Alina (Mitt founder) and Wilfred (whose brainchild is Oak + Hill) though I missed Darshana (the main lady behind Enerjuvate).

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A South Bangalore Haven: Staycation at The Woodrose

In the midst of the madness of work, life, traffic, and more, a staycation provides the perfect antidote – without having to book a ticket or plan a lot, you check into a local hotel and have a mini vacation. So, an invite a couple weeks ago to spend the weekend at The Woodrose, the Brigade Group’s Club property located right next to the Brigade Millennium apartment complex in JP Nagar, was one I couldn’t pass up. After all, its not every day that there is a place just a couple miles from home, and I was also curious to check out the club facilities. And impressive they were! Badminton with a coach on hand, tennis court, a giant swimming pool with a lifeguard/coach, and a gorgeous property with plenty of greenery and cozy nooks, a lovely little library, and good F&B, too. Although we didn’t avail of these services, there is also a salon and spa, Ayurvedic clinic, and a store on premise.

 

What really stood out for me was the service – this is a team that takes the term ‘service with a smile’ seriously, and goes out of its way to ensure the comfort of guests, be it in-house room guests or club members and their families. Whether it was the librarian, the coaches, the service staff at the restaurant – everyone was smiling, welcoming, and interactive with all the guests. The rooms were well appointed, quite large, had every amenity in terms of toiletries as well as a mini fridge and something that I really depend on, being a tea drinker from the moment I wake up to the time I sleep – an electric kettle with mugs and tea/coffee setup. And since we were on the second floor, there was a cozy sit out area where I sat and pondered life, tea mug and Kindle on hand.

 

The food too, was a cut above what one usually expects from a club – homely fare, concentrating on Indian and Indian-Chinese with a smattering of Italian. Nothing greasy or over spiced, and in fact, attention paid to healthy options. The breakfast buffet spread was sumptuous, with Indian as well as Continental offerings. We enjoyed an al fresco dinner on the upper level/terrace space – highly recommended! With a cocktail, glass of wine or beer in hand and some dimsum, satay, or fried snacks to munch on, you can unwind and enjoy the serene space. The Sunday brunch – well it was really a lunch time and lunch menu focused meal, was packed with multi-generational families – clearly a popular activity with club members. There is a different live station each week – it was a chaat counter the Sunday we were there. On the campus there is a small outlet of The Baking Company, Brigade Group’s bakery, with cookies, tea cakes, muffins, and more, which are made in-house at the Woodrose kitchen, under the watchful eye of Executive Chef Prakash Kumar. Both sinful and healthy options are available, with millet being a focus. The Coffee and Lemon sponge cake is to die for – definitely will be stopping by to pick that up soon! The Bajra with peanuts and Raagi cookies were great too…again this felt like old school bakery or home bake products.

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The property is so serene and pretty, you won’t even believe you’re still in Bangalore, much less a bustling main road in JP Nagar! The trees and shrubs and plants, the feeling of being away from city and in a secluded space makes for such a welcome respite. And it is also popular for private events and parties, with the outdoor space rented out for such gatherings – there was something on every night of the weekend. The club membership is available in 1/3/5/10 year buckets, and is surprisingly affordable, if my eulogizing has gotten you interested. For people with kids, or who would avail of the sporting facilities, it’s really worth it – especially that pool! There was someone doing laps, breadth wise, to give you an idea of its size. If you just want to check it out for a weekend, or book rooms for someone visiting, then you can do so on the club website or by calling 9972305352 or 080 41995999.

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