Bicycles and memories at Ciclo Cafe



Ciclo Cafe on Gandhi Mandapam Road, Kotturpuram has a pretty facade - big bay windows and bicycles hanging from them. Finally I got around to going there last week with a couple of charming ladies. As one enters the cafe, the cycle store is to the left and on the right is an interesting rustic seating area. However, we were told it was closed for service and were directed upstairs instead.

Cycles and cycle parts hung all around, cycle wheels replaced the legs of some tables, a clock with a cycle wheel face. Uber attentive staff with earphones led us to seats near a large window overlooking the main road and a cycle hung from the window. The space was quite cosy, wooden tables and chairs with colourful upholstered seats and at one end were display cases that held savoury pies, tarts and lasagna and delectable desserts.

Lasagna and quiches

We placed our orders - hot chocolate, Americano and a latte machiatto. The chocolate was good but the machiatto seemed to have an identity crisis - it was the colour of milky chocolate but had no flavour of coffee. However it was steaming hot and just right for the cool setting of the cafe.

Latte macchiato

Waiting for the appetisers, my eyes went back to the bicycle on the window and I remembered the time when my brother tried to teach me to ride one. I must have been about 6 years old. Dad was a doctor in government service and we lived in a huge house with an even huger garden spread over 3 levels, the house sitting squat in the middle level. All my previous attempts to learn cycling ended in failure but fed up of being called a coward, I finally agreed to be taught one last time.

We got onto the cycle, he behind me and we did a kind of a slow pedal from the top of the driveway to the front of the house, or rather he pedalled while I stuck out my legs. We took a curve around the side of the house, and that's when I realised his intentions. By then we had picked up speed and as we turned the corner, the steeper back slope came into view. I tried to jump off but too late - we flew over the top of the slope and I swear if not for the chicken coop at the bottom of the garden, we would have flown straight over the fence and into the neighbour's compound. Instead we fell against the chicken wire in a heap of arms and legs, screams from me, raucous laughter from him, chickens squawking and flying in all directions and the final ignominy of the cycle falling on us. Well, that was enough to wake Mum up from her afternoon siesta and she came out to investigate. With threats of "Wait till your father gets home" ringing in our ears, we untangled ourselves and while my brother tried to do some hasty repairs, I took myself off to the storeroom where I ministered to myself  with the full contents of a bottle of iodine and several rolls of gauze and plaster.

Chicken strips; pesto bocconcini

Our starters brought me out of my reverie - chicken strips and crumb fried pesto flavoured bocconcini. The chicken was sliced really thin and though fried to a crisp brown, was tender but a tad under seasoned. The bocconcini was deliciously crisp and thankfully the pesto was not overpowering. It was served with dots of mild red sauce. Both starters came with a bit of green salad and a dip.

Pepperoni pizza

A large thin crust pizza with pepperoni came next. It looked delish, plenty of pepperoni slices all over but I missed the air dried smokey flavour of  a well made pepperoni. Other than that, it was an impressive pizza with a generous amount of topping.

 

Classic beef burger with bacon was recommended and we were not at all disappointed. The bun was fresh and soft, the herbed patty was juicy it had cheddar cheese, sliced tomatoes, gherkins and lettuce. An extremely well crafted burger that held together till the last bite. It was served with fries and cubes of pickled veg. That was a nice touch.

Tough choices to make for dessert. These were some of the things on offer:

Chocolate crumble tart; salted caramel cheesecake; creme brulee; flourless chocolate cake

Finally we chose these -

Salted caramel cheesecake

The salted caramel cheesecake was served warm. I missed the tanginess of a regular cheesecake; the texture reminded me a of a light bread pudding for some strange reason. All the same, it was delicious and before we dug in, admired the plating.

Creme brulee

We also had a creme brulee which was ok though I would have liked a slightly thicker layer of burnt sugar on the top.

Overall, it was good food, generous portions and good service. Everything we ordered was served fairly quickly. It's a nice place to catch up with friends for a meal and a bit of a chinwag. A meal for 2 should work out to about 1600/ including taxes, a little pricey considering it's a cafe.

  

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