A Full House
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Over the last couple of years, there are sectors in Chandigarh that have unknowingly (or perhaps not) turned into food hubs. If Sector 26 is seen as catering to serious fine-dining, then Sector 35 is definitely the fast food hub targeting mostly the youth. Both sectors are tight on space and the result has been the mushrooming of stand-alone cafes and restaurants in unlikely areas (read inner markets of the sectors). Sector 7 seems to be a popular destination and the latest to set up shop here is Cuppa, a Bangalore-based cafe chain.
With presence in metros such as Delhi and Kolkata, this is Cuppa's first outlet in Chandigarh. The location is convenient and the first thing that strikes you as you make your way in is the uncanny resemblance to a popular cafe chain with its cheery red walls and familiar ambience. But the similarities end there. For, instead of achingly low lounge sofas (there's just one), you have comfortable armchairs and round tables made from a cane-like material. Given how most cafes in the city spend no thought on their seating, Cuppa gets brownie points for this. Considering that the Chandigarh Cuppa is the chain's bistro format, the menu is fat and brings in more than just quick bite options. For one, the tea selection is as robust as the coffee line-up. We were quick to settle down for the exotic sounding South African Honey and Moroccan Mint tea. While waiting for the tea, we flip through the menu that seems to pack in quite a bit for a cafe, hop-scotching across Indian, Continental and Chinese cuisines.
Looking to please multiple palates and the fact that cafes, now with free wi-fi, have customers lingering on, the dining options are impressive indeed. Though tempted, we skipped the sizzlers and the very Punjabi delicacy called Gobhi Manchurian (the brand seems to have researched this well) for "Basket-o-fries" and a portion of Spaghetti Arrabbiata . The mint tea will appeal to those who prefer stronger flavours and for us, the almost silken South African Honey with its subtle aftertaste was worth every sip. So was the spaghetti that stood out for being no-fuss yet spot on with the taste. The fries basket brought in potato chips, paneer and mushroom nuggets along with a surprise ó onion rings. The latter is available as a side dish and will figure in our next order as well. On the flip side, a perkier service will surely make Cuppa worth raising a toast to. The prices are a bit steep but value for money.
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