Review: Wake & Bake Café, The Mall Road, Shimla, India

The balmiest café I have visited so far.

The brown wooden stairs lead us to Wake & Bake Café; two (one and a half, given that one is headless) cats welcome us. My eyes lit up as I enter. Misha with her warm smile receives us. I and dad grab a seat as he admires the wall with abstract figures. My hands continue to tremble and shake but the balmy café quickly warms me up. I look at the seat next to mine, it is occupied by a young couple, they look happy in their world (the newly wed world).

Wake & Bake Café offers a blend of Italian, Continental and Middle Eastern cuisines. I decide and order a cappuccino, Margherita pizza, and dad orders Chai (tea). Unlike the everyday pizza we eat, in Wake & Bake Café you get square shaped pizza. The Margherita pizza is neatly done, nicely topped with cheese. The crust is not very crunchy but I would say it is on the gooey side and I have no complaints as it melts in my mouth. At Rs. 70, the dish is a good deal.

The hot cup of cappuccino is divine and goes well with the Margherita pizza. The Chai has a calming effect on dad as he forgets that mum has asked us to come back as soon as we can.
By the way you must try the Engadine and Carrot cake, they are extraordinary and the sweetness is apt.

Interiors of Wake & Bake Café

The interiors have been artfully designed and shouts and horns for Misha, the lady who painted the mystical wall and the work is in progress. The tone of the interior is warm with wooden ceiling and furniture, and yellow walls. You can sip your coffee and munch your lunch with the colossal Himalayas, just grab your plates (you can ask for some help here) and climb up the stairs. The porch, with tables for 6-8 people, provides a stunning view of the mountains and trust me, you cannot ask for more.

Trance music fills the café and brings out the creativity (if you happen to be a writer, poet, musician or dancer). I am in love with the whole look and feel of this place and would highly recommend my readers to come here and have a tasty time.

Rating: 4.5/5

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Review of Agra Chaat House, Sadar Bazaar, Agra

This chaat shop is economical and hygienic.

The bustling Sadar Bazaar of Agra decorated with lights as shopkeepers invite people in their shops. Sadar is located in the cantonment area near Idgah bus stand and can be, rightly, called the Greater Kailash, M block market of Agra. The market is much organised, unlike the other markets in the city.

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Agra Chaat House, that’s the name of the food joint, is situated in the middle of the food gali (street) of Sadar Bazaar. After completing the shopping task for my sister’s upcoming wedding, we decided to eat at Agra Chaat House. The shop, with no hesitation whatsoever, claims to be a ‘Famous Shop of Agra’ and by looking at the crowd I can say they are quite renowned.

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Prices of various dishes offered here are economical. I ordered a plate of aalo tikki (Rs. 25 per plate) and Dahi papdi (Rs. 25 per plate).

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The aalo tikki is served with a combination of soont (red chutney) and green mint chutney, garnished with coarsely chopped coriander leaves and dry fruits. The tikki is lip smacking and the soont does wonders to make it a memorable dish. Crust of the tikki is crispy and the core is soft prepared with potatoes and a variety of Indian spices.

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However, the dahi papdi is not as tasty as I thought it would be. The papdis are topped, generously with dahi and neatly garnished, again, with coarsely chopped coriander leaves but fails to excite my taste buds.
Agra Chaat House is 55 years old and a decent place to satisfy your hunger for chaat. If you are in Agra, you can visit the place and give a high five to Mr. Chaurasia, owner, Agra Chaat House for the awesome aalo tikki.
Rating: 3/5