Tiruchi’s new cafes tempt with healthy breads, cheesecakes and a range of coffees

Lazy summer evenings spent sipping coffee and biting into croissants- conjures up images of a Parisian avenue, doesn’t it? Thanks to new cafes that have sprung up in the city, experience the same in Tiruchi now.

Rocks Cafe on Sastri Road in Thillai Nagar is new coffee in an old mug- the three month old venture is an offshoot of a 40 years old chain. “We provide premium service and quality here when compared to older shops which were just bakeries,” says Vasu, the cafe in-charge. As delectable as the wood flooring are the jam doughnuts and fresh cream cakes, which Vasu admits are the most popular items. The cheese-less paneer pizzas are an innovation here. They are light to eat. But the mushroom puffs are oily. The ubiquitous chaat counter also finds a place. Praveen, a regular, swears by the coffee, “This is a new experience for Tiruchi and Rocks is of late, my preferred place for a cuppa.” But the coffee served in plastic cups takes away the classy ambience.

For a touch of the exotic, head to ‘Bread & Spread’, the Malaysian café at Femina Shopping Mall which opened less than a month ago. “We are trying to introduce Tiruchiites to tiramisu and cheesecakes,” says Shamim, manager of the café. “But our real focus is on a live sandwich counter for customers who prefer a healthy snack.” The café is planning to bring in special flour, not available in India, for preparing Malaysian delicacies, according to Mohamed Abubacker, managing director. “As of now, we sell various confections including 3D picture cakes,” he adds. The café also serves up its own blend of coffee. “I found the blueberry cheesecake filling and the mousse smooth, but the apple pie crust was too dry,” points out Kishan Nageswaran, a college student. However, the café is still in the development stage and several items are being introduced on trial. Talking of future plans, Shamim says, “We plan to launch a door delivery service for baked items. Customers will also be able to order online.”

Another café that has attracted attention in Cantonment is Cake Bee (formerly Blaack Forest), near Campion School. The delicious black forest cakes and the cappuccino cake with Italian coffee essence, is worth a try. The choco truffle is fresh, declares Arjun, a customer. Nodding in agreement, Jeyakrithika, another customer, feels, “There should be more snacks like spring rolls.” Cake Bee sells 12 varieties of bread including Spinach and Cheese bread. “We have something for everyone’s palate and budget”, says Rajesh, one of the managing directors. “We use no preservatives, so none of our items have a shelf life of more than two or three days.” Being small and drab, the café may lack in ambience, but notes left by customers stuck on the walls, give it a friendly and youthful feel. A live counter serving sandwiches and shakes is to come up soon.

Healthy foods seem to be the in thing in the new cafes that target a certain clientele. These cafes may probably usher in a new food scene in Tiruchi, transforming food from a necessity to an experience.