When you've landed yourself in a pickle for forgetting to wish your best friend on time on his or her birthday, a hotline to the Hot Oven in Vijayanagar is just what you need. Open on all the days of the week, this café/restaurant/bakery has the uncanny knack of baking melt-in-the-mouth fresh cream cakes of any flavour in just 10 minutes!

Among the 15 and more fruit flavours it has on offer, some of the unique ones are lemon, green apple and guava, including gateaux (a mixture of two or more flavours). In chocolate itself, you get to choose from over 20 combinations — truffle, choco tower and pina colada included.

The staff and the owner live in the house attached to the bakery. So all you need to do is ring the doorbell in case of a cake emergency and voila! Ten minutes later, you're on your way to celebrate a special occasion with your loved ones.

It is also perhaps the only café that works on an exclusively vegetarian-Italian cuisine. Their open house panini with jalapeno, onions, tomatoes and mayonnaise is the perfect combination of the sour, salty and tangy breaking away at the slightest nudge. The spinach and tomato pasta served with garlic bread is a perfect light snack. The green apple delight served with crushed ice and the lingering flavour of mint is a refreshing thirst quencher.

Not only are the pasta and panini exclusive Hot Oven recipes, but so is the mayonnaise.

The cakes are baked right down in the basement. If you ask nicely, you may just get a live demonstration of ‘how to bake a chocolate cake in ten minutes'... like I did.

An exclusive vegetarian item, something called ‘veg like non-veg', is a special delicacy from South Africa. If you order the chili sandwich chicken-style, what you get is a specially made dish of soya and wheat, chicken-style!

“The idea behind this section of the menu is to cater to the non-vegetarians while also convincing them that vegetarian food can be just as delicious,” says owner Prashanth Jagannath. “Most customers who try this dish are those who are recent vegetarian converts and are valiantly fighting off their cravings.”

The sheer variety that the Hot Oven has to offer — homemade chocolates, puffs, burgers, milkshakes, ice-creams, wraps — makes you wish you had a bigger appetite.

Keywords: Hot Oven cafe

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Paper PlateJanuary 13, 2011