The Rogue Elephant. Good food. But … service charge.

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The Rogue Elephant is an odd name for a garden café, but one had heard good things about this place, and decided to take a chance.

Strictly speaking, the term “café” applies to a small place that specialises in coffee and snacks. But what the heck.

This discreet little café is located next to Krishna Rao park in Basavanagudi, one part of Bangalore that still retains some of its original character.

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The café is part of an old Bangalore home and is flanked by another classical bungalow. The ambience is quiet and homely, the decor subdued and rustic. A huge gulmohur tree provides shade and an avian concert as well. Barbets, koels, tailorbirds and sunbirds dart to and fro over my head. Thankfully, no monkeys.

The food is advertised as Mediterranean and North Indian. Wonder why they take the trouble to offer pedestrian stuff like palak paneer, aloo tikkies, and similar stuff that I can get anywhere else.

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I start with roasted pumpkin soup, billed as the soup of the day. It’s hearty, non-spicy, piping hot, as I like it. A trifle heavy on the butter, though.

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Hummus with grilled chicken.

The waiter recommends hummus with grilled chicken and pita bread. The hummus is well made, served with two olives and a hefty amount of olive oil. The grilled chicken is not exactly world-class, but I’d say it’s acceptable.

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Spaghetti with meat sauce.

A half-portion of spaghetti with meat sauce follows. Now this I like. The quantity is right for one lonely soul and the meat sauce is generous.

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For dessert one indulges in apple pie and ice cream – in direct defiance of my cardiologist’s orders. The apple pie is, well, chalega.

One finishes the meal with french-pressed coffee, strong and fresh, the kind of stuff that puts hair on a man’s chest. Nice!

Prices are steep. My meal cost me about Rs. 800/-. And …

Minus points for: Bottled water being sold at twice the retail price. And the 10% service charge.

For these reasons, in spite of the good food and ambience, I will not eat here again.

Cheers … Srini.

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