Soul Cafe, MG Road – Bangalore

soul Soul cafe is a swanky looking, hookah-serving, cafe on MG road. On any given day, one can see hordes of young ones sitting in the crowded open air seating area of the place, taking drags from a hookah like no tomorrow (and of course with each drag, posing for the mandatory mug shot taken using a shitty low res cell-phone camera).

My wife and I have been thinking about paying the place a visit since the last few months and when we were at MG road this afternoon, we finally decided to have lunch at the place.

Well, the big banner announcing a buffet for Rs. 222 /-  did play it’s part in luring us. I’m not a hookah lover, nor am I a lover of Bangalore’s polluted air and so we decided to sit inside in air conditioned comfort.

Except for one thing. The air conditioning system was switched off to save electricity probably and it was actually quite suffocating inside. When will the restaurants in Bangalore understand that switching off the air conditioning only makes the closed room even worse to be in ? And this is not the first time I’ve seen a restaurant in Bangalore do this. On second thoughts, we should have sat outside.

We were offered a choice of place to sit, not because they were being nice to us, but because the place was empty. Except for one family. That should’ve given me some hint.

We took our places and were handed over the menu. Within a minute a captain was upon us asking us to order. I’d seen some kids drinking beer outside but there was no alcohol on the menu, so I asked the captain if they serve beer and he said yes. And added in a low voice, would you also like vodka, rum or anything else ? I asked for the wine menu and was told they don’t have one.

I asked which Beer do they serve and he took a while to remember the name. “Curlsssberg – A german beer” is what he had to say. I said bring it on. My wife ordered an Orange Iced tea.

The drinks were at our table in some time and the captain was again on our head asking for our main course order. He suggested that we go with the Prawn Sizzler, another dish that wasn’t on the menu. And I said “OK, we’ll take one of that”. The captain promptly notes down “Two Prawn sizzlers. Anything else Sir ?”. I said:

“I want only one of that. Get me a plate of garlic bread also”.

“With cheese ?”

“No”.

“May I suggest the sea food sizzler ?”

“No. I only want one sizzler. Thank you. (Getting irritated) If I want to order something else. I’ll look at the menu and order later”.

“Thank you Sir.”

“No. Thank YOU (for leaving us alone)”.

Now, I’m not usually rude to waiters. After all they’re only doing their job. But, I go to restaurants for the food. And while I appreciate choice, I’ve learnt enough to trust restaurants in Bangalore and so I like to read about what I’m eating.

Anyway, both the wife and I waited with some anxiety for the food to be served. The captain came to us … yet again and asked me who would be eating the sizzler .. to which I replied, we’ll share … The guy didn’t know what to say. He looked at me and said:

“But there are only three prawns in the dish, Sir ?”

“So ?”

“I think you should order something else.”

“Get me the sizzler and if we’ll decide if we want more.”

By this time, I was thoroughly irritated with the waiter.

Long story short, food came, we ate, nothing to write home about and and we asked for the cheque.

The sizzler turned out to be the most expensive item on the bill. Atleast double the price that I was expecting it to be. Now, I don’t know if that really was the price because … well, the dish wasn’t on the menu anyway.

So, I paid the bill, killed a small cockroach which I saw walking on my table and walked away. Needless to say, the guys didn’t get any tip from me.

I ate a chicken roll from a nearby stall since I was still hungry after the disgusting meal.

Point is, I’ll never be visiting the place again. And I’d suggest that you guys also don’t. The place just isn’t worth it. The food is mediocre at best, overpriced, service shabby and cleanliness non-existent. Have I already said the food is mediocre at best ?

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