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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14 Comments

  1. Rule no 1 at a new restaurant – never ask the waiters what to order… they always pick the most expensive item!!

  2. Soul is a very nice place and all the things you said about it is BULLSHIT! The service in Soul Café is good. There are no cockroaches walking around on the tables. The place is very clean.

  3. @harry: The only way you can like the service at soul is if you’re a hardcore bangalorean who likes to have a leisurely 4 hour long lunch and doesn’t mind waiting, or if you’re the owner.

    And the next time you’re there try looking harder for the cockroaches. They’re usually in the crevices and hard to reach corners but sometimes come out to greet unsuspecting diners like me.

  4. first of all i think ur not a banglorean!!!! soul cafe ac works all the time!!! and we always ask them to turn off the ac coz it will be too cold!!! and bangklore has amazing weather!!! cleanlinessnd the cockroach u spoke abt its the most cleaned place amoung any hukka joints in banglore!!and for ur kind information they dont serve any liquor and the beer they serve is non-alchoholic!!!food is one of the best!!! and my advice for u is if u dont know shit then plz dont talk shit!!! im pretty sure ur not a banglorean!!! and its for the young crowd not for old married couple!!!!

  5. Kevin: I’ve probably been to more hukka joints than the number of years you’ve lived, so let’s not make this personal. I didn’t like Soul cafe and this was my opinion. I was probably there on a day when someone like you had asked them to turn off the AC.

    And on my being a Bangalorean. You’re right, I’m not a Bangalorean. But, I’ve lived here far longer that I care to remember and enough to understand what separates a good place from a bad.

    If Soul cafe is the standard that the “young crowd” these days enjoy, I feel sorry for you guys.

    And last but not the least, Take some advice from this “old married guy”: We are all part of one country. India. Please don’t go about branding people as Bangaloreans and Non-Bangaloreans when you probably don’t even understand the implications of it.

    PS: I’m 27. Isn’t that OLD ?

  6. rubbish!!!!soul’s the most loved and happening place to be at.you cannot judge a cafe with one visit, it could be anyone’s “OFF DAY”.one advice to this guy is not to jump to conclusions this in haste.whether its true or not its still disputed.what say guys?

  7. well i have been to soul a couple of times. i din’t find any cockroaches but yeah the hukka there is bad. food is overpriced and service is not so good. am a college student and was suggested by a friend.

  8. They do fun things there. Like this friday night a great young band with Hoshang Major is to play. Makes it interesting!

  9. Thanks Kay . It was nice playing at Soul . Hope everyone liked it . We loved playing at soul . It was our first show we ever did . Hats off to the manager to actually let us play there with out any stage experience .

    -Hoshang Major (Rythm Guitarist)

  10. Was at SOul over the weekend. Place was empty at 9pm on a friday night. Service was excellent. Food taste was great. Frighteningly expensive. Hookah got over pretty soon, AC Was off. No alcohol served.

    Would I go there again > doubt it.

  11. Being going there from years.the place is super.A very impressive ambience,friendly staff ya but expensive.love the place,got to know that these guys are opening a cafe in koramangla called “soul at the courtyaard” after seeing a poster at the place.just had a glimpse of this new cafe it’s going to rock and leave most of the cafes in this categories behind.and one last word the music in soul is good with mind blowing output but its too loud, please tone it down.

  12. I am laughing so loud that my neighbors can hear me!! I have never visited this place, but nonetheless I shall take the writer’s advice here. I am not much of an outside person and prefer thus to eat good hygienic home-cooked food since I am a good cook, but then this article justifies my practice and it certainly made me laugh…

    😀

  13. Whoever this author is he’s highly abusive and offensive.
    i agree with some of the comments wherein they have said that a place cannot be judged in one visit.
    mr sharinder i have not visited soul but so much trash does not speak about your callibre too much….
    you may not care but your writing SUCKS.
    i own a restaurant too i understand the problems one has to face while running the same.
    its easy to pass such stupid and funny comments, look at your ownself
    before you pass such hasty comments.

    1. Abusive? Really? Where have I abused anyone? This is my blog and this is my opinion. If you don’t like it, go eat and drink (off the menu, ofcourse) at Soul Cafe. I never went back to Soul again and it may have improved by now, but you restaurateurs should really understand how much difference a SINGLE visit or opinion can make. Soul may be doing great but they lost me as a customer with that one bad experience (an Off day as some people call it). I don’t think I’d recommend it to any of my friends too.

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