When we heard Cafe Mangii was coming to Pune, we just couldn’t wait to go dig in! Why? Well, we totally love Italian food. It’s one cuisine that’s got the freshness, the aromas, the colours, the ingredients and of course those gorgeous looks. So Cafe Mangii it was this weekend!
Located in a plush mall in East Pune, Cafe Mangii couldn’t have asked for a better location. The mall has enough footfalls to ensure that there are many a hungry shopaholics who come flocking, so that’s good business sense, we say.
We walked in at around 1pm to a relatively empty restaurant. The ambiance was very chic and warm, the wooden interiors welcoming. What we really liked at first glance was that there was lots of lighting! Any place with poor lighting just puts us off! Whats the point of eating good food if you can’t see it!
The dessert counter was set up right at the entrance, and the brightly colored Kiwi-Strawberry Cheese cake was hypnotizing to say the least! It totally captivated our 2 year old’s attention, and we ordered that first!
While the cake slice looked awesome, we did miss a the cheesy creaminess usually associated with a perfect cheese cake.The cream overpowered the cream cheese so much that we suspected whether there was any cheese in there at all. The fruits were fresh, the sweetness just right, and the buttery crust had its crunch intact! For Rs. 225 it isn’t exactly the best deal in town though.
The menu is exhaustive with a lot of options from soups, to anti-pastis, pastas and pizzas. Catering to all sorts of palates, both vegetarian and non-vegetarian.Though we’re avid non vegetarians,when it comes to italian we stick to vegetarian fare.Italian food is all about those fresh veggies,herbs and cheeses,so the vegetarian options always gives that burst of flavours that we look for in Italian fare..Well, that’s our take!
For starters we ordered the Camembert Bruschettas.
Warm to the touch, the bruschettas were loaded! And when we say loaded, we mean loaded with fresh tomato, in some sort of pesto sauce, topped with a layer of the most delectable Camembert cheese we’ve had! 5 portions to a plate, and served with a crisp ice lettuce and carrot juliennes. Its a pity we had already ordered the main course, else we would have ordered another portion of these Camembert Bruschettas!
Cafe Mangii is famous for its wood fired pizzas. Standard size is 12 inches. We ordered the Mediterranean – a wheat base, with olives, sun dried tomatoes, capers and basil. The pizza was well done, the base crisp, and all the ingredients fresh. I only wished they hadn’t scrouged on the basil though. But we must admit, the pizza didn’t actually live to our expectations. The toppings just didn’t have those wow ingredients.
Next came our pasta. We ordered the Papperdelle Siciliano. Tomato based, with lots of Aubergine, Zucchini, Olives and pimentos (variety of pepper). The pasta was the highlight of our meal! The sauce was creamy in a way that can only come from hours of unhurried care, knowledge of one’s measures and spices. The spaghetti was done just right, and the quantity was sufficient. No complaints there.
The only thing, and we mean the only thing that really put us off was the basil leaf garnishing right on top of the pasta that wasn’t fresh. Nothing to put one off than a wilting and partly rotting garnish. This just did not deserve to be served to anyone. Of course, we had to take it out before we dug into the pasta. At Rs. 365 this wasn’t a cheap affair either.
We usually help ourselves to a single shot espresso after a hearty Italian meal, as it wards of the sleep that usually follows after such a cheesy meal. Unfortunately their machine was broken, so I had to give it a miss, and head to the nearest Costa outlet. But that is a story for another day.
Overall, our experience was pleasant. The service was as good as it can be expected. Food was served with minimum fuss. Slightly on the expensive side, with the total meal costing us about Rs. 1640 including a 10% service charge.
A fine experience, one that we wouldn’t mind doing again. Hopefully with fresh basil next time round!