Looks like Gurgaon is in for a mind-boost. The Mind Café, a recently opened board-game-cum-food joint, promises to enrich the way we hang out. It has the right paraphernalia—a large space with comfortable seating and ample natural lighting, three hundred plus games to challenge kids, teenagers and working professionals and a promising menu. “The Mind Café is an ideal meeting place where families, colleagues and friends meet up for board games over good food, snacks and drinks,” says the proud owner Umesh Hora.
The menu is intelligently planned, with an extensive choice of beverages, salads, sandwiches, pizzas, pastas etc., all chosen to ensure that you can focus on the game as you nibble on the food. Many items, like angry birds sandwich, slamwich and meat monopoly pizza are named after popular games.
I start with the iced caramel latte (Rs 185). Charged with the coffee, I explore some of the ‘corporate’ games in the café’s repertoire. There are games here that are familiar and those that are surprises; ranging from party fun to finance, management, strategy and adventure.
As the table at the far ends starts cheering a good move, I get my first bite—falafel, lettuce, hummus and aioli pitawich (Rs 175). It is an interesting dish, faithful to its middle-eastern roots. Inside pita bread are a mélange of freshly prepared ingredients, making it comforting and tasteful. The much recommended spaghetti bolognaise (Rs 325) is a treat. Here is a popular Italian dish that one can find in every country apart from Italy, very much like the so-called-Indian chicken tikka masala. In every mouthful I enjoy a perfectly cooked al-dente spaghetti with olives and a rich meat sauce.
The Mediterranean carnival pizza (Rs 195) looks good on paper with vegetarian toppings like zucchini, bell peppers, eggplant, roasted garlic, basil and mozzarella but is let down by its base. A good thin-crust pizza requires dough kneaded out of an equal combination of flour (atta) and refined flour (maida). Here it is all maida, which makes the base brittle and deprives it of the crunchy-chewy texture. The gooey chocolate pastry (Rs 125) is gooey as promised, but could have been a bit less sweet.
Given that the café is in its first month, the occasional misses are understandable. However, the Mind Café is more than just a café, it is a club for people who love board games, and that is one area where it excels. I can easily see myself spending hours here with friends, very much like those lazy Pictionary sessions of the past. And have some food and beverages along the way!
Ratings out of 5
Food: 3.0 | Ambiance: 4.0 | Service: 3.5 |Overall: 3.5
Meal for Two: Rs 1000 | Alcohol: No | Credit Card: Yes| Timing: 11:00 AM – 11:00 PM
Address: 2nd Floor, Cross Point, opposite Galleria market, DLF Phase 4, Gurgaon | Phone: 98114-88830
This review first appeared in Friday Gurgaon