My Occasional overseas trips have always been blessed with exotic delicacies tasted from food joints my son watches on Man v/s Food. Back home my family suffers from my complaints of “No versatility in food”. By now I was past the buzz of Amritsari Kulcha, Mutton Tikkas and Daal Makhni. Having dined in most of the restaurants and Hotels in Amritsar I could not find anything authentic as well as tasty. Amritsar had failed me with international cuisines for Italian and continental, till a friend suggested ‘Bakes and Beans’ an unusual emphasis on Salads and Sandwiches. (Till now salad in Amritsar meant Piyaz, Tamatar and Kheera with a slice of neembu)
In the posh market of Ranjit Avenue, with elite designer showrooms, I entered a dim lit place confused! Was it a café or a bakery as the aroma of freshly baked bread came from the table next to me? They even baked their own breads… Fantastic!
A hardcore non vegetarian that I am, I instantly ordered a Lemon Chicken salad (Rs195) to start with. Thiswas served quickly, with fresh and crispy ice-berg lettuce, capsicum, tomato, cucumber and a secret tangy lemon dressing. The greens were delightfully fresh and the chicken pieces tender to its best.
The Bacon Lettuce Panini (Rs140) on the menu made me remember the bacon, lettuce tomato panini with tomato bisque soup and chips I had at a café in Italy. Indisputably the perfect bread for the perfect panini is an old-fashioned focaccia. The sandwich was rich and creamy in the middle, accompanied with bacon which looked like more like the pastrami. I guess the bacon was the finest I had tasted after what I had had at 361, Oberoi’s Gurgaon. As I had the dish placed in front of me, its light texture did not appeal too much though the stuffing was gratifying, the crunchiness of the lettuce retained even without the regular cheese. How I wished they had the lovely Panini Grill marks too.
The Cream chicken Pasta (Rs310) in the main course was the revelation. Its creamy texture adorned with succulent chicken pieces and olives, escorted by fresh garlic bread brought an end to my search for the perfect pasta. I could just thank Mr. Mehra for the authenticity that he had retained.
Next I ordered Grilled fish with a secret lemon and butter sauce (Rs480), accompanied by stir fried veggies and swiss cheese over grilled potatoes was a treat to eat. The fish was tender with all its juices intact and I could bet it was better than the famous Amritsari fish(with my due appologies though). By now my sweet tooth wanting its share tpp. The selection ended with the granulated walnut pie – 350 gms of walnut stuffed per piece, glazed with sugar. It tasted divine.
Silencing my taste buds for the day I prided in my city that was experimenting and welcoming new International cuisines with open arms. The city is diversifying in food and giving the foodies more options along with Pakistani designer dress from the elite neighbouring Pakistani showroom.
Ratings out of 5
Food: 4.0/5 | Ambience: 4.0/5 | Service: 4.0/5 | Overall: 4.0/5
Meal for two: Rs1000 | Alcohol: Yes (Served after 10 PM at Parties)
Address: Bakes & Beans, SCO -24, District shopping complex, Ranjit Avenue, Amritsar | Phone: 98881-00405
– Aman Kahlon