Café 792 [Dadar]

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Café 792 is a dose of fresh air amidst chaos and cacophony.

It is, quite literally, hidden away in a cozy corner in Dadar’s Parsi Colony. If not for the bold red circular sign at the entrance that reads Café 792, no one would be able to guess, that this heaven exists!

Café 792 is a small, quaint and peaceful café that can and will make you smile in awe. The circular sign that we spoke about stands next to the entrance of a building, in whose backyard lies this wonder. On the concrete wall is painted Café  792 in a way that you cannot miss. A gravel laden path leads us to a few tables and further to the entrance of the café. We have walked 10 steps on the gravel path and we look at each other with a broad smile. A smile that affirms the thought that we have found treasure!

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Café 792 is a Parsi owned and run café that serves an impressive variety of food from the Parsi staples to sandwiches, wraps, salads, mawa cake and more! They are the sort of place that makes a few things fresh while some are pre-cooked, heated and served. The café being a Parsi one, there are very few vegetarian options, basically, one-two in each category, so better not be very choosy if you are a vegetarian. The café also has a pre-decided lunch menu that is set for the entire month. This is majorly because they have a whole lot of deliveries and a set menu helps.

The people who run the café are soft spoken and friendly.  You will find a lot of patrons who come, give the order, patiently wait and head away with their parcels. You will also find people just sitting in a corner, sometimes even on the small wall near the plants and just sipping on tea and going about their work. The green canopy, the chirping birds and the setting of the café as a whole are welcoming and consuming. You will not want to get up and leave this place.

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Cheese Croissant

We tried a few items from the menu and were more than happy with most of them! Cheese Croissant left us with a warm, fuzzy feeling. It was perfect with oodles of cheese, just yumm!!

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Veg Mozzarella Wrap

Veg Mozzarella Wrap was excellent! Scratch that, it was beyond excellent. Lots of veggies, from broccoli to capsicum and a whole lot of cheese. Sounds meh? But what added the magic was oregano. Not only did it add a mouth-watering aroma, but also made the simple wrap a lot more interesting.

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Veg Burger

Veg Burger with a crunchy and delicious patty, cheese and veggies was a delight. It wasn’t extraordinary, but basic is all you need at times!

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Cold Coffee

Veg Slider was a mini and hipster version of our desi vada pav! Small, soft buns with a patty and cream cheese, it is something you will want to gobble down in tens!

Veg Puff was sort of confusing for us. It was more like a quiche and had a stuffing of spinach and other veggies. We liked the stuffing nonetheless!

Cold Coffee was unfortunately just average but what helped was the Lemon and Mint Iced Tea.

 It was the perfect blend and super refreshing.

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Lemon & Mint Iced Tea

The peaceful ambience made us want to spend the rest of the day, curling up in a corner, sipping on iced tea and reading a book. Who are we to say no to that need? So we spent hours here, reading, occasionally chatting and always sipping or munching on something!

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If you are tired of the mindless chatter and need a break, head to Café 792, but shhh… don’t tell everyone! Let this be the hidden gem that it is!

PS: With multiple orders of the iced tea and all that food, our bill came to a mere ₹665. We did mention this place was pocket-friendly, right?

Café 792 – Google Maps

Café 792 Menu, Reviews, Photos, Location and Info - Zomato

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Artika Café [White Town, Pondicherry]

First look at Artika Café and you feel like you are in a slow motion video of some lost town. Time probably, literally stops here! Artika Café is one of the best places to laze around in Pondicherry.

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It is essentially a black and white shot, with a random table or two adding the colours. Dry leaves and white bougainvillaea decorate the courtyard, giving the feel of a never-ending autumn. The quietness here can be the brand ambassador for Pondicherry’s ‘Peaceful Pondicherry’ tagline! This peacefulness is what drew us here and kept us here and what made us never want to get up and leave!

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A narrow and beautiful shrub covered path led us to the graffiti and mural covered courtyard. There are a few tables in the open courtyard and a few lounge chairs in the shade covered area to just stretch and relax.

There are a few tables inside as well, in an old, pretty worn-out house but we chose outside, obviously!

There is an art gallery and a shop inside, which sort of seems like the thing in Pondicherry!

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Once we had taken in the amazing surroundings and rested for a few good minutes, we asked for the menu. The menu is another surprise. They give you a big handmade paperboard menu that is hand written – art all the way, we say! There are quite a few breakfast options, sandwiches, baguettes and crepes to pick from. They have some really good combos to pick from. The food ranges from affordable to average pricey but one can easily find something according to their budget. Another good thing here is the free WiFi for as long as you want. The service is prompt and super friendly.

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We had a Ratatouille and Cheese Sandwich. The aroma of the ratatouille being prepared made our mouths water! The sandwich was delicious, non-spicy ratatouille with lots of veggies like zucchini, bell peppers, tomatoes and more with lots of mozzarella cheese! It was lip-smacking!

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Ratatouille and Cheese Sandwich

We also had Mango Lassi which was more like thick mango pulp smoothie! It was very refreshing and filling!

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Mango Lassi & Fresh Lime Juice

Artika Café and Gallery should be where you head to, to chill on a hot summer day or to get your work done in peace. And if nothing, a few hours of peace don’t hurt!

We had an amazing time at Artika Café, do tell us about yours!!

Artika Café [Pondicherry] – Google Maps

Artika Cafe Gallery Menu, Reviews, Photos, Location and Info - Zomato

Kasha Ki Aasha [White Town, Pondicherry]

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When you first enter this house, that is what you will feel, you have entered someone’s really well-kempt home and there is no way that a café exists here. But worry not, pass by those rooms with handicrafts and khadi kurtas and bags and you reach the centre of the home which again reinforces your belief that this is someone’s home and you are trespassing!

With a small central verandah with lots of flowers, a metallic statue of the dancing God and a few females going about their business, it has got to be a home, no? Well, it is, but it is a home converted to an art gallery and also houses a café upstairs.

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We had similar apprehensions that said maybe, we are at the wrong place or maybe, there is another entrance but the women near the stairs smiled and told us that the café is upstairs. Breathing a sigh of relief that we have to be hungry no longer, we climbed up the narrow staircase to come face to face with the rooftop café and then… and then we smiled!

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Kasha Ki Aasha is a dream we all had but never got. A terrace with cane furniture to laze on, lots of plants to keep it cool…. a space where we could relax and spend all our days and evenings and maybe even nights! Away from the chaos and cacophony, one can chill and be at peace at this café for as long as they want. And delicious homecooked food doesn’t hurt either!

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We spent hours here, hogging and just sitting, doing nothing, at some points not even talking…just being quiet! That is the type of place Kasha Ki Aasha is. And if you love such places, you will love this one!

The women who run the café come upstairs from time to time to ask for any order or you can go to the stairs and holler for someone but apart from that, they let you be. No one keeps poking asking if you want anything more, something we Mumbaikars, or for that matter, metro-dwellers are not used to!

The café is open only until 7 p.m. which is really sad considering the ambience is perfect for spending your evenings!!

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Coming to the food, they have a small menu and also serve some specials apart from the menu. The quantity is decent and one cannot help feel that the prices are a little high. That kept aside, the food is delicious! Their European and Thai thalis are hot selling and pretty famous! They also serve beer and wine. We stuck to mostly Indian options or Indian with a twist. Here’s what we tried and loved:

Traditional Indian Breakfast – Soft steamed idlis with a bowl of sambhar and a groundnut and coconut based chutney.  The sambhar is non-spicy but had the perfect maa-ke-hath ka taste! The quantity of sambhar is a little less and you may have to ask for another bowl. The chutney is delicious too, with no hint of spiciness.

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Traditional Indian Breakfast

Chappati & Dal Fry – Two large and soft chappatis with slightly crispy centres and a small bowl of dal. Dal again was non-spicy but yummy with lots of onions and ginger. This preparation is again served with the chutney.

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Chappati & Dal Fry

Pizza Dosai – Before we tell you what it is, we will tell you that it is delicious!! Two plain uttapams with lots of veggies on top – chopped tomatoes, onions, capsicum and more. This is then finished with lots of cheese! It tastes very slightly sweet owing to the tomato based sauce used to mix the veggies and the batter but the combination overall is amazing and something different!

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Pizza Dosai

Onion Dosai with Chutney – Crispy and thin onion dosas. These were again bang-on yummy and can be had even without that chutney!

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Onion Dosai with Chutney

Black Bean Burger – The black bean burger has two black bean based cutlets with a slightly charred and smokey flavour, topped with tomatoes, capsicum and onions. It is served with a cold macaroni salad that is spiced with black pepper and is delicious. Each of these can be had separately and the combination is lip-smacking.

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Black Bean Burger

All in all, Kasha Ki Aasha is an amazing place with good food and should find its way to your list of places to visit in Pondicherry!

Kasha Ki Aasha [Pondicherry] – Google Maps

Kasha Ki Aasha Menu, Reviews, Photos, Location and Info - Zomato

Canteen 18 [Heritage Town, Pondicherry]

Sometimes, wrong roads lead people to the right places.

One such wrong road led us to discover Canteen 18. We were headed towards our hotel to deposit our bags and we saw a small little eatery, at the corner of a street, just in the passing. Little did we know, a split second would have that much impact. The moment we were fresh and ready to feed our growling tummies, the first place that we mentioned, together, was that small eatery at the corner – Canteen 18!

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We walked to the eatery, located in the lane behind the busy MG Road. A sharp contrast from the chaotic main road, this street and Canteen 18, both, are a solace. First look, and you are bound to smile. A small cooking area, with 3 tables and a capacity to seat not more than 10 people, this place is charming in all certainty.

The place is run by two people and sees an influx of locals and foreigners alike. The menu is not very large in general and really small, like 5 items small, for vegetarians. And yet we recommend you go here, even if you have pick the same combination in a burger and a croissant (this is for vegetarians, others have options), we still strongly recommend you do not miss out on this one! Have a bite of their burgers or croissant sandwich and you will know why!

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Paneer Veggie Burger > A thin paneer based patty with lots of veggies – jalapenos, lettuce, tomatoes, capsicum and onions. The patty had a slightly charred and smokey flavour and went so well with the molten mozzarella. Add to that their lip-smacking Barbeque sauce and it was heavenly! The cheese literally dripped off the burger and messed our hands as we ate! Totally loved it!
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Paneer Veggie Burger

Veggie Croissant Sandwich > Sounds different right? Croissant and sandwich? This was a slightly crisp and buttery croissant that was stuffed with veggies, sauces and mozzarella, just like a sandwich would. But it tasted soooo soo good! Mozzarella again stole the show!

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Veggie Croissant Sandwich

We also tried an Affogato here, which was only ₹90, can you believe it!! It was a shot of espresso with a scoop of vanilla. A perfect treat!

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Affogato

Grape Soda was black currant based tangy soda and was refreshing. We asked for Iced Tea but that wasn’t available. Only hope that a few more vegetarian options were available and this would be heaven!

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Grape Soda

Canteen 18 is a dreamy place and definitely something you have to treat yourself to. Imagine a quiet road, open-air cafe, aroma of delicious food filling the air. Doesn’t seem much like India? Well, that’s where Pondicherry will surprise you!

We don’t even wanna imagine how beautiful this setting would be in monsoons! Another Pondicherry trip seems like a great idea at this moment!

Canteen 18 [Pondicherry] – Google Maps

Canteen 18 Menu, Reviews, Photos, Location and Info - Zomato

Café Amigos [Thane]

A friend of a friend who knows we like to try new places told us – if you are ever in Thane, try out Café Amigos.

Zomato, when we were in Thane last week showed suggested places – Café Amigos.

A coffee mug we randomly spotted with a Sombrero and moustache again reminds us of Café Amigos.

So before the universe got any more obvious, and dropped a coconut on our head that said ‘Head to Café Amigos now, you dimwits’ we decided it was time to check this place off our to-try list!

Café Amigos is a cozy place with a happy vibe. The moment we stepped in and the aroma of something nice being cooked hit us, we smiled thinking what we had been missing all this while! The café is not very huge, with 2 tables downstairs and 3-4 tables on the mezzanine floor. There is an outdoor sitting arrangement as well, that is so apt for evenings!

Raw undone ceilings with light bulbs hanging via long wires add a rustic charm. The walls are adorned with number plates, colourful metal boxes, a vintage camera here and a typewriter there, aluminium kettle, a vintage recorder and more. We love how messily good these look! A small open kitchen is located on the lower floor and it whips up awesomeness! The service is super friendly and impeccable!

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The menu is pretty spread out and one can find English breakfast options, cereals, sandwiches, pizza, pasta, shawarma alongside salads, smoothies, tea and coffee! The café serves breakfast from 8 a.m. to 11 a.m. There is plenty of parking space nearby and the place is located on a comparatively peaceful lane.

Here is what we dug into:

Veg. Melting Sandwich – It should rather be called heart melting sandwich!  A triple decker surprise with veggies, cottage cheese, lots and lots and lots more of cheese, spices, mayonnaise and more sauces! It just drives you crazy with that cheese-filled aroma and then makes you lick the last morsel off the plates. So filling and delicious! Yummy!

 

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Veg. Melting Sandwich

 

Egg Omelette Sandwich – An Indian spiced and perfectly cooked omelette sandwiched between grilled bread pieces! It is served with a chilli mayo dip. Loved it!

 

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Egg Omelette Sandwich

 

Pink Sauce Pasta – Apparently, their pasta is well known and now we know why! Penne pasta in a deliciously creamy and herbed pink sauce with lots of veggies. It was non-spicy but well flavoured.

 

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Pink Sauce Pasta

 

Now that we are done with telling you what we hogged on, let us take you to 7th heaven with the shakes at Café Amigos! Trust us when we say, the phrase No one can have just one’ was made after taking a sip of one of these delights!

The have an extensive list of shakes and some will just take you by surprise! The shakes are thick, very flavourful and refreshing. All of them fall in the price range of ₹150 to ₹200 and are totally worth it, although, we would definitely want their quantity to be a bit more!

♥ Cookie-Gingerbread Oreo Shake – What is not to like in this one? Oreo with a slight hint of ginger and cinnamon flavours! Superb!

 

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Cookie – Gingerbread Oreo Shake

 

Mudpie Shake – If we had to pick a favourite, we would without a doubt pick this one. At first, you think it is only a chocolate milkshake but give it a maximum of two seconds and you will know the full depth of flavours in this one! Love at first sip we say!

 

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Mudpie Shake

 

♥ Rajbhog Shake – This saffron spiced refreshing drink takes you to another level. It has authentic flavours and is not overwhelmingly sweet. And the aroma is amazing!

♥ Paan Shake – The first sip of this minty delight and you will know why paan is called a mouth freshener! So refreshing.

Cold Coffee Shake – And of course we tried coffee! It was perfect. Strong coffee kick and not too sweet. Loved it!

 

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Cold Coffee Shake

 

There are many more flavours that we wanted to try here. So yep, there is going to be a next time and soooooon!

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Overall Experience: Café Amigos is our new amigo! Delicious food, pocket-friendly prices and superb service. And did we tell you they have a kick-ass playlist as well? Our total bill came to ₹1352 ,which is a steal for that delicious food 😍

Food  🙂

Ambience 🙂

Service 🙂

Tha Battle: You and your amigos will no longer be amigos if one of them lay hands on one of your shakes! Speaking from experience, ‘coz our friendship got seriously tested here! :D” width=”16″ height=”16″>:D” width=”16″ height=”16″>

Café Amigos – Google Maps

Cafe Amigos Menu, Reviews, Photos, Location and Info - Zomato

Aleph – The Divine Space [Juhu]

The Greatest Secrets are Always Hidden in the Most Unlikely Places – Roald Dahl
And we are going to tell you a secret today. ‘Coz we are feeling especially generous!
Why?
Because some stories demand to be shared and told.
One such story is about the amazing place started by first-time restaurateur Kishin Thakur. How and when this place – Aleph, The Divine Space, came about is his to tell but we are here to tell you the story of how much we have loved this place!
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A house to a ‘yoga retreat’ by morning and a stage for musical gigs and book readings come evening. And during this transition, it serves as a co-working space for the serious and a café with a wholesome grub for the others.
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Located in the same vicinity as Prithvi Café,  Aleph is hidden from plain sight.
Look through the canopy of trees and you will see the name Aleph displayed in prominent red. Once you have successfully located the place, you have to locate the entrance.
It would have left us confounded if not for the staff who waved at us and guided us through the thin lane up to the entrance of the café. Don’t be worried if you see yourself walking from near a salon and the backside of buildings, you are going in the right direction.
No point searching this place on Zomato, it is not listed there.  That’s why we are here – You can either approach Aleph TDS from the narrow lane next to Café Moshes or from the main entrance to Janki Kutir, take the first left (Maya Salon) and another left and you will see a board saying Aleph TDS…..and voila, you are here.
Spread over two floors, Aleph is a beautiful café with colourful decor, walls painted and drawn on by patrons, books stacked up in a corner, card and board games, really comfortable and cosy ambience. The lower floor is an indoor section and there is a rooftop seating as well. There are mattresses for low seating, high seats, low stools like modas and sofas to choose from.
We picked a spot on the rooftop. The walls here are painted with random things by the customers. The owner and staff offer you to leave your mark on these walls too! They give you the paints and brushes, you pick a spot and get painting!
Aleph is peaceful and calm and just amazing! Covered in trees and plants and has a very very homely feel to it. Soft music plays in the background which again can be picked by the customers. Aleph TDS is what this city needs in every nook and corner. A no-fuss space that suits the needs of most of us.
Want to work/study and need a quiet space and a WiFi connection? ✔
Want to spend a quality evening with your friends over card games and coffee? ✔
Want to test your skills in the kitchen?✔
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Yes, even the last one. Aleph has a small kitchen and they allow people to make their own food (from their menu that is) if they so choose.
So you wanna try that Kale Soya Burger? Give it a shot in the kitchen and the staff will guide you through it.
They have a small menu but cover a decent variety. We love the Positivi- Tea Only and Sippin’ on Sunshine section with so many varieties of tea and coffee. Cold Coffee specials are decided separately and you can ask them for the options. They have mouthwatering dessert jars and waffles. Their burgers are especially tempting with unique patties and sauces.
Pick from Mac & Cheese, Kale Soya, or Falafel patty and toss in a little bit of Wasabi Mayo, Garlic Aioli, Mexican Chipotle, or Garlic Hummus. A variety of toppings is also available along with a number of non-veg options.
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We tried Nutella Cold Coffee (₹250), Hazelnut Cold Coffee (₹250) and Chocolate Cold Coffee (₹250).
They were really good with a proper combination of flavours and coffee, but we pick the hazelnut one which was particularly refreshing. The Nutella Cold Coffee had a little too much of the nutty flavour for our liking and Chocolate Cold coffee was a bit too sweet. so you can choose to tell the staff your preference and they will make it less sweet for you if you like!
We also tried the Fruit Bliss Iced Tea which was fruity and refreshing!
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Fruit Bliss Iced Tea
We went a little overboard with the first burger we tried – Mac & Cheese Patty, Multigrain bread and all the sauces and toppings! Yes, all!
That makes it a little difficult for us to describe the burger but all we can say is that it was delicious. A deliciously confusing mess! 😍 🍔
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Mac & Cheese Burger
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We then tried our hand at making the Grilled Paneer Patty Burger.
We chose Garlic Aioli, Mexican Chipotle and Minty Mayonnaise as the sauces this time.
The staff helped us deck up our burger which was delicious.
Chipotle added a little spice and the mint mayo added the sweet and refreshing minty flavour.
The patty was delicious too. Loved it! 🍔
The burgers are priced at ₹290.
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Grilled Paneer Burger
Aleph – TDS is now coming up with a breakfast menu that they will serve from 8 am to 11 am every day. Complete with eggs and Indian options, this is something we look forward to. They are also planning or starting movie night here, so gear up for kickass movies every week. All this when we thought this place could not get more awesome! 😉
This place becomes insanely beautiful in the late evenings and night with the colourful lights and music. Heaven!
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There are times when all of us need a place to unwind and be away from the chaos of our daily lives. The next time you are feeling this feeling, head to Aleph.
But shhh….. keep this a secret!
Overall Experience: The staff and owner are very friendly. They make sure to take your feedback on whatever they prepare and about your experience at the café.
The ambience is such that you never want to get up and leave. Homely and relaxing.
Food 🙂
Ambience 🙂
Service 🙂
The Battle: Having to get up and get back to traffic and drama and work is so difficult after finding a safe heaven like this!!
Timings: 8 am to 10 pm
Cost for 2 (food & beverages only): Around ₹ 800 – ₹1000
Our meal came to ₹1530