I first heard about Ants Café from an acquaintance, who said that it was a cool place to chill out on a weekend, adding that it was a Northeast Indian joint. So when my friend and I decided to head there one rainy evening, it was to sample Northeast Indian fare. Fortunately we decided to check Zomato for directions and discovered even before we reached that there was nothing Northeast Indian about the menu.
Tucked in a corner of 14th main, Indiranagar, the café is on the first floor of an old bungalow that also houses a store which stocks handicrafts from Northeast India : jewelry, accessories, home furnishing, clothes etc. I learnt at the store, that ANT actually stands for Action Northeast Trust. Black ants painted on the stairs lead the way up to the café – a charming place with an assortment of furniture ranging from bamboo chairs to benches made from old trunks. The café is open from all sides, huge windows allowing natural ventilation and doing away with the need for air-conditioning –a big plus for my friend and me.
On our first visit, we were both craving a shot of caffeine and so Espresso ruled the day. Sitting by the bay window, gazing out at Pete’s Furniture across the road, watching the raindrops filter through the tree and fall on the cars parked below, we let the caffeine work its magic on our tired brains as we nibbled on the crispy hot potato wedges.
On our next trip (just a few days later), we got one of the tables, ideal for meetings where laptops are needed. Not as exhausted, as we were the first time, we settled for a Café Mocha and a Cinnamon Cappuccino with a mixed Bruschetta platter. My cappuccino was perfect – lots of cinnamon and the right amount of caffeine to recharge my brain and body. I was in coffee heaven after the first sip itself.
The bruschetta too was really well done – crispy with fresh toppings that were as appetizing as they looked.
Ants Café, like any other café today, also has a small desserts and patisserie section. The first time they had the usual suspects : brownies, chocolate mousse, apple pie, so I wasn’t too stoked. I saw the cupcakes as we were paying and I just had to buy them – we bought one each, red velvet, chocolate and classic vanilla. I wish I had a photograph of my content face when I bit into the red velvet cupcake.
Recommended? Oh yes! Head to Ants Café if you are looking for a chilled out time over coffee and some small eats. The only disadvantage is that the café closes at the same time as the store, at 8:30 pm. It does however open at 9:30 am and has a decent breakfast menu, which I intend to try out soon.
Location :2286/B, 1st cross, 14th A Main, HAL 2nd Stage, Indiranagar.
My rating : 4,5 out of 5 (the service can get a little slow when the café is full)Related Reading The Ants, Crafting Traditions – a write-up about the store.