Split Down the Middle

Greater NOIDA is a location with different population dynamics than most other locations. For one, students seem to form the bulk of the populace, likely due to the number of colleges and universities the city is home to. The rest is made up of families that form a solid middle – upper-middle class bloc, in income as well as in taste. The remnants are largely government employees and corporate expats among other minority groups.

Folks who are desirous of opening a food and beverage venture therefore don’t have many options. It’s either the Swagath variety or a highly economical outlet that offers awesome value for money; the former for the households and the latter for cash strapped students. Café Do Ghoont in Ansal Plaza however has chosen to shake things up a bit by trying to appease both, the households and the students.

Located on the atrium floor of the mall, the café and everything about it appear to be a family effort, including the décor and the menu. The menu, a collection of light bites with drinks to accompany them features (unnecessarily strained) cute names for each drink and dish, the lot individually priced somewhere between what a family would pay and what a student can afford. Despite the ambitious names, the kitchen appears to have mediocre skills at best, with poorly designed dishes compounding the issue by being poorly executed.

The result is a restaurant that is unattractive to families in the area due to cultural or culinary reasons, and unaffordable for students to patronise regularly. Little wonder then, that I’ve never seen a single customer in this café. Given the quality of execution, despite their obvious earnestness, I cannot recommend a visit and suggest the Pind Balluchi a few floors above, if you’re in the vicinity and looking for a meal.

Sid Khullar

Sid Khullar is the founder of Chef at Large, a blog that began in 2007. He enjoys cooking, writing, travelling and technology in addition to being a practising Freemason. Health and wellness is a particularly passionate focus. Sid prefers the company of food and animals to most humans, and can be reached at sid.khullar@chefatlarge.in.