212 has always been the perfect place to catch a bite or get a drink after a dose of shopping at Phoenix Market City. It’s a lovely casual place with a lot to nibble on.
212 is launching a whole new menu now. All the old favorites will be retained obviously, but a lot of fresh new stuff is up for grabs now. I got a chance to sample the vegetarian fare from the new menu, and I must say it’s delectable.
I’m gonna begin by listing the 5 best dishes from my meal at 212 All Day Café & Bar. If you are a mushroom lover like me, you are in for a treat.
TOP DISH #1 – TIRAMISU ECLAIRS, mascarpone & coffee dust.
A crispy yet slightly chewy Choux pastry topped with coffee infused Mascarpone and finished with coffee dust, chocolate shavings, a piece of fig and edible flowers.
The flavors worked beautifully and the textures were spot on. This dessert scores 10/10 on each aspect – presentation, taste & innovation. Did I mention it’s extremely light on your tummy too? I can hog on a plate of these.
TOP DISH #2 – TRUFFLE, PORCINI & BURATTA RISOTTO, with black olives & crispy banana flowers.
This dish transported me straight to heaven. It was a perfectly creamy, al dente risotto with toastiness from the mushrooms. Topped with seared mushrooms, buratta (butter stuffed mozzarella), and crisped banana flowers; it was a burst of flavors in every mouthful.
TOP DISH #3 – EGGPLANT BRUSCHETTA, brie, fried onions & fig relish.
My first Bruschetta with an eggplant topping, and it was a smashing hit across the table. Crisp Bruschetta slices topped with pesto (I think), a flavourful eggplant mash, a generous cut of Brie(a French cheese), crisp onion bits, cherry tomato, fig relish and herbs. All the elements worked together beautifully, resulting in a loaded, smoky Bruschetta.
TOP DISH #4 – POUTINE FRIES, KUNG FU FONDUE
I love fries, and the addition of cheese sauce (generous), schezwan tofu & chives made them even more awesome. This is strictly for the junk-food loving, masala eating population. A winner for me!
TOP DISH #5 – CURRIED POTATO MILLE FIEULLE
There were so many great dishes, it took me a while to figure out which one to put here. The Curried Potato Mille-fieuille won due to its sheer ingenuity of presentation. It’s a reconstructed rava dosa which has gotten all it’s elements spot on. The mille-fieuille comprises of alternate layers of super crispy wafer thin squares and potato bhaji. The accompanying coconut chutney, vegetable stew and kokum lassi were very well-made. Definitely not a tummy filling dish, but it does taste damn well.
Now that we have the BEST covered, let’s tackle the GREATS.
GREAT DISH #1- TWO MUSHROOM BURGER, with melted Gruyere cheese
This had the double whammy of crisp fried mushrooms as well as pan-cooked buttery mushrooms. Served with a side of salad and a generous portion of fries, this burger comprises of a full meal for 1 person. Again, I fell in love with this burger. If you like mushrooms, this is a must-order at 212 All Day Café & Bar.
GREAT DISH #2 – PEANUT BUTTER PIE, chocolate ganache, vanilla ice-cream
A very well executed Peanut butter pie on all counts – look, texture and flavor. Doesn’t really need the vanilla ice-cream served alongside, it’s pretty great on its own. Loved it as much as I love Shizusan’s.
And now for the dishes that were pretty good, but lacked the WOW factor.
GOOD DISH #1 – MASALA PANEER SCRAMBLE SANDWICH, with crispy potatoes & raisin chutney.
The scrambled paneer filling was very well flavoured – less spicy and just about right. It had a minty flavor and the crust was removed much to my dismay. But it sure did taste quite nice.
GOOD DISH #2 – The SPICY EMMENTAL ARRANCINI, bird’s eye chili & chermoula mayo was a good preparation with the perfect crisp exterior. I did miss the addition of a tart element in this dish though. Maybe a tomato relish or a Thousand Island dip alongside would have boded well for me.
GOOD DISH #3 – GREEN PEA & BABY POTATO CELERY CAKES, wrapped in grape leaves.
An extremely interesting preparation, and also the first of it’s kind for vegetarians. Green pea, sweet potato & celery cakes, steamed in a grape leaf, served with a demi glace. So you’re supposed to open up the leaves and eat the filling. An interesting and innovative dish with good flavors.
AS FOR THE REST..
The TRIO OF CHIPS AND SALSA has everything going for it including the 3 variants of chips (classic, spinach, beetroot) and the huge number of dips alongside ingeniously arranged in a mild to hot order. The dips included sour cream, guacamole, cilantro salsa, chipotle, tomato salsa and habanero salsa. The clear reason why this dish did not work for me was the absence of cheese. I’m incapable of enjoying tortilla chips without cheese.
The CHETTINAD COTTAGE CHEESE PIZZA did not work for me, which is quite surprising for a pizza-crazy me. The fact that did not work for me was that there were no bold flavours – neither in the sauce, nor in the toppings or even the cheese for that matter. This pizza needs a serious dose of salt, a better pizza sauce and some herbs.
The ULTIMATE BEETROOT GNOCCHI was an extremely pretty looking plate. My only qualm was it was way too tart for my palette. I have never liked tangy without creamy, the same reason why I never order an Arrabiata pasta.
The MOCKTAIL MENU consists of an extremely small selection, and needs to be made more robust. My Virgin Mojito however, was pretty well-made.
Overall Verdict – 212 Café & Bar has a huge selection of delicious food to choose from, across many different cuisines. It is a place which seems perfect for the young and not so young; whether it be a date, casual catching up or for a family meal. Now let’s just bring the boozy Sunday Brunches back, and we have a winner!
To see more drool-worthy food pictures, follow me on Instagram at https://www.instagram.com/thevegetarianfoodiee/
To read more food reviews, catch me on Zomato at https://www.zomato.com/thevegetarianfoodieruchi
*If you like what you just read, do drop in a comment and make my day!
*Disclaimer – This meal was hosted by the restaurant. A huge thank you to Carpe Diem, and Team 212 for hosting us.