Saturday, October 09, 2010

Urban Solace

The last six months have been pretty hectic at my startup (Levitum), and I havent had a chance to update my blog. However, I've had a chance to visit a number of exotic restaurants and sneak away to Istanbul, Turkey for vacation, so look out for some interesting updates in the coming months.

But first, here's one of those little gems that make Bangalore special. One of my pet peeves in the city is its horrendous traffic, and the need for a place to unwind and relax. I've always wondered why the property in and around the Ulsoor Lake doesn't get cleaned up and converted into a few eco-friendly waterfront hotels and restaurants.

Well, it turns out that Perry Menzies, the owner of Urban Solace had the same idea. The difference - he's gone ahead and made it happen by remodeling an older house into a cozy little Café that's right by the lake, albeit across the street. The first floor offers a neat 180° view of the lake, with the Gurudwara at one end and the park at the other.

In Perry's words, his objective was not to start yet another Cafe Coffee Day or Barista, but a "Cafe for the soul". The underlying theme of the restaurant is to offer a place where people can come together, connect with themselves, connect with others, and have a good time. The restaurant also has a different theme on each weeknight, hosting live music, poetry and book reading, and open mic events.

We sampled the continental starters, pasta, and sandwiches. They were excellent quick eats compared to the fare available in most similar cafés. The cafe offers an executive lunch whose menu changes as well through the week and offers a fair amount of variety. Apparently, their traditional English breakfast on weekends is popular. We didn't get to check it out yet, but it sure sounds appealing.

Since the Café enjoys the luxury of being by the lake, you may want to carry your bug spray along to enjoy dining outdoors. If you would prefer to be inside, there is an airconditioned section indoors with pleasant motifs of the different elements coming together.

They also have a take away option (solace on the go?) for their executive lunch. Call 99450-22177 or 2555-3656 for reservations.

Parking near the lake can be a challenge at times, and your best bet may be to get to FotoFlash and park in one of the side streets. The Café plans to add a valet service in the future.

Address: 32, Annaswamy Mudaliar Road, Bangalore (Between FotoFlash and Tamil Sangam)

And if you like them and would like to follow their event updates, you can add Urban Solace on Facebook.

Cost: Rs 100-200 per person
Cleanliness: Average
Quality: Good
Service: Good
Ambience: Good
Bottomline: A cozy little retreat for the soul right in the heart of Bangalore.

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