The Whistling Teal [Chandpole, Udaipur]

Finding The Whistling Teal was a mere fluke for us. As we wandered down the Lake Palace Road, we saw a large board that said Authentic Espresso Coffee. A claim like that is bound to make us stop in our tracks. So we did. We stopped and we crossed the road and we made our way through the huge entrance and through the climber covered door, inside the beautiful café. Or should we say garden?

Hidden away in the verandah of Jhadol Haveli from the busy street, one can not guess that such a calm and serene place exists here. It is successful in reminding one how peaceful nature can be!

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The Whistling Teal makes you want to skip everything and just sit there enjoying the quiet and calm of the garden and the occasional chirping of birds or antics of squirrels.

 

It does not boast of a lake view or of being on a hill top but yet, The Whistling Teal is a place you should head to if you are in Udaipur. It can be romantic and cosy while being beautifully luxe at the same time.

 

 

Odd garden knick-knacks can be found all around which make walking around here really interesting. The owners also have pet dogs and rabbits and you are allowed to play with them. Aroma of coffee being brewed fills the area and the chips and barks and squeaks of birds and animals are the only music here, which by the way is more than enough!!

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We were so lost in the peacefulness that we really did not think about eating anything, but we hear that they serve really lip-smacking Rajasthani dishes. We can vouch for the coffee, though! 😉 😉

The Whistling Teal calls for a visit, even if it is a detour for you!

 

 

The Whistling Teal – Google Maps

The Whistling Teal Menu, Reviews, Photos, Location and Info - Zomato

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Jheel’s Ginger Coffee Bar & Bakery [Gangaur Ghat, Chandpole, Udaipur]

What happens when you visit a new city and meet locals, be it relatives or friends?

They tell you all about the places you should check out. All this advice is definitely worth heeding to (mostly).

But what when each one tells you  ‘You have to visit Xyz, the view is amazing’ or ‘Have you been to Xyz yet? If not, let me take you, you will thank me later’ and you proudly nod and say, Oh we checked out Xyz yesterday, and we know what you are raving about!’

The Xyz in this context is Jheel’s Ginger Coffee Bar and Bakery and obviously, we are the epic people who checked it out!

Jheel’s Ginger CBB is a guest house that also houses a café and bakery and is located at Gangaur Ghat with a magnificent view of Lake Pichola. The café is spread over two floors of the guest house – the ground floor and the open terrace.
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One can see the entire area lit up, from the bridge to the other hotels and buildings.

February being comparatively cool in Udaipur, the cool breeze made us shiver, but the feeling is totally worth it!

The menu is quite well spread, but we were not here for the food, so we stuck to coffee and a sandwich.

Jheel’s Giner CBB is pretty famous for the breakfast range it has on offer, so that is something one can check out

 

Getting here is a bit tricky since the Cabs do not come beyond Jagdish Temple. One can take a tuk-tuk or an autorickshaw to the nearest point (being the Mata Temple bridge) or can just walk the distance (which is not much) and enjoy the colourful handicrafts and artefacts on the way.

Jheel’s Ginger Coffe Bar is one café you must visit on your trip to Udaipur, not only for the view but also for their decent grub.

Jheel’s Ginger Coffee Bar & Bakery – Google Maps

Jheel's Ginger Coffee Bar & Bakery Menu, Reviews, Photos, Location and Info - Zomato

Café Ra – Bollywood Café & Restaurant [Chandpole, Udaipur]

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Bollywood Themed Café?

Nothing new in that, right?

But finding it in one of the lanes in Chandpole, famous amongst tourists who may not know many of our stars, was pretty surprising for us.

Café Ra looks like the house of a crazy Bollywood lover, who knows every movie and every dialogue at the back of the head and has a room that is a shrine to a celebrity or Bollywood in general.

Replete with drama, Café Ra is a cute and rugged restaurant dedicated to the owner’s love for Bollywood.

In fact, the way we located this cafe was equally dramatic. We were walking down the narrow lanes of Chandpole, to find another café, when we saw some really colourful and funky looking graffiti on the side walls.

Curious we walk in and discover this fun place. The walls at each level are covered in movie posters, pictures of actors and actresses or movie names. The topmost floor is labelled Stall and has its two walls covered in paintings and movie posters. On the same wall, one can find Coolie and 3 Idiots, Umrao Jaan and Jodhaa Akbar, Pyasaa and Dil Wale Dulhaniya Le Jayenge!

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The cold coffee was something you can refrain from ordering. It was basically sugar water with a little flavour. Hot Coffee was decent.

What you must give a shot to are the parathas and other desi items. We loved the Aloo Paratha we ordered. It was huge and super delicious and spicy like we asked it to be. Served with a lip-smacking mango pickle, this one totally made our day! Another good news? It was for only ₹50!

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Café Ra is a restaurant you should definitely visit for a pocket-friendly meal. Our bill came to a total of ₹150. If not the food, the paintings and the insignias and the Bollywood craziness is sure to make you smile.

Café Ra, Bollywood Café and Restaurant – Google Maps

Cafe Ra - Bollywood Cafe & Restaurant Menu, Reviews, Photos, Location and Info - Zomato

PotLuck [Lokhandwala]

I make my own luck and I make it in a pot and then I bring it to potluck – Jarod Kintz

So there the secret is… you gotta make your own damn luck!

And we think, we did.

Sometimes you get happen to hit a jackpot and find a place that makes you really happy the moment you step in each time!

Done in cool blues and peaceful whites, this place is modern yet has an old world, rustic charm! Wooden tables that bear a worn out look, floral chairs and cushions give it a very cozy and homely feel. Once you enter, you definitely will not wish to leave. Complete with huge wooden panelled windows and knick-knacks that add colour and pizzazz to the interiors.

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The outdoor seating is the best one, with lots of plants to lift your spirit. Only one issue, they do not have a shade and hence one can comfortably sit here only when the sun has set. Otherwise, this would be our favourite spot to be at!

Just like the décor, a great deal of effort is put in the preparation and the presentation of food. They have a good mix of breakfast options, nibbles, sandwiches, burgers along with salads, pizzas and kinds of pasta. We entered the place in desperate need of coffee (no, it is never going to change!) and were really happy and satisfied with the Cold Coffee. It was the right amount of strong and thick and was so chocolatey.

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Cold Coffee

How often does it happen, that you go to a place, just for coffee or tea or maybe a sandwich, but you end up staying for so much more! It happened to us at PotLuck. The music, the ambience, the food and everything, literally everything made us stay back for just a little longer. We ordered Maggi with a twist and Mince Soya Burger.

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Maggi

The twist in the Maggi was the insane number of veggies added and the spicy masala. One can find tiny pieces of everything, from carrots to mushroom to onion to bell pepper. The masala makes it mildly spicy and really delicious. Slurpy and delicious!  😍

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Mince Soya Burger

Mince Soya Burger had a soya based crisp patty with mushrooms. Lots of cheese, rocket leaves and tomatoes made the burger a complete delight. The flavours very not very sharp, as is expected from mushrooms and soya, but we could not have enough of the burger!  😍

Cranberry-Lemongrass Cooler was magnificent! When it was first put on our table, we were a little shocked.

Who wouldn’t be? Look at that!

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Cranberry-Lemongrass Cooler

And then, a strong aroma of Lemongrass filled the air. Not only is it totally Instagram-worthy but it was really refreshing and enjoyable with intense flavours of cranberry and lemongrass, the later overpowering the former just by a whisker.

Watermelon Basil Splash is another delightful drink made fresh, with watermelon and basil leaves and topped over with Sprite. We say fresh coz we saw them cut open a watermelon, crush its pieces along with basil leaves and then prepare our drink. The best part? Flavours of watermelon and basil overshadowed the soda content.

Open Garden Sandwich was equally delicious with lots of veggies, a really strong pesto sauce and cheese!

Fruit Barni Ginger Ale was a mix fruit mocktail with pieces of apple, pears and cucumber. Ginger did not overpower the other flavours, rendering a fruity and energising drink.

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Fruit Barni Ginger Ale

Apart from the food, another amazing thing about the restaurant is their playlist! Seriously, keep your Shazam ready, you are going to want to get a lot of those songs!

Overall, we just love the place. A calm and serene ambience, with really good food and warm service. 🙂

PotLuck – Google Maps

PotLuck Menu, Reviews, Photos, Location and Info - Zomato

Boardwalk by Flamboyante [Alibaug/Mandwa]

There is no blue like the Greek blue…… 

Perched on the waterfront near Mandwa jetty, this place screams romance and solitude at the same time. The whites and the blues, the salt sprays and the gush of the wind, the pebbled floor and the sunshade are what one should visit Boardwalk for!

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There is an indoor section as well, but frankly, why would you want to choose it! Getting here is fairly simple. Just hop on to one of the many ferries from Gateway and cover a short distance on foot after you alight at Mandwa jetty. The effort is totally worth it.

We went here for the Sundowner and were mesmerised by the tranquil and perfect sunset! What more does one need!

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The food here is good too, but we did not really try much.

Amritsari Chole with Kulcha: Chole ki sabzi was really yummy and very mildly spicy. Kulcha was basically aloo paratha, got and butter laden. The tamarind chutney that is served with the dish is definitely worth trying as well. Tangy and sweet, totally loved it. The quantity is just decent, with one Kulcha served. You can call for different types of Indian bread (parathas) as an addition.

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From the mocktails, we enjoyed Fresh Fruit Margarita and Shirley Temple. We also had Virgin Caprioska and Fresh Lime Soda.

 

The best time to visit the place is around late afternoon, right about when the sun is not too bright and it is not already evening. You get to watch the sunset! 😍

However, the time for which one can occupy a table here is limited. The management does ask you to get up once you have really surpassed your booking time. The place is generally fully booked, with large and small groups and couples alike. They also have sheesha which is another crowd puller. There is generally one or the other group celebrating an occasion by the evening, so the crowd is quirky and fun. A nuisance if you care, so rather let it drown in the sea as you enjoy your time here.

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Overall Experience: Amazing. Being water people, the setting was perfect. Loved every bit of our time here. The food is good, but on the pricier side. Our bill came to ₹2000 (two people).

Service 😐

Now you ask why 😐 for service? Read on, every coin has two sides. Only wish it were not true for this place!

Everything that is wrong about Boardwalk: The management is notoriously arrogant. It is a pain trying to get a table here. We had to call them continuously for 10-12 days and leave multiple texts to finally get through to them.

Another issue is the total lack of any consideration or hospitality on the part of the management. After making a booking almost a month in advance, they do not ensure that we get a flawless experience. Our table was near the edge, right next to the beach, and people kept flogging all three tables by this side for pictures. They would climb up the wall and pose endlessly, totally ruining our experience, while the management stood there doing nothing, saying nothing. Only when another couple raised their voice against this did the management ask people to vacate the area. The manager got into a tiff with around 5 customers in a span of three hours, which just goes on to show how irresponsible and uncourteous the management is. Thankfully, our servers were good.

Also, we were overcharged for our mocktails. They charged the cocktail prices for them and refused to accept that the prices are different for virgin drinks.

The only reason we would go back for would be the ambience and the view. The feeling of being far away in a beautiful place. If you ignore everything else, then you will definitely come back feeling refreshed and happy.

Boardwalk by Flamboyante – Google Maps

Boardwalk by Flamboyante Menu, Reviews, Photos, Location and Info - Zomato

Kiki’s Café and Deli [Alibaug/Mandwa]

Imagine your closest friends, a cup or two of coffee, infectious laughter and the soothing music of the waves splashing against the coast right in front of you.

Nope, not a dream. Just get on the ferry to Mandwa and head to Kiki’s Café and Deli to enjoy a peaceful view with some good food. The cafe is located near the jetty and serves some quick bites and beverages along with an amazing view.

The interiors are fun, colourful and funky. The indoor seating is spacious with different seating to accommodate a small as well as a large group. However, the outdoor seating is the real deal, with the view of the beach, this is just amazing for a morning breakfast or an evening coffee. The cafe opens at 8 am, which is just perfect! We visited the cafe early Sunday morning for a lazy breakfast and came back happy, although a little light in the pockets!

 

Here is a peep into what our Sunday morning looked like, or rather, tasted like!

Egg Kejriwal: I am no master on this dish, but it tasted as good as it looks! Two runny fried eggs with lots of chillies, salt and pepper. The bread was toasted to the perfect golden brown shade and the dish overall was yummy!

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The Allibugger Pizza is one of the items you should definitely give a shot. Thin crust flatbread, with mildly spicy green chutney (mint) as the base, which gave it a mouthwatering aroma. The toppings included potatoes (surprising, I know), capsicum and onions with lots of cheese! Loved it!

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Green Garlic Paneer: Soft malai paneer pieces, made crispy on the outside by shallow frying them. The paneer melts in the mouth at the first bite. Tossed in a semi-dry garlic and spring onion mixture, this one was well made. The quantity is really little, though.

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Kiki’s Cafe and Deli is a place to chill and unwind, away from the cacophony and pollution of Mumbai. Although it does lack music and maybe a few games to keep people more engaged, there is an option of enjoying some basic water rides at the beach. Apparently, they also arrange for speed boat rides to and fro Mumbai.

Overall Experience: The cafe is not really light on the pocket, but a splurge that is well justified. Just imagine the view and ambience in rains! The ambience is good and the service is friendly. The food is not extraordinary but a few things are good. Their pizzas especially are a good deal. Our bill came to a total of  ₹ 2910.

How to get here – Take a ferry from Gateway of India, Colaba for Mandwa. The prices range between 110 to 180, with multiple options like the upper-deck and AC sections as well in certain ferries. Speedboats are also available. There are ferries every 30 minutes but the last ferry back to Mumbai is at 7 pm. (Please check for current changes in timings and prices).

Kiki’s Café and Deli – Google Maps

Kikis Cafe & Deli Menu, Reviews, Photos, Location and Info - Zomato