Cafe Turtle is a small cafe tucked into the Full Circle book shop in Delhi’s Khan Market. I have visited it a couple of times to catch up with friends over coffee. They have branches in Greater Kailash and Nizamuddin as well, but this is the one I visit. The other week I got an invite from them to checkout their summer menu. The sound of crisp, fruity salads, cold soups, and detox juices seemed like the perfect excuse to extract myself from the hectic-ness that work is at the moment. In the middle of a busy day we stole some time for a relaxed lunch. Just getting away from the office is like a break!
We decided to split the soup and they were happy to halve the salad servings for us. We started with the fruity salads: the spinach-mango, and the pear, rocket and beetroot, both with balsamic dressings. Both were good but the combination of mangoes, the essence of the Indian summer, with spinach and balsamic vinegar was very pleasing. We followed that up with the Spanish Gazpacho, which they claim to be their signature soup. The brown-green soup didn’t look very appetizing and a taste did nothing to change the impression. It was bland and watery and desperately in need of help – a touch of garlic, a spoon of yoghurt, bread, a dash of olive oil perhaps? In one word, disappointing.
For the mains, we ordered the Mediterranean Pizza, their Greek-style pizza with feta and olives, and Penne All’Arrabbiata, penne pasta in a light tomato-garlic sauce. The thin-crust pizza was good like a fresh-baked pizza always is. The penne may not have been al dente by Italian standards but was just right for my Indian taste-buds (and that does not mean it was mushy!), and the tomato sauce bright and fresh, perfect for a summer lunch. We didn’t order any of the fresh detox juices, preferring to drink water with our food. The juices do sound refreshing though – beetroot, celery, apple and ginger, pink lemonade…
There was room for dessert. There always is. A moist carrot cake sounded good and TH, the nut-freak, asked for the walnut pie which is served with a scoop of ice cream. The huge slice of carrot cake looked better than it tasted; it was missing the moistness. Some frosting would have definitely helped, but, just then, they were out of the frosted option. Coffee makes cake better. The cup of south-Indian filter coffee I ordered was spot on – highly recommended. And the walnut pie, well it stole the show – a crisp crust with a barely sticky walnut layer on top, set off beautifully with creamy vanilla ice cream.
I will recommend Cafe Turtle as a great place to browse a book, meet with friends over coffee and cake (walnut pie, actually!). The ambiance is great, the service unhurried. They have a terrace that looks like it would be nice to sit in in pleasant weather.
I almost missed it (tells you how much of a carnivore I really am) till TH pointed it out – there’s no meat on the menu. Lo and behold, this is a vegetarian cafe! If that isn’t novel, what is! So, all you vegetarians out there, here’s a menu that has a lot to offer your kind! Just avoid the
Note: The food was complimentary, but the review is all me!