“People who love to eat are always the best people”- Julia Child.
Certainly when Julia Child was penning this down, she knew it would show her love for good food. And Lucknowites are indeed people who love to eat and feed. Known in equal measure for their mehmaannawazi (treating guests with love) as well as their love for all things food, they are also known for their ability to adapt to all types of cuisine. It is no wonder then, that the city offers myriad options for every meal, spoiling a foodie for choice. This series, #BreakfastTrails is about exploring the most interesting breakfast options in this largely laid-back city of nawabs even as it slowly but surely picks up traits of a faster lifestyle. Perhaps this is how one would best describe the breakfast options available in the city of Lucknow: from traditional poori sabji and kachauris available early morning across the city, to the best of world cuisine, there’s something here for everyone’s sensibilities and breakfast preferences. Most foodies across India would be familiar with Café Mocha. Among the more popular café chains in India, it has opened a branch in Lucknow too. The sheer variety of food coupled with the ambiance makes the café a perfect spot for a breakfast or even a full meal. Situated on the top floor of a complex, it offers both indoor and outdoor seating options, making it a perfect meal-with-a-view, even as the city below revvs up for a busy day.
We visited the restaurant on a really busy morning when it was bustling with people of all ages. After checking out the menu (which is largely filled with Mocha regulars), we picked a few dishes, and each of these, listed below, comes highly recommended. Read on. Masala chai cutting : Every tea lover’s delight, this is a great drink to start the morning with. Masala tea with froth on the top, aka latte, served in a beautiful blue chheeka (tea holder) to give it a desi feel. Lightly frothy, the cup is full, but is still called cutting to remind us of the flavours that a cutting chai is typically known for.
Cappuccino with hazelnut syrup : "When in Rome, do as Romans do... similarly, when at Mocha, do try their coffee...". ;-). Who says tea cannot be had with coffee, so I asked for a cappuccino with hazelnut syrup. Loved the coffee – it was strong, flavourful and had just the required amount of sweetness thanks to the hazelnut syrup.
Grilled chicken tikka sandwich : This one is a winner for sure. The chicken tikka was soft and juicy and blended with the perfect spices, the bread was soft (it is freshly baked everyday in their in-house bakery) and the mint chutney was an awesome add on. Highly recommended.
Sunny-side-up eggs with Hash browns and Multigrain toast : Well cooked eggs with crisp hash browns and freshly baked multigrain bread makes for a complete meal for one. A special mention for the in-house baked bread – it adds hugely to the overall taste and experience.
Mumbai kanda bhajiya pav: We could keep coming back to this place just for this dish. Fresh Mumbai pav buns are layered with green chutney and stuffed with a aloo bonda to make a Mumbai-style vada pav. Adding zest and crunch to this traditional favourite is a layer of crisp onion pakodas. Served with ketchup and chips (not fries, to keep the desiness intact), it is lip-smackingly perfect. The soft bun and crispy pakodas create a dhamaal in your mouth with the first bite … super recommended.
Khow suey : Served tastefully in a wooden tray, it was a dish made up of subtle flavours. The soup was made well and had a soothing taste, while the multiple accompaniments the dish comes with, added just the right notes.
Lemonade : Light and refreshing, served in a mason jar, this is a good accompaniment and serves as a digestive given that you’ve allowed your tummy to enjoy a load of good food. Bahaut Berry Smoothie: Don't opt for this filling smoothie if you’re seeking something light. Fresh berries blended with yoghurt, the end result has just the right amount of tangyness to make you enjoy it with all kinds of dishes.
Some more recommendations for what to eat, are as below: Mocha Masala Omelette, Jalapeno Poppers, OMG Grilled Chicken Burger, Spicy Chiptole and Cheese Burger, BMT Panino, Baked Mac and Cheese Pasta, Arugula and Goat Cheese Pizza, Banoffee Pie, Cheese Cake Brownie, Rocky Road Shake, Doppio. And some more basic details about Mocha Lucknow: Timing : 11 AM to Midnight, All days. Location : Near Patrakar Puram Crossing, Viram Khand I, Gomti Nagar, Lucknow Seating : 110 including indoor and outdoor Cuisine : Multi Cuisine Fusion Food Average Pricing for two : INR 600 to 1000