A quick search on Zomato on the popular hangouts in Kochi led me to Café 17. I zeroed in on this place to catch up with a close friend for lunch. We were looking for a place that serves Continental/Italian food, since neither of us was in a mood for anything spicy and this place met all our requirements.
We reached there right in time for lunch. Located on the Kaloor-Kadavanthra Road, the Café 17 board is visible and chances are you’ll not miss it if you are looking for it. Even otherwise, the place is very easy to find, considering it is surrounded by quite a few landmarks – it is located opposite to Sreedhareeyam Eye Hospital and next to the FirstCry showroom. It was easy to find a parking spot as well, since there is ample space right in front of the building.
As soon as we entered the café, I fell in love with it instantly. I totally loved how the place was done up – the décor, posters and even the chalkboard wall. There is a beautiful, huge bookshelf on the right just as you enter and on the left there are a couple of board games placed on a table. The place looked very laid back and was not crowded. They had huge sofa seats too, perfect for a bigger group or for those who just want to relax, sip on something and get lost in a book.
It had been some time since both of us played Scrabble, so we decided to pick it up and play a game while we waited for our food. In the meantime, we ordered a Cold Coffee, a Mango Bite Smoothie, along with a Marinated Cottage Cheese and Fresh Vegetable Skewers, for starters. Our order was served surprisingly fast and we started our game while sipping on the drinks and munching on the starters.
The skewers looked picture perfect with the grilled paneer, bell peppers and cubes of onion put together and served along with a mint dip. The paneer was soft, well-marinated, and grilled to perfection and we savoured every bite of it. The mint-mayo dip, served alongside, was a bit of a disappointment since I felt it didn’t go well with the grilled paneer and vegetables. I preferred biting into the grilled paneer without dipping it into the mint sauce considering that it was well coated with a flavourful marinade, which didn’t need any dip to enhance the flavour.
As we relished the starter, we continued with our game of Scrabble, taking a sip every now and then from our drinks. I loved the Mango Bite smoothie that was a blend of mango puree and yoghurt, along with honey. I ordered it solely due to the fact that the name reminded me of the gold old Mango Bite that I used to relish as a kid. The taste may not have been the same, but this drink was good. Really good, in fact. The mango’s taste was quite prominent and it didn’t feel like it was blended with youghurt. I loved the Cold Coffee too – it was not overloaded with sugar and had the slight bitter taste that you associate with coffee, which I love. We ordered the plain Cold Coffee, the one without ice cream. However, the Cold Coffee with Ice Cream too is available and I’m sure it would be perfect with the bitterness being cut by the sweetness of the ice cream.
Our game was still going on and in between we placed our order for main course. After a quick look at the menu, my friend ordered an On The Highway Burger and I ordered for the Class Veg Burger. These too were served to us without much delay. The burgers here are generally served along with potato wedges, salad, and sauce. However, my friend requested for mashed potato instead of potato wedges and the staff was generous enough to change it as per her requirement.
While my friend relished each bite of the On The Highway Burger, which consisted of beef patty, salami and fried egg along with onion rings, lettuce and cheese, I loved the Veg Burger which came with a vegetable patty and the usual onion, tomato and lettuce filling. Undoubtedly, the beef burger was the star with the juicy patty and the fried egg and we loved the mashed potato that came along with it. Though simple, it was very smooth texture wise and ranked high on the scale in terms of taste. The patty in the Veg Burger was a little dry and slightly overpowering in taste, but I was totally in love with the potato wedges that were served alongside. Perfectly seasoned, crisp on the outside and well-cooked, I could’ve actually had more of it!
Though we were done with our meal, we were still in the middle of the game and so we decided to while away some more time until we finished it. We spent around three hours at the café and I must say, we didn’t realise the time pass. In the meantime, we were also asked for our feedback on the food. The place is moderately priced and the staff is extremely friendly and courteous.
Despite finishing the meal and sitting there, we were not even told once to hurry up, which definitely earned extra points from me. This place is a treasure for all those who want to relax and slow down. For those who live close to Kaloor, this is surely the place to go to if you want to laze around, read a book, or just need some time for yourself. For all those who are far off, this place is worth a visit!