Cafe Spotting #3: Nicky’s Cafe & Fine Pastries
Swiss-trained Nicky Mahboobani marked time for seven years (quite literally selling watches) before he launched this petite cafe that exudes European elegance. European artisanal craft enshrines in manically meticulous preparations, neatly presented. (Love those cutely bottled homemade health drinks — Nicky repugned Coke, mind you!) While walls are expressive with buyable art and culinary witticisms pepper tables, Nicky himself is mercifully taciturn. He lets his food speak for itself and its sheer eloquence. Sandwiches with home-baked breads are stunners: you’ve sophisticatedly packed can-rival-London’s-Pret-a-Manger sandwiches and perfect pesto in the pertest paninis this side of Milan. Pizza toasties bed on cloud-soft centres; chilli cheese toasties incorporate Nicky’s mother’s clandestine-recipe chilli. Puffs (try potato-capsicum) when bitten feather you in a million flakes whilst Nicky’s are amongst India’s few edible croissants. Macarons replicating legendary Parisian patissier Pierre Hermé’s recipes innovate in flavours like pecan-rum, key-lime and Mexican chocolate. Fantastic nougat and friable cookies heap the confection counter. But the tarts take the cake. We mean the crumble-at-touch ones containing cherries. This is a respectable place, dahlins.