After receiving countless recommendations from friends, I finally went to Big Yellow Door Café (North Campus) for a mid-day meal. It’s a café mainly targeted towards students and so has a very basic seating to fit max people in minimum space. The decor is ordinary and AC cooling is average. I was presented with a laminated sheet of printed menu card with items listed on both sides.
The choices are very basic as Mocktails, Shakes, Beverages, Pizza, Pasta, Burgers, Sandwiches, Wraps, Fried Chicken, Nachos, Few Side Dishes and 3 dessert options. Prices are very student friendly with dishes starting from Rs.40 with average dishes around Rs.100 and maximum still below Rs.200. My server tried hard to sell me with an optional seafood platter available off the menu which contained few pieces of Basa fish and 4 small pieces or Prawns but I did not fall in to the trap of eating Basa Fish for that amount.
The dishes I tried are…
1. Juicy Burger Non Veg – Very basic deep fried patty of chicken (definitely frozen types) with a thinner than thin leave of lettuce resting helplessly in a mess of Mayo applied in abundance on both portions of a mid sized bun. I would call it a Mayo burger with chicken.
2. Chicken Tikka Wrap – It was mentioned and assumed to be a chicken tikka preparation and I inquired the server if it contained egg, to which he confirmed. It was nothing else than a thin hard maida roti with filling of thick masala curry of hard chicken pieces (breast cut) without any egg or onion or dressing. I was disappointed with the dish as it was not according to the explanation of the server as well as per the menu and it was immediately taken back. They did not charge me for that either.
3. Chicken Mushroom sauce Penne pasta – It was very much obvious that their pasta would be good as most of the tables were already having it and my expectation was right. It was a good flavored pasta with mushroom sauce and chicken pieces. Well cooked, well flavored. Huge portion ar Rs.140. Not as good as Big Chill but much better than many 5 star coffee shops.
4. Chicken Mushroom Panini Grilled Sandwich – This again was a huge sandwich with a little less filling than what would have been called adequate. Mayo again in abundance but with filling of Mushroom and Chicken was still acceptable. I would say good VFM but can be improved with balancing the spices and seasoning.
5. Rocky Road Shake – I have heard so much about this shake that I was more than eager to have it. It’s a thick (OK, not so thick) chocolate shake with a slice of brownie warm and crumbled in it. Much like a liquefied and diluted Belgian Chocolate Ice Cream from Gyani’s. I specially asked them that I want it chilled and they put a lot of crushed Ice in it, not even blended properly with chunks of ice clearly felt.
All in all, I would rate my experience as extremely average. True, that I never expected a fine dining experience from such café but there is a lot of scope for improvement within their parameters and budget with some fine tuning with their dishes and seasoning.
They use Mayo in almost anything and everything and I guess the students around love it. It gives them an impression and feel that anything loaded with Mayo is rich. But for information, a 1kg bulk pack of Mayo is easily available for Rs.120 around and 15 to 20gm usage of it can load a burger upside down with it for only 2 rupees. It serves very bad calories with only vegetable oil used in it’s making but a student in his 20’s is already a calories burning engine and I don’t think they bother for it. When I was their age, I didn’t.
It’s a very basic restaurant / café with more than 75% of their items either served from packaged or readymade or frozen contents. They serve few pieces of non-branded potato wafers with almost every dish instead of French fries. I agree that their prices are very low (Mid Range) but then the value they deliver is even lower than what they are charging. But it’s their business model and they seem successful with that. Nothing sells like success.
I would certainly visit them again but this time with a lower level of expectation and that might give me a higher level of satisfaction.
by Rajeev Gulati