Walking into the not so popular MGF Metropolitain mall, little was expected to be found amid the dead contours of the complex. However, an inviting Café Ludus on the second floor was all abuzz.
The Roman word Ludus can be translated to a game or a school and the comfortable eatery tries to stay true to its name. With a bar which they call a laboratory and a library with easy chairs on the right, the café provides an interesting concoction of comfort and class. The seating outside is a complete contrast to the thematic emphasised inside, and they plan on also launching the Ludus grill in the vast space. The balcony gives a Mediterranean vibe, with white drapes and crude looking wooden furniture, adding to its raw appeal. Though the seating inside was interesting, we decided to sit outside for the music seemed a tad too loud.
Though the bar was not stocked at the time, the Cafe has got a liquor licence. The menu provides an array of mocktails and shakes to kick off the café experience. For the cold winter months, the Firenze, a thick creamy chicken soup with fennel paste warms the appetite instantly and has a very subtle flavour which seemed ideal. The ambitious menu leaves one in a daze with dishes that touched French, Italian, Greek, Thai and American cuisines, living up to the world cuisine tag that the café has chosen. One could start off with a Lamb meat bowl from the Middle East or a Country Roll from the States. Manning a brigade of over 20 cooks, Chef Amitabh Pandey says that he cooks over 25 different sauces every morning.
For main course, the carnivore among us orders a Maximus Burger which has a homemade juicy tenderloin patty covered with melted cheese and crispy bacon. The burger was not greasy at all and felt rather healthy, with a medium done patty topped with celery for that dash of freshness.
From the long list under the chef's special section, the towering Chicken Roulade showcased classic French cooking that the experienced chef has mastered, having worked with Chef Gresham Fernandes from the Smoke House for many years. The rolled chicken was served with a wasabi flavoured potato mash and mushroom jus. The presentation of the dish instantly whets the appetite and the barbeque sauce which designs the plate leaves a lingering flavour of red wine. For Italian aficionados the café offers a range of Pizzas and pastas as well.
To end the meal, a big slice of hazelnut forlan, left a smooth aftertaste, though the crispy base was more chewy than crumbly. Nevertheless, the Cafe is an inviting space to spend a pleasant evening outside or read a magazine cosily inside sipping from a range of chocolaty shakes or fruity coolers. With a staff which is well versed with the menu and an generous portion with every dish, calling Ludus just a Cafe might be an understatement. One has to mention, that an interesting attraction were the mirrors in men's washroom, which proved that attention has been paid to detail while designing the space and sets it apart from the plethora of Cafe's coming up in the city.