At any given day, if asked for a preference between a restaurant and café, I’ll choose a café. Cafés hardly disappoint. They are warm and inviting. Unlike a restaurant, where you mostly just mechanically eat and leave, a café lets you linger in its space. On one of the days when I had the chance to work from home, I decided to make a café my workstation. Cafe StayWoke in Gurugram, was my base for a day. This newly launched food joint at the first floor of Gurgram’s South Point Mall is a nice addition to the list of best cafes in Delhi/NCR.

The décor of the place, teal and white, is soothing. The walls are decorated with quirky texts, the furniture is wooden and the most important bit—they have cute little trees in their café! I am sorry for sounding overexcited but my happiness knew no bounds when I found trees in a quaint little café in a posh Gurugram mall. Basil and chilli trees are planted here which emerge from a high top table. With seats around the table one can literally have conversations around trees here.

The owners Manali Guha and Abhinav Aggarwal recently established this venture after quitting corporate jobs. “We always wanted to do this. Café Staywoke has been built with lots of love and we researched a lot before setting up the space. We visited a number of restaurants in NCR region and learnt about designing the space and choosing the food,” says Guha.

There are a range of beverages available here. Firdaus which is Kashmiri Kahwa stands out. Infused with ingredients like saffron, cardamom and flowers like marigold and cockscomb, the tea is a winner. The coffee here is sourced from Blue Tokai—a joint that provides freshly roasted coffee. I would also recommend BananaDate-Lime Smoothie for its richness and newness where dates are mixed with the fruit. At Café StayWoke, one can try the tasty Antipasti Plank. This is a vegetable platter which comes with broccoli, grilled mushrooms, seared peppers, zucchini, egg plant, carrots, beans, chives potatoes and toasted Bread. Also try Orecchiette. It is semolina pasta and has red bell pepper in it. The light flavouring by tomato sauce in the dish gives it a tangy taste.  The café also serves a range of non vegetarian dishes and innovative egg-based dishes. One should not leave without having Semifredo. It is a bitter chocolate dessert that comes with citrus peel and vanilla ice cream.

Aggarwal talks about the food in the café. He says, “The food style at StayWoke is ‘Gourmet Casual’.  We use both global and Indian flavours in the preparation. We believe in using quality ingredients and we will never compromise on it.” And we hope for the same.

Café StayWoke; South Point Mall, Golf Course Road, Gurgaon

Meal for two: Rs 1,100 approx

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