In current times, cafes are the new restaurants. Fine dining places are being restricted to occasions; you head to a cafe to grab lunch or dinner and comfortably chill out.
The trend makes sense for the last thing you want when enjoying your meal is to dress appropriate and sit uptight, right ? No surprises then that cafes pop up more often now helping restaurateurs tap the younger, more budgeted foodies who'd prefer a fun place to get their grub.
Tonino, the place serving fabulous Italian fare, is not just one of the city's most popular restaurants but also a hub for the elite. The customers there are naturally of a certain age and earn a certain amount therefore missing out on those who're up for something more relaxed.
This was perhaps what made the owners branch out into Tonino Cafe, a brighter and more relaxed version of the popular restaurant. But does the place manage to not bring down the brand's reputation? Thankfully, yes.
Bright, in nice shades of white, this cafe has clearly got the interiors right. From the moment you step inside to the time you head out, a vibe that's part fun and part warm will be a constant. The decor has been done to urge you to put your feet up, relax and have a fabulous time. And it does wonderfully well in making you do that. But don't literally put your feet up- its bad manners.
I started with the Bruschetta which though a wee bit too tomato-ey, was decent. Next came, Pollo con Balsamico and for me, that's where the meal truly began. Chicken that was just rightly tender and vinegar that tasted just right. Shrimp and zucchini on a pizza?
I was skeptical but Gamberetti e Zucchini proved me wrong. I haven't enjoyed such good pizza in a long while now! Main course brought in two things- Gamberi marinati con risotto di pomodoro e finocchio and filleto di manzo el pepe nero.
The first one is basically a rice dish with prawns that tastes fabulous and the other one is a mutton preparation that, a bit heavy on the stomach, isn't too bad either. Dessert came in two parts- Arabian Honey Cake and good old Tiramisu. Tiramisu was decent as expected but the Arabian Honey Cake blew my mind. It's a definite try for anyone heading to the place for a meal!
Though burdened with expectations thanks to its brand name, Tonino Cafe comes out with flying colours. The food is great, decor is lovely and you're certain to have a good time. I wish it was better located though for CP is no longer the happening terrain it once was. But going by how packed the place was despite having opened up recently, I'm guessing there's no stopping people from heading there.