Being 52 just gives you every reason to stay away from a computer however the pleasant flashes of sprawling lawn, jaw dropping structure N precise engineering and simple, fresh lip smacking food , has forced me to lift my otherwise lazy @$$ off the couch and write this bit. After investing in 2 restaurants and a café, life has made me as wise as anyone in the Hospitality industry
so every time I reach a benchmark, it only feels right to stop and share this buzz with the rest of my food loving fraternity out there?!!!
Before I like to start the review Id like to advice caution to most critics and food columnists who might have visited this place or are planning to do so in the near future, if your even half my age you guys would realize thats hats must to taken off and we must stand in ovation for the Management & the Team at Rasta for not just visualizing such a gigantic project and for bringing it to operational life, 35 kms away from the nearest city is a mammoth achievement in itself.Im sure people who've crossed the 25age breaker will agree that had someone given us a palce like Rasta Cafe during our stronger days, we'd all hang there by the day N night..... :-)
I happened to stop by this hidden treasure on my return from a tiresome 2 day wedding at Coorg. After a non-stop drive of 4 hours my body and mind had almost given up so without an option like most of us I decided to stop by the next coffee day to salvage some strength. Lucky for us my daughter spotted the happy looking Rasta Café hoarding jutting out off the trees and my aged body reacted in time enough to enter it. The story after this is totally apart, the parking lot somehow feels like a huge go-kart track(as huge relief for all us parking space nomads). Somehow for the first 5 minutes until my wife and daughter alighted and the friendly watchmen greeted us we actually felt out off place is this vast open compounded area. After quickly noting down our car number (which kind of gives me a sense of security since these guys seem to be taking security and monitoring seriously) he was courteous to point us towards the Café. Well I must say the Landscaping is very well planned and maintained. The snaking Italian styled cobble stone way leads to what can only be described as a unique, dream inspired structure. With the natural hay covering the massive barn looking structure reminds of my postgraduate days back at the countryside in Aberdeen, Scotland. Although the staff seem to be a bit busy, I was left smiling as a young gentleman politely greeted and placed us. Saying im an active member on the Café N Restaurant Circuit and that I hadnt heard of this place, I was astonished to find the 120 seater (Im guessing!!)almost full. To my further astonishment there was a good mix of youthful college going crowd and travelling family crowd like ours. The ambience and vibe that the place shares with its visitors seems to be a wow factor with most of them (not the leave out our fellow critics)!! The Menu certainly needs a few more starters and veg items ( my wife being a serious vegetarian ?) however all apart the FnB Menu put together feels like finding an oasis in the desert! The somewhat Uk inspired continental spread and the Refreshing Beverage Menu sure comes as a relief. The cold shakes seem to be a hit with most of the younger generation (snicker shake & Jamaican special, both which my daughter tried is a must try). The Coffee seems to have a very well balanced blend. The Double shot cappuccino and café mocha was well brewed and served piping hot just the way an old bull like me likes it!! ( at this point I must stop to mention , that I did read the previous reviews written for Rasta Café , and like someone mentioned that they did not find demerara sugar, to my luck I did get ample amount of demerara at my disposal, a point that also tells me that the management has taken feedback seriously and implemented the change which Im sure in the hospitality industry is a huge step forward). Back to the odyssey ?, the food seems to be exactly how people should be served food
Fresh, Hot, Clean, Presentable and Palatable!!! What I liked most was that unlike most other cafes, food here does not have preservatives added, cooked, packed and given reheated upon order!! Food here (although it takes 15-20min for your food to arrive which is totally acceptable saying the food is made fresh to order) is well balanced and refreshingly different. The Saucy Buffalo Chicken wings, the crispy N crunchy wedges & onion rings, the juicy fresh Lamb Pepperoni Pizza and the Rasta 10oz burger is a must try. The salads and sandwiches looked as tempting as melting chocolate. I so wish I could eat up my nose cause the breakfasts they serve look too good to be true literally (my apologies for mannerism but I couldnt resist peeking at my neighbors table)!!! The Veg Penne Red Sauce Pasta was a huge hit with my wife (being a bigger food critic than me , it takes a mountain to please her palate). Forbidden by my doctor but too good to resist I even took to bites out off my (unwilling to share) daughters Chocolate Fantasy Cake (totally justifies the name). The ever escaping fragrance of different hookah flavors fills the air mildly enough to trigger curiosity, as young people chug away on their hookahs. We decided to pass the hookah this time as there was no space to even squeeze in the smoke!!
What every soul will definitely agree with me is the fact that one never realizes how time flys by at Rasta!! What met my eyes was a pleasant sight. 90% of the staff seems to be young energetic, youthful men. Their in-experience shows at times but like all of us did, Im sure time and exposure will change them for the better. After running 2 restaurants and 1 café in Bangalore for the past 2 Decades has exposed me to the harsh realitys that all restaurant and café entrepreneurs face in Bangalore, starting from Labour , Rising cost, staffing and inventory control, Law provisions & permission and so on
. It struck to me, for the Management to start such an ambitious project and that too 35 Kms away from the city is sure a feather in their Cap and definitely to Bangalore as well (which despite seeing so much nightlife and corporate crowd has few if not no 24Hours café serving quality FnB). As much as my efforts to meet someone from the management met dead ends, Im sure Id get an opportunity to talk to these guys regarding how they manage to pull this off. Service certainly needs improvement but thats understandable saying these guys have been around for like 6 months now I hear. I also heard and read that my good friend Mr.Vikram Khurana has helped with the coffee setup, so Mr.Vikram if your reading this, I believe a little more of your undivided attention and Im sure Rasta will turn you into a cornerstone for the service level and benchmark of Coffee served Globally.
I truly do believe the entire place, setup, Food, Beverage, Coffees, staff and ambience has the potential to put Rasta on the Global Map. Also Im sure that someone from the management is reading this review, so for you guys keep rolling, keep the good work up. Im pleased to figure out that you have taken Critical reviews from impatient people in the right manner and implemented the same. To learn from mistakes and not repeat them is the way forward in this industry and Im sure you guys will keep to its pace. Also I dont know why you guys being modest but I believe you guys should advertize and let the world know your waiting for them!!!
As we drove out, the 3 of us had a sure smile on our face. Although our tired bodies were rejuvenated and our minds energized, we just maybe wanted to stay there a wee bit longer
. I promised to visit again and spend some quiet, peaceful & tranquil time at this green abode.
For everyone reading , remember what sets a great place apart from a good place is not just the vision&investment it carries but the reality in form of comfort & warmth it imbibes in you even after your long gone
HAPPYnSAFE DRIVING TO RASTA CAFE!
ALL THE VERY BEST RASTA CAFÉ!!!
(P.s probably the only 24 hour café Im comfortable knowing my daughters visiting with her friends
Thanks for your interest in public safety and for all the security surveillance and cameras)