Friday, February 23, 2024

Ovensay Cafe: This co-working space for bakers serves up 90s nostalgia and TikTok butter spreads

Grilled watermelon poke bowl

Grilled watermelon poke bowl
| Photo Credit: Special Arrangement

Ovensay is a place for foodies, home chefs, and cooking enthusiasts alike. The owner, Abhav Malhotra, who is a chef and food scientist and has graduated from the Culinary Institute of America in New York, has created a co-working space where home chefs can rent a kitchen and showcase their baked goods while offering masterclasses for those who want to hone their cooking skills. This is possibly the only co-working space exclusively for bakers in the city.

The cafe has a range of options, from dine-in to co-working spaces, and even a retail space for baked goods made by Ovensay and partnered home bakers. And the menu? Well, it’s all in SpongeBob SquarePants font and features food from popular 90s shows such as Friends and Pokemon. You can try Joey’s famous meatball sub or the cheesecake that caused a Rachel and Chandler showdown in the episode, The One With Cheesecake. And of course, don’t miss out on the Pokebowl inspired by the beloved Pokemon franchise. Quirky? Yes. Drab? Not at all!

Abhav knows that the game has changed and customers are no longer lured by fancy French presses and garlic bread. To stay relevant, he taps into the sweet spot of ‘90s nostalgia while keeping up with the latest Tik Tok food trends. Walking into the cafe and scanning the menu, it is easy to feel like you have been transported back to the era of scrunchies and Friends reruns, but with a modern twist.

I went on a Friday evening and the place had a quaint cafe vibe to it. They had the TikTok viral whipped butter platters I’d been drooling over on Instagram reels, with Korean cream cheese cross buns and Ramen bowls. What caught my eye were the board games made by Indian companies. It was a refreshing change from the typical restaurant conversation and phone-checking while waiting for the food to arrive.

Pizza at Ovensay

Pizza at Ovensay
| Photo Credit:
Special Arrangement

Speaking of the food, the grilled watermelon pokebowl stood out as a delightful medley of sweet, savoury and tangy flavours. The butter spread options were simply incredible, with pesto, caramel, coffee, garlic, and cream cheese all in one place — a true indulgence.

However, while the cafe’s concept is undoubtedly innovative, the layout of the small spaces across three floors, comprising a co-working space, retail space, training centre, and cafe, left me feeling somewhat disorientated. Nonetheless, the terrace area was a definite highlight, adorned with lush indoor greenery and twinkling fairy lights — a great setting for Abhav’s envisioned events such as match screenings and movie nights.

Finally, what is a good cafe without its bakes? Home baker Alifiya Kothari’s unique spin on the classic affogato, which is served as a coffee and chocolate tart, and the Italian tiramisu with ladyfingers were both decadent and delicious. The ladyfingers themselves were sponge fingers with a light, airy interior that soaked up the cream and espresso perfectly. Notably, the cafe makes 90% of its base ingredients, including butter and buns, in-house to ensure that guests are not served processed food.

Overall, the restaurant had a lighthearted and whimsical tone that sets it apart from other mundane cafes. It was a breath of fresh air, and I was glad to have stumbled upon it on a quiet Friday night on Richmond Road.


Hits: You’re my butter half, I Tira-Miss You and Espress ON

Misses: Astro to cosmo

Wallet factor: Meal for two costs ₹800

Ovensay is located in Castle Street, Richmond Town, Bengaluru. Open from 12 noon to 10pm. For details, call +919384614999.

#Ovensay #Cafe #coworking #space #bakers #serves #90s #nostalgia #TikTok #butter #spreads

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