A sulky chimp with hung-over red eyes stares down at you outside Macaca Café, a new Noida eatery that serves global cuisine. While no one from the management seemed to know why the place is named after the Macaque genus of monkeys – our bet is on gorilla marketing - one look at the shabby, garish décor and the arbitrary baptism was the last thing on our minds.
Despite the tacky paper lanterns, loudly printed velvet seats and windows with a view of The Great India Place Mall, Macaca Café seemed to be pretty popular on the night we visited. Wondering if the Euro Cup telecast had something to do with its packed space, we settled on low seated couches, our thoughts drowned out by the can’t-hear-yourself-think music. Or maybe it’s primate property, said a fellow diner trying to be funny.
Ale And Hearty
Hoping good food would save the night, we scanned the menu that takes you from Spain and Italy, all the way to Thailand in just a few pages. Now Macaca Café hasn’t acquired its liquor license yet and we were almost glad, because surely there are more fun places in the city to get a cocktail with friends. So from their mocktail list we picked the Cucumber Ale and Red that arrived pretty as a picture, staining lavish portions of crushed ice a deep minty green and burgundy. Our spirits were lifted instantly, when we encountered tart flavours that balanced sugary sweetness perfectly.
Unfortunately, our gushiness could not be carried over to the next course. The first of our appetisers, Spanish potatoes, turned out to be ordinary pan roasted potatoes seasoned with paprika and cumin; and the Macaca Chicken that we thought would be a house specialty, was fishy. And we mean this literally - one bite of the batter fried wings led to the assumption that it was fried in the same oil used to fry fish. And here’s what really drove us ape – they’re both served with a side of ketchup masquerading as dip! Next came the tapas featuring croutons of fish that we’re certain we smelt earlier on our appetiser and chewy overcooked prawns and chicken that were over-seasoned, not to mention stone cold. For mains we got the red Thai curry featuring crispy veggies that was marginally better, but could do with less salt. If you want to be safe, there’s also burgers, pasta and pizza on offer.
Less Talk, More Monkey
The dessert of the day was an unimaginative brownie that came covered in a sticky, coagulating chocolate sauce and the saddest sprinkling of nuts we’ve ever seen.
Cold and dejected, the brownie made us think of a heart broken lover left out in the rain. A romantic thought that was difficult to digest.
Getting there: J4 -5, first floor, Sector 18, Noida, call 0120-4131438 / 9811728822, Rs 2.500 for a meal for two without alcohol.
bpb reviews anonymously and pays for its own meals.