The newly opened Small Talk in Hauz Khas Village promises good coffee, crostini and cakes, and this little café in the big bad village delivers on its word - for the most part.
Brightly hued chairs and little marble-topped tables cozy up against victorian-inspired décor, trimmed with elaborate wall frames, olive green planters, old fashioned light fixtures and large French windows. There's also a pretty dessert counter. "A bit like Elma's?" a friend asks laughingly.
First up is a chilled coffee shake that takes its own sweet time to arrive. Unfortunately, teething troubles don’t end there. From just looking at it, we can tell there’s too much milk and not enough coffee. The staff offer to redo the shake at once, and this time around it’s perfect – but they’re also clearly inexperienced, so we’re on our own while ordering.
They’re out of a number of options on the day, so we settle on a classic tomato and mozzarella salad. Crisp lettuce, sweet slices of tomato, good cheese: we could eat this everyday.
Pretty as a Penne
For our mains there is a penne primavera topped with mushrooms and crisp bacon - easy on the eyes as well as the palate; and pan seared chicken, two crisp slices of chicken breast instead of the more usual, single and larger piece of meat. It comes tossed in a tangy lemon butter sauce that is fragrant with infused herbs. Order with it a side of bread, to mop up the sauce with.
The dessert counter here lives up to its promise, yielding a seriously awesome slice of peanut butter cake - creamy and perfectly balanced between sweet and slightly salty peanut-butter flavors. Lemon cheesecake, however, is a let-down – too tart and stingy with the biscuit base. No matter: it may have ended on a sour note, but our meal at Small Talk was altogether sweet.
Getting there: 14 Hauz Khas Village, first floor, call 9910833398, a meal for two costs Rs 1500 without alcohol.
bpb reviews anonymously and pays for its own meals.