So I'm a bitchy, grouchy, overworked, underpaid and perpetually pissed off 20-something writer. Basically, the nightmare customer for a newly-opened cafe.
I've showed up there in bed hair, looking every bit like I've woken up on the wrong side of the bed (or with the wrong person!) and been treated with Hardik's (yes, the NAME!) cheerful smile. I can't for the life of me understand what that boy finds to be cheerful about at the ungodly hour of 8.30am, but the dude manages it. And somehow, he makes you manage a smile too.
I'm not a foodie, and my experience has taught me that usually, the fancy-sounding stuff are just overpriced green leaves that taste like nothing. The smiling dude (let’s call him that because the name is just TOO much) actually LISTENS to what your preferred flavours are, and 9 out of 10 times, they’re bang on. I’ve been there about half a dozen times and tried the French Toast, Tomato Salsa Bruschetta, Shepherd’s Pie, Mediterranean Touch Panini, Conchioglione Pasta and some dessert that I don’t remember the name of, and everything has been divine. The dude remembers my name, remembers that I prefer tomato to cream and knows my disgust for exotic green leaves.
I don’t look at the menu at Melange anymore. Whatever The Smiling Dude suggests, I order. And so far, our relationship hasn’t had a hiccup. The portion size is good. A main is a meal by itself and a starter and a main will see you through the strongest of hunger pangs.
The service is a tad slow and I wish they’d go easy on the sweetness quotient in the Banana Chocolate Smoothie, but they make up for it by feeding their starving regulars even if they turn up well past the last order—with a smile, of course.
Oh, and The Smiling Dude assures me that next month, there’ll be wine and beer to go with the food.
The food is great, but what I really go to Melange is the experience around the food. Can’t wait for The Smiling Dude to get his wine license. A glass of burgundy would be the perfect companion for the happy glow that Team Melange delivers every time!