Bloggers Table | Rose Café, New Delhi … a thorny affair and Pinktober let down

“You can complain because roses have thorns, or you can rejoice because thorns have roses.”
Ziggy

Rose Café, New DelhiIt was the high after an excellent and pampered dinner at The Leela, Gurgaon that carried the Bloggers Table to a supposedly fun filled and leisurely brunch to the Rose Café, Saket, New Delhi the next noon. Not a bunch to miss out on a fun Sunday afternoon together, even though a few of us were eating more than we could accommodate in a single weekend, we were game. Good company is always a promise for good times … Rose Café, New DelhiThe folk at the bloggers table delivered the promise as always … giggly, enthusiastic, chatty and click friendly. Rose Café, New Delhi, however didn’t!  We failed to see the writing on the wall several times, willing to overlook glaring shortcomings, ready to forgive a lacking service standards, ever ready to accommodate an upcoming new venture which showed some promise, even forgave a bit of hair in a glass of water. Maybe we shouldn’t be so large-hearted after all!Rose Café, New Delhi The first impressions were quite nice, but they didn’t last long. They were put to a brutal end by a rather obnoxious young man from the cafe, who, other than using physical force, accosted a few of us women verbally and rather nastily. Catch the horror story at the end … it was something that shouldn’t have happened!Rose Café, New DelhiThe place had this nice English rose look about it, distressed furniture that I love, a play of pastel pinks and blues that gladden the heart. Good overall feel to the place though the seating appeared a little cramped. I had happy thoughts of another good Pinktober blog postshort-lived though!Rose Café, New Delhi It was pretty pink alright, though the stewards in pink shirts were a bit much for me. The other thing about the staff was a lack of any personal touch, eye contact or ‘café warmth‘. They were very robotic from word go … and didn’t get much better as the clock ticked!Rose Café, New DelhiWe were  about 14 of us. That was definitely not too many for Rose Café to completely mess up the orders, more so since we had called ahead. A few got food, the chatty women especially {thank heavens I’m chatty}. Not so the poor men, and that got them rather hot and bothered. 40 minutes without a meal wasn’t happening at lunch time. Also, have you ever been served jacket potatoes with dessert? ROFL … that happened too!Rose Café, New Delhi To be fair, the thin crust pizzas were good. But then again, there are many more places that offer really good pizza with outstanding service, so would rather head there. Try Olive which is a stones throw from Rose Café, else head for Amici in Khan Market. For me, cuisine is the entire ambiance and hospitality experience. I’m certainly not heading back to this pink place in a hurry!Rose Café, New DelhiThe bruschetta was good too with a generous topping of goat cheese and caramelised onions. The spicy chicken bits were very overcooked and hard though the dipping sauce was zingy good with vinegar and green chili. Still, what’s a dip if the ‘main player‘ is bad news? The bunny chow was soft and the baked beans complimented it well.Rose Café, New Delhi The only other thing that deserves some mention was the shepherds pie! The rest of the food was very mediocre. What was really noticeable was service standards, or rather, the lack of them! There was large scale mixing up and slip ups on orders. Drinks either came in doubles, or didn’t come at all. The staff were unable to recall who asked for what, which meant quite a few goof ups. I also heard that the eggplant parmesan was a disaster.Rose Café, New Delhi Dessert was by far the biggest disappointment, especially for the baker in me. Can you possibly serve frozen cake at a table? The macaroons were cold {from the fridge cold}, and so was the lemon cake. The tiramisu was meh! The espresso cake with whipped cream and a caramel sauce was the only saving grace. The grand finale was a cake baked specially for the table, a layered raspberry cake I think. In many ways it looked like it was all dressed up with nowhere to go because it was served frozen. Knives and forks battled the slices which should have been melt in the mouth tender. Quite disastrous and a huge let down. Time for a new pastry chef maybe?Rose Café, New Delhi Time for adieu … and that’s when the drama unfolded. An angry young man from the cafe decided to display his very inhospitable side over a matter which was bothering him. To add injury to insult, he almost physically asked us to step back in. He’d do well with a crash course in hospitality, addressing women, public dealing and social relations. The industry is clearly unsuited to his aggressive personality because this line is not just about food. It’s about the entire experience.Sri Sathya Sai Baba The few happy good memories we packed to take away were rudely snatched away from us just as we left. NOTHING ‘ROSE-Y’ ABOUT IT, nothing worth going back for! The apology that followed did little to douse the fire as it came on demand, and carried on the inflame the situation a wee bit more. Thank you but NO THANK YOU Rose Café!

Others at brunch who shared the ‘not such a pink experience‘ that afternoon…
Sid @ Chef at Large
Sangeeta @ Banaras ka Khana
Sushmita @ My Unfinished Life
Rituparna @ Chocolate & Dreams
Charis @ Culinary Storm
Himanshu @ The White Ramekins
Ruchira @ Cookaroo
Rekha @ My Tasty Curry

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Also find me on The Rabid Baker, The Times of India


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