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10.08.2017

The memo that turquoise-ing your brand will lead to success has reached everyone, including Essex Farms’ latest, Café Tesu. You can’t miss its sign, and while looking for it will probably end up saying the word ‘Rustique’ out loud, as you note the giant joint opposite. With these new kids and new words on the block – and no malls to navigate—giving them a try is no-brainer, and accessibility is the first plus Tesu earns in our great lunch adventure.
 
Around The World In Eighty Haze
 
Many good things flow in the introductory chapter of our journey, as we make our way into the roomy, well-lit restaurant. In fact, Tesu might be too roomy for the interior decorator, who seems to have done a bit of everything, but nothing fully: modern back-lighting (which flickers every eight minutes), distressed white tables, comfortable chairs, a small (unused) library, and a botanical ceiling can all be found here.

Tesu might be too roomy for the interior decorator, who seems to have done a bit of everything, but nothing fully. The same problem spills over to the menu, which hectically journeys all over the globe.

The same problem spills over to the menu, which hectically journeys all over the globe. More like a flight with three layovers rather than a cushy world tour, it offers sushi, pizza, sandwiches, salads, and large plates. We decide we’re in it for the carbon footprint, and pick a little from each section.
 

Crust Belt State

Miso salad is rancid: the iceberg is wilted, the flavor near metallic. We’re unable to get past a couple of bites, which a polite gentleman from the staff is quick to take note of, and quick to gather our feedback on. We are also disappointed, but not nearly as disturbed, by our second salad –goat cheese with poached pears and candied walnuts. While the presentation earns full points, the experience of eating it reflects Tesu’s larger problem: it has all the right ingredients, but they make little sense in relation to each other. The goat cheese sits atop a slice of bread instead of mixed into the dry salad, and the pears carry a strong just-cooked-in-alcohol taste, bitter rather than infused.
 
Things improve with pizza and khao suey. The latter is Khan Market Kitchen thick, infused with all good things, including a strong Punjabi kitchen dose of coconut milk. Our pizzas are on the thick-crust side too, but they are large, easy to share, and topped with fresh mushrooms and nicely caramelized onions. If you must order food, stick to sharing a bunch of pizzas.
 
Brews Run The Game
 
Otherwise, we recommend making a beeline straight for coffee: it is here that you should spend your money and time, dear reader. Our post-food cold hearts are instantly warmed by fragrant beans from Goan brand Devi, best showcased in our companion’s pour over. The less fancy coffees are equally impressive – even a simple macchiato is presented beautifully, with a single, shining coffee bean swimming perfectly in a steamed milk jacuzzi.
 
We’d go back to Tesu just for the coffee, the single thing that they do better than most places. Though this may be a small thing, the passion and expertise they bring to it is large – much larger than anything on the grand menu.
 
Getting there: Essex Farms, 4, Sri Aurobindo Marg, Vijay Mandal Enclave, Kalu Sarai, call 98737 04704, Rs 3,000 for a generous meal for two.
 
Accessibility: Easy wheelchair access.
 
bpb reviews anonymously and pays for its own meals.

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