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19.03.2018

This patisserie is a cute idea that needs a lot of work. It took us a while to figure this out though. When we spotted it from our cars, driving out of Anokhi last week, we were just pleased to see another Fat Jar style place. From afar, Tête-à-Tête has the look of a fancy shack; the signage too – bold, simple and clear – is inviting. Close enough to the market, but not inside it, it’s positioned like a Parisian bakery, bathed in the best rays of spring, on a charming rue-de-something, a sweet place from where to look out into the world.

Luvvie En Rose

But we’re not on a rue-de-something. During our hour there, we look more at huge trucks carrying cement than pretty people walking their pooches. This makes facing inwards, towards the patisserie, a better option. From here, at least, you can have a full view of their retro desserts, including a pineapple cake. You can also make faces that people don’t see; when one auntie stormed out of her SUV and in to Tête-à-Tête demanding a ‘1kg apple crumble cake’ within seconds, and was politely turned down, we had a nice tête-à-tête moment with the staff (the only time the name of the place really came alive).

Even if some of the customers are on edge, the staff remains cool--so cool that, quite honestly, they fall a bit short of the mark on the professional stuff. Food and drink orders, like PNRs in the 1980s, need to be confirmed at least twice. Many items – much like flights from the same decade – are listed, but don’t exist. Should you visit, we recommend that you go with what the friendly and slightly disinterested staff advise; for us, it was the vada pao, which we assume is related to the “Pune Background” the staff say their owners are quite proud of.

Five Point Someone Else

While the four guys behind the counter rustle things up as quietly as they can – which is at an audible but forgive-able volume – we take in the place, both its sweet smallness and lack of originality. We love that the café cannot seat more than seven people at any given time, but wish there was a little more work put in to their book selection if they feel like they must have one: a row of never-opened Chetan Bhagats doesn’t really do anything for anyone.

Anyway, all the food arrives in timely fashion, and we eat everything. If you must look for a list of complaints, we have it readily available: Caesar salad should’ve come with grated parmesan on top (not on the side); a tomato basil sandwich needs a lot more grilling, and an Oreo shake is strictly okay; nothing to a city that was first introduced to it by the Big Chill. And if you’re looking for the positive, we have some of those too: the staff is right, the vada pao is probably the best thing. Unrelated to the food, it’s lovely that this is one cafe – maybe in all of Delhi – where buzzkill music is not blaring from the speakers, peak afternoon. Oh, and yes -- it’s almost Goa shack-reasonable.

In the sort-of-unlikely event that we make it back here, we’ll go with Pune not Paris: there’s some anda-pao, Maggi situation, masala-omelette type offerings. And just to give back a little, we might even bring our pooches, and photograph them with the meringues.

Getting there: Tête-à-Tête, B-24 ground floor, opposite N-block market entrance, Greater Kailash I. A meal for two costs around Rs 700

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Food & Drink