Blurb: Straight from Milan is this café next door to a designer furnishings showroom.
Visionnaire Café really does try to make a difference in Gurgaon. Especially in terms of the concept: a café next door to a luxury furniture showroom selling the designs of Ipe Cavalli and Fendi. Both are prototypes of the original in Milan. And no, Ipe and Roberto Cavalli are not related.
Atmospherics: It’s a promise: you won’t feel that you are in Gurgaon at all. Or for that matter, even in India. The metallic lilac chairs are unlike those of any other restaurant in the NCR and the chain curtains allow you an eyeful of the showroom next door with super luxury sofas and coffee tables. Though it is a branch of the Milan original, only the décor is the same: everything on the menu has been specially worked out for this outlet. It is not easy to find it: once you enter the gate, drive right, in an anti-clockwise direction. The café is on the last lap, just in front of the gate. You cannot see the signs at night and the guards at the gate are clueless.
Table Talk: Though the menu is really simple, the quality of the cooking is extraordinarily good. The restaurant would do well to up the ante a bit. The three cheese soufflé (Rs 250) was a masterpiece of flavour plus lightness. Vegetarian-friendly and chic, it is a memorable first course. Even better was the pumpkin raviolo (there’s only one, hence the singular) with raisins, gorgonzola and walnut sauce (Rs 250). Pan seared Norwegian salmon, fennel potato mash, asparagus tips with chive butter sauce (Rs 900) is well-cooked but it left me yearning for more. The kitchen is obviously capable of much more and it is probably to test the market that the menu is left uncomplicated.
There are salads, sandwiches, burgers, pizzas and pasta all aimed at the furniture showroom customer, (the store is open during regular store timings) but there’s no denying that the metallic colours are at their best at dinner time.
Plus and minus: Even more than the food is the décor that really makes Visionnaire Café what it is. The minus is definitely the rude guards at the main gate of the complex.
Do not miss: Panzanella salad, carpaccio di manzo, three cheese soufflé
Paras Twin Towers, Tower B, ground floor
Golf Course Road, Sector 54, Gurgaon
Open from 12 noon to 12 midnight
Meal for two: Rs 2,500