Bagel’s Café, a cheery café in Gurgaon is a piece of Netherlands in the NCR. Owned by a Dutch lady, the menu features the bagel in its many avatars but doesn’t stop there. There are other dishes as well but it is clear that the star of the show is the bagel.
The bagel itself is reasonably authentic; to be sure, it’s not like the New York original, but then, our city doesn’t seem to be able to do a French baguette either, so that’s not surprising. The choices are centered around filled bagels, where the fillings play a major role and the bagels are more or less in the background,
The basic bagel comes in seven varieties, ranging from white to wheat and multi-grain with a couple of choices within those divisions. You choose whether you want them plain or toasted (lightly toasted is the way to go). Then you choose from the most simple to the most complicated. Chocolate sprinkles (Rs 80), that quintessentially Dutch concept, as well as peanut butter (Rs 80) is the simplest fillings. What impressed me is that both are imported – the peanut butter is smooth and creamy and the bits of broken peanuts have a satisfying crunch. Similarly, chocolate sprinkles are made in a number of countries in South East Asia, but the owner has gone for Dutch sprinkles.
You could have tuna melt (Rs 160) as a complete meal, filled as it is with mashed tuna and tiny dice of tomatoes and onions, blanketed with a layer of cheese. A novel filling is goat cheese, honey and walnut (Rs 180) but it’s a tough choice choosing only one filling because it means that you have to forego the rest!
However, it is the owner’s attempt to cater to the local palate that has resulted in a unique set of offerings that work really well. The meal in a bowl section consists of vegetarian and non-vegetarian stew-like options (Rs 225/250) that are served with a bagel. I tried the country style stew with chicken, bacon and sausages with toasted bagel. As with nearly everything else on the menu, this one relegates the bagel itself to the background while the stew and its generously portioned ingredients make an extremely filling meal. Likewise, the salads and the eggs to order too are served with a toasted bagel.
Don’t miss out the dessert section. The scones (Rs 45) are the Dutch version, served with sour cream and jam and studded with chocolate chips. The carrot cake with cream cheese icing (Rs 110) is a fairly unusual offering in the NCR and is a fabulous way to end a meal at Bagel’s Café.
Bagel’s Café, D 140 Shopping Mall, Arjun Marg
DLF City Phase I, Gurgaon
Open from 9 am to 10 pm
Average cost of a meal for two: Rs 800
Credit cards accepted; no alcohol served