The Philosophy Club,
8, Sarthik Complex.
Next to Gulmohor Mall,
The Philosophy Club had been on our wishlist for quite a while, but being a vegan cafe, it tended to lose out to the non-veg restaurants when we made plans to eat out.
However, on one of the days that we wanted a place to grab a filling lunch at 4pm, we finally headed here.
Its a cute small space (about 4 - 5 tables), right next to Gulmohur Mall and I love their seating arrangements and the brilliant collection of books that they have for the customers reading pleasure.
But things obviously boil down to quality and taste of food.
The plates on which the food was served were so beautiful, that we knew the food had to be good too.
The falafel platter (400/-) was excellent. An assortment of Chickpea croquettes (I've rarely found fava bean falafels outside of the Middle East), with hummus, babaganoush, muhammara and pita bread. It really brought back the familiar flavours from Egypt and Lebanon. However, since the original ingredients of these recipes are Vegan, there wasn't much "innovation" to discover.
The African cashew cassava (400/-) was different from anything I've eaten before - this was my first time tasting cassava - its somewhere between a sweet potato, tapioca and raw plaintain in taste and texture. It seemed like it was high on both carbohydrates and fibre. It was tossed with toasted cashews, bell peppers and tomatoes.
Husband loved the pasta salad (300/-) - a cold salad of pasta, tomatoes, cucumber, olives, basil and pine nuts. He would have preferred a hot pasta, but hadn't realised when he chose a pasta salad, rather than from their variety of hot pastas.
Where we were disappointed a bit were the desserts, especially in their presentation. Pictures we had viewed earlier (on other foodie websites) were really beautiful, but what we received were tiny portions that weren't very neat. The carrot cake (200/-) was drier than we like, and was a surprise especially since it is advertised as a moist cake. The chocolate cake (250/-) was slightly bitter, yet we loved the taste and texture which came from its walnut base and was quite lovely given that it was made without eggs or milk or butter - basic baking ingredients. The cheesecake (270/-) made from almonds and cashew nuts was also interesting.
The fresh mint Moroccan tea (120/-) , Almond frappe (250/-) made from almond milk and Cappuccino (120/-) were excellent. The pomegranate tea (100/-) was average.
Its a bit of a hit and miss, depending on what flavours you like. Overall, we did like the food and loved the relaxed atmosphere and Gemma's infectious enthusiasm and zest for life. The place is expensive, but that's because they have to make all the food from scratch, from extracting almond milk and making vegan cheese, so there's a lot of effort that goes into it.
The dishes in which the vegan options shine are obviously the desserts, milk based drinks and dishes with cheese.
Its a place to go and relax. Don't expect super fast service. The Philosophy Club is a place to relax, slow down, enjoy a book, indulge in philosophical or pointless rambling conversations. Its an experience.
As a note : They accept book donations to their readers bookshelf and also have a set of books for book exchange .