Nestled in the lush leisure valley in sector 29 is a haven for harried souls. Roots Cafe is a breath of fresh air from the mad-rush traffic, sky high buildings and the concrete jungle that Gurgaon is usually identified with. Huge mist fans keep the temperature bearable even in the severest of summers. The thatched roof also helps in keeping the heat waves at bay and creates a rejuvenating earthy atmosphere. The outdoor section of the café has fixed wooden seating, enabling patrons to enjoy their meals in the natural environment. Here too there are a plethora of circulators or large fans to keep it from getting too hot, and not to mention the natural shadows and surrounding greenery. I would love to mention that the trees flaunt weaver nests which are labelled, making it an informative visit especially when accompanied by children. To add to the educational part, the Café is co-located with the Rajiv Gandhi Renewable Energy Park.
The Indoors section has a cane style patio seating and some wooden benches. The place is a good venue to educate ourselves and children about conserving the ecosystem. The food is cooked in solar cookers. There is no air conditioning but you won’t even notice. The best part about roots personally for me is that the kids can swing, slide & stay busy while you steal a few moments of togetherness with your spouse. The place is dotted with ceramic knickknacks and their food is also served on colourful ceramic plates giving a very arty feel.
There’s a huge selection of beverages to choose from. While there are the regular options like Masala chai, Cold Coffee, Nimbu Paani, there are also some edgy drinks on the menu. The Pina Colada Lassi is one such drink which is lassi made with pineapple, yoghurt and coconut milk for the tongue smacking twist. They also serve Bel ka Sharbat which is a great cooling drink in sultry summers and I don’t think can be found elsewhere. The French Press coffee though steals the thunder. The portion is generous enough for two people and is my favourite beverage in the place.
The breakfast options comprise of Upma, Poha and Railway Masala Omelette Sandwich .The Upma and Poha are well cooked, and make for a hearty breakfast if you’ve spent the morning running around the park. For the main course I tried Rajma Chawal & the Indian Thali. Frankly, the Rajma was runny and not spicy enough for my liking. The Kadhi though was pleasant; the consistency was perfect, and very flavourful. The Indian Thali constituted Kadhi, aloo capsicum, and kheer .The aloo capsicum was well cooked like the one we have at home on a regular day. The kheer was cooked in a solar cooker, which probably left it devoid of much flavour. Again very ordinary in taste, akin to what an amateur cook would prepare. For an evening snack, I would recommend their Sabudana Fingers, which were crisp on the outside but mushy on the inside and tasted absolutely authentic. The cheese grilled sandwich was moist and generously filled, making it a perfect tea time snack.
All in all I find the place somewhat over priced for the food that tastes nothing out of the ordinary and serves a really limited menu. Hence, I would give this place a miss for major meals especially when you’re really in the mood to commit the sin of major gluttony. The café may still be a great option for people who are staying away from their homes and miss home cooked food. The beverages and snacks though are worth freaking-out on. Add to that the beautiful natural ambience that this cafe provides and it is an ideal venue to catch-up with friends and go out with family. Roots cafe will continue to be a regular haunt as it saves me from worrying about my kids and allows me to peacefully enjoy those evening coffee dates with my hubby.