Noida’s Sector 18 market is crammed with bars and restaurants, but ‘happening’ is not a word you’d associate with any of them. Café $tyle is among the few exceptions. The mood at this eatery with attitude is young and hip, which is helped by the presence of a vintage motorbike inside the premises. The open kitchen lends an interesting focal point to the operation. Comfortable seating, a cheerful ambience and a great menu is what is certain to catapult it into Noida’s most popular — and stylish — restaurant.
Out of the soups, beer and cheese soup (Rs 135) was certainly unusual and a must-try. I certainly haven’t tasted anything like it. The chunkiest minestrone in the world (Rs 110 vegetarian/Rs 135 smoked chicken) came across as far too thick for my liking, with nothing but tomato in the base. What I liked about the salad section is the way it travels across the globe. There was a niçoise (Rs 185) representing the classics, a mezze platter (Rs 150/185) to take care of the Middle East, an Oriental shrimp, fish and rice salad (Rs 185) and a fruit chaat salad in potato basket (Rs 135).
However, it is the burger and sandwich section for which I’d keep going back. Absolutely nothing in that section conforms to the tried, tested or clichéd. Everything is in a unique mould. The fried fish croissant (Rs 230), for example, sounds as irresistible as the prawn BLT sesame toast (Rs 265). I tried the burgerrabia (Rs 195). What I got was a toasted pita with a generous portion of grilled tenderloin, a delicious onion jam and a fried egg — a unique combination and excellent value for money, served as it was with two types of French fries and an interesting salad with mayo dressing. My companion loved her chicken pot pie sandwich (Rs 195) that consisted of diced chicken and sweet corn in a béchamel sauce, filled generously into puff pastry. Bunny chow, a bona fide ‘sandwich’ invented in South Africa, is not only extremely filling, it is a steal at Rs 155. A half loaf of bread is neatly scooped out and filled to the brim with a spicy vegetable curry. It’s as filling as a main course at a fraction of the price.
Main courses are all priced within Rs 330. Desserts are displayed in a glass counter: you are supposed to choose what you like. They’re pleasant enough, but hardly in the same league as the sandwiches. However, avoid the hot chocolate and cold coffee drinks at all costs: they are watery and flavourless.