Restaurant Review: Vice Versa
Food: 3.75 | Service: 3 | Décor: 3
Vice Versa is a café located on the busy Fergusson College Road, right opposite the college main gate. Along with an impressive range of coffees, it serves all day breakfast, pastas, pizzas and some continental dishes.
The décor is simple and uses the color grey in different shades on different elements. The high ceiling with exposed AC ducts give an open, minimalist look to the café. The seating is comfortable with elegant wooden chairs and tables. Surprisingly, the place is very quiet and the soft music adds to the ambience further. You can observe the bustle of the busy FC Road through the large glass windows at the entrance. Even though the muted grey theme works, a splash of yellow or turquoise along with some colorful embellishments would add to the ambience.
Going beyond a typical café menu, Vice Versa also serves breakfast all through the day, a range of soups, salads, appetizers and mains. We tried all the three soups on the menu out of which the Carrot Orange Fennel soup stood out the most. The sweetness of the carrots and the tang of the orange was a great combination. The flavor of fennel could have been more powerful. The Mushroom Cappuccino was hearty and very flavorful. It is always lovely to see a spread of all-day breakfast on the menu. We got their signature English Breakfast with sunny side up eggs, toast, chicken sausages, hash browns, baked beans and a cup of cappuccino. You can pick your choice of bread which they bake in-house. It was a comfortable and simple spread, but in terms of taste, each and everything on the platter was on point.
From the appetizers section, we started with the Stuffed Jacket Potatoes which was a departure from the original recipe. The potatoes were stuffed with veggies and cheese and baked. This was a fairly average dish. The Barbeque Paneer Shaslik was skewers of paneer, bell peppers and onions grilled with BBQ sauce. This one was slightly sweet due to the sauce, but tasty nonetheless. Some more spice would have elevated the dish. The scrumptious Roasted Mushroom Bruschettas came next and impressed. The roasted mince mushrooms with caramelized onions and cheese on a crusty baguette was excellent. The Sticky Chicken Wings tossed in a sweet sauce were tasty, but the Lemon Cilantro Grilled Chicken was definitely our top favorite. The succulent pieces of chicken were marinated in a cilantro, mint and lemon sauce and grilled. The earthy and tangy marinade was reminiscent of Goa’s favorite cafreal masala.
I was pleasantly really surprised that all the non vegetarians on our table were quite happy with the vegetarian dishes on the menu. The crust on the Sun Dried Tomato N Olive Pesto Pizza was perfectly crunchy and crisp and the topping of sun dried tomatoes olives and the pesto was equally good. Another great vegetarian dish we tried was the My Mushroom Burger which has a pan-fried mushroom potato patty served as a burger with fries and mayo. The portion size was impressive and this was a meal in itself. From the mains, we picked the Cajun Grilled Chicken which was a chicken breast grilled with Cajun sauce, which was slightly sweet for my liking and served with a soft and creamy garlic potato mash.
The crème brulee sounded too tempting, but we decided to give their cold coffees a try instead of desserts. We got the Mazagran, an Algerian coffee drink with black coffee and lemon, which was fresh and extremely refreshing, particularly on a hot and sunny afternoon.
PLUS & MINUS
Along with their impressive range of coffees, Vice Versa also dishes out great food. The service is slightly inconsistent with long wait times between dishes. It’s heartening to see a local, homegrown café successfully standing its ground next to a global coffee giant like Starbucks. We definitely need more places like these.
Must Try Dishes: Carrot Orange Fennel Soup, Mushroom Cappuccino Soup, English Breakfast, Roasted Mushroom Bruschettas, Lemon Cilantro Grilled Chicken, Jack Chicken
Meal for Two: Rs. 900
Address: Shop No. G3, Millenium Plaza, Fergusson College Road, Shivajinagar, Pune 411004
Timings: 8:00 AM – 11:30 PM
Photo Courtesy: Vice Versa
Note: The article was first published in Pune Times on 9 February 2020.