By Marianne David
The Avirate Café by Paan Paan on Maitland Crescent is a lovely little space filled with lots of goodies, offering several tasty and value-for-money options for plant-based food lovers. While the pastry counter is always filled with sweet and savoury delights, the café also serves up freshly-made sandwiches and offers frozen home bake items as well. This is of course in addition to Paan Paan’s popular range of breads and buns, featuring over a dozen varieties.
Sandwiches, melts, wraps, and pizzas
The vegan and vegetarian sandwiches, melts, and wraps are very reasonably priced and definite value for money in terms of size and taste, while the focaccia pizza – served up ready to eat and also available in frozen form to bake at home – is a steal.
Vegetarian sandwich options at the café comprise Grilled Veggie in 100% Atta Flour Wrap, Grilled Veggie Submarine (in either Brown Multi Seed Bread, White Bread, or French Baguette), Grilled Veggie Cheese Melt in Panini Bread, Cheese & Tomato (in White or Brown Sandwich Bread), Cheese & Tomato in 100% Atta Flour Wrap, Cheese & Tomato Submarine (in either Brown Multi Seed Bread or White Bread), and Cheese & Tomato Cheese Melt in Panini Bread.
Of these, the vegan sandwich options are the Grilled Veggie Sandwich, Grilled Veggie 100% Atta Flour Wrap, and Grilled Veggie in Brown Multi Seed Submarine.
With all of the sandwiches, wraps, and melts, diners have the option of refusing butter and sauces and opting for olive oil instead.
Savouries for vegans are the Punjabi Samosa and the Veggie Roll, while vegetarians can enjoy the Potato Pattie and Seeni Sambol Bun.
Focaccia pizza options are the Regular Pizza and the Cheesy Cheese Pizza.
Breads, buns, curries, and more
All of the store’s breads and buns comprising over a dozen varieties are suitable for vegetarian diets, while vegans have the options of White Sandwich Bread, Brown Sandwich Bread, Multi Seed Bread, Low GI Multi Seed Bread, Atta Flour Chapattis, and Wholemeal Kade Paan.
French Fries (Rs. 600) and Green Salad (small Rs. 450, large Rs. 680) are also on the menu.
Meanwhile, the home bake items – pizza bases and pastry sheets – are vegetarian and made with vegetable oil, while the puff pastry sheets are fully vegan. Dhal curry and chickpea curry are also available in frozen form for easy meals at home.
Rounding up its offering, the store also serves hot coffee, iced coffee, and several kinds of bottled juices.
What we tried
Cheese & Tomato Melt (vegetarian): Priced at Rs. 770, this melt is a cheesy, chunky, and filling meal option. The ever-so-soft and fresh bread is first sliced and layered with cheese, then popped into the oven until the cheese melts, and finally topped with tomato, cocktail sauce, and mustard sauce. True value for money and yummy.
Grilled Veggie Sandwich (White Bread): Priced at Rs. 450, this sandwich has a spicy kick. The veggies are cooked with teriyaki sauce and seasoning powder and tomato and lettuce are added when it is being stacked up. Definitely worth the price and makes for a filling and healthy meal.
Grilled Veggie in Brown Multi Seed Submarine: We tried the nine-inch Grilled Veggie in Brown Multi Seed Submarine (Rs. 840) and this sub is also available in a six-inch version (Rs. 620). The Multi Seed Submarines here have always been a firm favourite and this massive option is loaded with veggies. While feta cheese is generously layered on top of the veggies, vegans can opt to go without and can also choose olive oil instead of butter. You better bring a large appetite if you’re going for the nine-inch version of this delicious submarine.
Focaccia Cheesy Cheese Pizza(vegetarian): Priced at Rs. 1,600, this square pizza is a steal at that price. Serving up nine good-sized squares of cheesy and yummy goodness, this is one pizza that will be a sure-fire hit, especially among kids. It’s also available as a home bake pizza to grab and go.
Paan Paan in general is a place that consistently satisfies the taste buds without breaking the bank and it has maintained the same approach with the Avirate Café by Paan Paan.
Open from 6:30 a.m. onwards, this outlet is the perfect stop for a healthy breakfast, a quick lunch, or an evening break.
The prime location on Maitland Crescent ensures easy access and there’s parking and an outside seating option too.