Bang For Your Buck

  • Afshan Rashid
  • Publish Date: Jun 26 2016 2:52PM
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  • Updated Date: Jun 26 2016 2:52PM
Bang For Your Buck

Why Lacima and Pizzeria café is a discerning foodie's delight

Lacima and Pizzeria café is a foodie's delight: delicate on the taste buds, easy on the pocket. The takeaway joint, tucked away in a corner of Gole Market, Karan Nagar, could well take this as its motto: indulge your palate without pinching your pocket.
 
The cafe grew out of the dreams of friends Arif Hameed and Rashid Beigh. After doing their MBA and MSc IT from the University of Worcester and the University of East London, respectively, they both took jobs at Pizza Hut in London, and went on to becomeRegional General Managers in a short time.
 
In 2009, they returned to Kashmir and worked with various companies. But they kept dreaming of opening a cafe “with the same standards as in London”. After conducting a survey over three years, they came up with Lacima and Pizzeria at SSM College, Pattan, in 2013. Now, they are in Srinagar.
 
“The idea behind the café is to provide quality and tasty food to people. We want to give the people a taste of the experience we had in London,” says Arif.
The café is so popular with the students and faculty at SSM that they asked the owners to set up branch out of the campus so that they could enjoy the delicacies even when the college was closed. The owners duly opened an outlet at Karan Nagar. And already, the new joint has became the favorite hangout of doctors and other staff who work at the nearby hospitals.
 
The cafe's specialty is Creamy Tandoori Momos, a delicacy inspired in equal parts by Tibetan and Egyptian cooking. Tender momos are baked, dipped in crème and three “secret ingredients”, and dressed with cabbage leaves and carrot flakes. The outside is crispy andthe inside melts in your mouth. It's a taste unlike any; describing it is futile, you have to experience it yourself. The momos are priced at Rs 50 for four pieces and Rs 120 for eight.
 
True to its name, the café also offers a range of “exclusive” Italian pizzas. The pizza bases are freshly baked with up to 14 ingredients, while the sauces are prepared, again, from a “secret combination” of ingredients. Still, if the pizzas on the menu don't tickle your taste buds, you have the option of creating your own pizza. The prices range from Rs 90 to Rs450, depending, of course, in the ingredients used and the size.
 
There are even pizzas catering specifically to the taste buds of children; these are non-spicy,and are prepared with fresh vegetables and perfectly roasted chicken. The momo section,too, has a few non-spicy options for the kids. Lacima and Pizzeria, in fact, is the first café in the valley which has options specifically for children. It, however, disappoints in that for an essentially Italian cafe, it does not serve the pasta.
 
On the sweeter side, the cafe offers its special brownie, easily one of the best I have ever tasted. Finely baked, and dressed with ice cream or hot chocolate, the brownie melts off your tongue.
 
The beverages menu is equally irresistible, not least the hot mojitos and the cafe's specialtyLacima Creamiono, a perfectly blended, refreshing drink of milk, coffee and ice cream.There is also a range of the regular shakes for the summer. For snacks, try the cheese-topped garlic bread; you won't be content with one serving.
 
The décor of the cafe, designed by a friend of Arif from Britain, is simple yet elegant. A wind chime hanging above the door announces your arrival to the staff, who courteously escort you to the sitting area. The café is relatively small but the tables are spaced far apart to allow for privacy. The brick wall partitioning the kitchen from the seating area is painted in vibrant colours to create a soothing effect. The wall behind the manager’s desk is decorated with comments scribbled by visitors on pieces of tissue paper.
 
If you are still not convinced and want more validation, the cafe was recently ranked the city's best on Trip Advisor.