All holiday travel essentials include a list of – things to do and places to dine. We compile a list based on recommendations from friends, family, blog posts and then narrow down our choices.
“In Pondicherry, you should eat at the Rendezvous restaurant.” was a recommendation from family member.
“Cafe des Arts is a must visit place.” recommends a blog post.
We have 4 days in Pondicherry; one day was spent in travel; another day, lunch was at the Solar Kitchen in Auroville; that leaves us only 2 days to visit the recommended eateries – we have four top choices – and select two.
 The roof top restaurant Les Alizes in Palais De Mahe
 Restaurant at La Villa
 Restaurant at Villa Shanti
 Coromandel Cafe at La Maison Rose
First stop Coromandel Cafe at La Maison Rose🍃🍂
The heat in Pondicherry is harsh and lunch in an air-conditioned restaurant is the perfect antidote. And so after our morning heritage walk in the White town, we stop for lunch at Coromandel cafe on Rue Romain Rolland. The outside of the cafe is pretty in pastel pink and white; an olive green door leads you in.
We enter a green oasis, there is outside seating, ideal for the evening; but today afternoon, we wanted the comfort of an AC.
Inside the restaurant is a pleasant wow…the shell chandelier is the first thing that you notice, once seated you begin to admire the calming shades of pale olive green and white. The AC feels soo…good and the place has conversations in hushed tones☺️, none is speaking loudly. We try to settle down into the super quiet surroundings.
After staring at the chandeliers, the walls, inspecting our fellow diners, we look at the menu; a riot of orange and we order…
The food is looks good and tastes great, but portions are meant for small belly people; so in no time, the food disappears.
The pink hollandaise on the pizza was as tasty as good looking; the colour was fantastic – like the bougainvillea flowers. From the outdoor cafe, we select the dessert. The vegan cheesecake was not to our liking; the chocolate cake was super good.
Next day, Monday, lunch at Villa Shanti🕊🦚
There is an SBI branch opposite Villa Shanti and this nugget of info is important how…? Well, on a weekday the road in front of Villa Shanti will look like this👇; finding a parking space will be a challenge; Sunday will guarantee empty roads.
But we were here on a weekday and managed to park our car on one of the adjacent streets. We walk in; the restaurant is on the ground floor spread between the open courtyard and the surrounding colonnaded portico (a term learned from our heritage walk, simply means a walkway surrounding the open courtyard with a roof structure supported by columns, helps contain the rain water from splashing onto the main walls of the house).
Sunny afternoon and we preferred to sit in the shady portico; but those tables were reserved for the hotel guests; the restaurant guests could choose a shady spot in the open courtyard. Not very happy with this demarcation, we managed to find a shady area in the open courtyard, under a magnificent tree. A pedestal fan was directed at us, but the speed ensured that our hair became a constant distraction, flying onto the face while eating.
Not very enthused so far, we look round. White is the theme; the pink table runner and the pink flowers, whose name I do not know and the green foliage are a lovely contrast to the white. The waiters are sporting a uniform of pink shirts and grey aprons, again a nice colour combination again the white backdrop. Villa Shanti was pretty as a picture !!
We browse the menu and place our order. The dishes arrived beautifully presented and tasted good. First was the French Onion Soup; the theatrics with the dish was nice.
Next were the mains – a plate of beef patties and second Keema Baigon mille feuille.
The dessert was a hard choice, we liked everything on the menu, but in the end chose Moelleux au chocolat.
So do we want to go back to either of the two restaurants again? No. They are good for a one time memorable experience – the beautiful decor of the two restaurants are worth a visit; I am not going to the forget the magenta shade of the pink hollandaise😘, nor the theatrics of French onion soup😘. But they are more catered to the foreign tourists than our value for money Indian mentality. Next time in Pondy, we will try out the other places we missed.
Villa Shanti and Coromandel Cafe – been there, done that.