The Ornate cursive scarlet word ‘Organic’ stares back at me. The cursive red writing so perfect I feel as I want to hire them as a designer, or get their number. Looking around I take in a warm and welcoming scene. People chatting in the corner about stuff as the bustle of coffee being ground and milk being stretched continues at pendulum style pace. With no tables available and being in the mood we choose to sit in their outdoors / undercover section. It’s nice but if you are put off by the sound of traffic then best sit inside, for the ever-present noise of Mumbai life going on is about 5 meters away and is clear and very present.
The place is to which want to take a moment is called Sequel and I stare around and wonder why someone would choose that name over all others. I tend to ponder that from time to time, I don’t know why I guess we have all our own little fixations, don’t we? Mine tend to pop up when I least expect them. Paintings for instance, if I look at a painting or picture and it’s a little bit crooked then well that’s as frustrating as frustrating can get. However see a group of painting, all leaning exactly the same crooked angle and the same direction and it changes from annoyance to fascination. I can’t help but think how the bloody hell could that happen?
This has absolutely nothing to with the place we are to have coffee however, all their pictures are neatly positioned and a note of pride for the owner that they are perfectly, I mean expertly aligned.
Driving this useless train of thought away from my mind I look over the word Sequel and again can’t help but be impressed when a coffee shop or any business can come up with a snappy name. Have you ever tried it? The “Thinking up a business name game” is the exact opposite of “thinking up an album name game.” That is to say that if you sit down and think up an Album name, any name it is almost impossible (without sounding racist or completely utterly bonkers vulgar) to come up with a bad sounding name. Go on and try it, sound one out right now, let me know what it is and I bet you a decent coffee it will sound pretty good, if not a little artistic. The business name is the complete opposite. Whatever you think up chances are it will sound completely and utterly crap.
Sequel is a nice name, and their mission statement about ethical sourcing reminds the customer that “Sequel’s philosophy is ‘Wholesome World Cuisine’ with an emphasis on natural and organic ingredients. With that as our goal, we source high-quality organic ingredients from the ‘Far corners of the world’ – The Himalayas to Peru. We go local while sourcing fresh organic produce from the select farms in Pune, Karjat & Nashik. At Sequel, we are committed to nutrition, taste & minimally processed food. Our menu is completely gluten free, refined sugar free and free from additives /chemicals.” Nice statement…. A little too nice.. Although they don’t mention that they source organic produce from, say, Frankston Melbourne. Although I can’t blame them, logistics would be a nightmare. Parking is absolutely horrific in that part of town.
This Cafe kind of sounds too good to be true. Oh before I continue this is not a paid ad for the place. I haven’t received any money for this. Actually, this cost money as the alternative was running out the door / stealing, which is terrible, a crime and really hard to do (I assume) on a full stomach.
So is this place to good to be true? A wonderful façade’s hiding a sham of a place that will ultimately disappoint with bland waste of time coffees and food? I mean the menu is absolutely and utterly beautiful and having an intense interest in typography and fonts I look at this menu and just think whoever designed this is probably is right now, somewhere in the world, looking incredibly stylish in clothes that on a mere mortal like myself would look out of place.
Like a construction helmed on a Tortoise.
I load up their website. And I am instantly feeling like a conspiracy nut for thinking along these lines, for the Founder and Chef Vanika Choudhary named Sequel because it was the beginning of a ‘chapter two’ (Oh common that is far too wholesome and cool!) and is a “strong believer in holistic living, eating clean, nutrient rich and organic food, Sequel is Vanika’s compromise-free health food offering.” Oh common now I feel like a real jerk!
You know what, I really hope the coffee is nice here.. For after reading that I am going to feel like a complete and utter bastard if I think this mission for clean living and ethical organic sourcing results in a boring bland cup of Joe
If I am honest, my mood is a little sullen and that has nothing to do with the cheerful place. This will be my last coffee shop visit in Mumbai or anywhere in India for a short while for soon I board a plane back to Melbourne Australia. I hate goodbyes and with one looming it blankets everything in a grey cloud. However being well seasoned in the extended embrace of a hello or goodbye’s we enjoy the moment we have right now. Sitting in a comfortable silence and for a short while letting our hands do all the talking through a lovingly firm and reassuring hold.
Today I am in the mood for something different! I am in the mood for a Piccolo or ‘Small Latte’. I know what you are thinking. You are thinking why the hell are you ordering something different from your standard Latte!? My god what has become of you!? If you just wildly deviate then what’s next!? Bungie jumping off a helicopter Will Smith style!? Because that’s the road you are heading down!!!
Throwing all caution to the wind when the waiter arrives I confidently and defiantly make my claim that “I, Andrew Kneebone! Will order a Piccolo!”
“Sorry, a what?”
“I don’t know what that is?” “You don’t?”
“Oh…. It’s umm just a really small Latte”
The waiter gives me a reassurance that he will go an find out if they can make this order and if there is any chance in the world then it will be done. I am really impressed! I get the feeling that if they don’t have the small cups needed then they will bloody well buy some and have them sent over “NOW!” in time for a prompt order.
Before he leaves we order something else. Apparently, this place is renowned for its Jars. It’s my turn to say “I don’t know what that is?” And after explaining its pretty much a smoothy with some crunchy bits, nuts etc. which comes in a jar, hence the name ‘Jar’.
Glad it didn’t come in a bucket.
I order the Raspberry & Sour Cherry Jar
RASPBERRY & SOUR CHERRY JAR • 525 (V)
Sour cherries, raspberries, (O) banana, (O) mango pulp, house made (O) cashew milk. Topped with Mexican (O) dark chocolate, (O) Peruvian cacao nibs, (O) chia seeds, (O) sunfower seeds, raspberries. Hydrate with raspberries!
We sit and talk about the small things couples talk about. You know the normal stuff. Who’s the greatest superhero? If you could catch any fish in the world that was slightly blue which fish would it be? If you had $5 and you could spend it on anything at all anywhere in the world what would you buy? Are curtains overrated or should they have their own museum? You know, normal stuff.
During the wonderful normal conversation, we see thanks to a crack in the wall out the front of the cafe, a person with a camera standing ready and waiting. The Paps. They have an amazing ability to sometimes know exactly where we are and other times to not have a clue in the world. Today however they do have a clue, a big clue. We are informed there is about 9 of them.
Normally I would love to have fun with the paparazzi but today, for obvious reasons I’m not in the mood. Because of that crack between us and them and I am waiting for an opportunistic photographer to stick its lens through the crack and take a photo of us trying to enjoy some precious time left alone. Thankfully they have some knowledge of boundaries and no lens appears..
The Picollo arrives!!! Oh and what a perfect little cup it is too!
Let’s do this!!
A beautiful porcelain little cup smooth to hold. The handle is large enough for you to hold comfortably without feeling as though you are a child’s tea party. The saucer was a nice touch of class, which is apt. For I am such a classy fellow don’t you know 🙂
The more intense flavour is received and yes thanks the gods above the coffee is wonderful! A strong bold and edging on the more bitter side it’s exactly what I want this coffee to be. An unyielding (found the word in the thesaurus and thought of giving it a try, not regrets) slap of flavour on a warm afternoon!
Oh and the Jar! Wow that is…. wow! Tasty! It’s like a really thick cold fruity soup with crunchy bits.. (if that is not the worst explanation I don’t know what is).
With our short stay over, we head back out to the waiting paps. You have probably seen the footage around. Anyway we get in the car and with cameras trying to grasp the most they can.. We drive away, for I have some packing to do.
Stuff I like! – I love this book!!
Where to Drink Coffee – Phaidon Press