Much ado about waffles? Poetry by Love and Cheesecake, Bandra

Waffles and cappuccino at Poetry By Love and Cheesecake as captured by the portrait
mode of the iPhone 7 Plus. I asked for the condiments to be served separately
This is not how it is generally plated I am told

  • Breakfasts are important to us as a couple and it is also the crux of my life as a freelancer
  • We loved sharing waffles for breakfast but all our favourite waffle places in Bandra have shut down
  • I ordered a plate of waffles at Poetry By Love and Cheesecake. Was pleasantly surprised by how it turned out to be


I am at a cafe called Poetry by Love and Cheesecake in one of the inner roads of Bandra right now. It is located opposite Mini Punjab and near Khane Khas. I had come here to pick some papers someone had left for me and then decided to hang around and have breakfast. 

As you possibly know from Instagram, I prefer to work in cafes in the mornings and have my breakfasts there. I even have a hashtag for breakfasts on Instagram. It is #FinelyChoppedBreakfasts  Yes, I take my breakfasts seriously.

Going out to cafes to work, after I moved into a freelancer's life, was K's (my wife's) suggestion. Better than sitting at home she said. To add to that, this is a good way to avoid the constantly ringing doorbell at home.

From my Instagram stories feed. I later that the co-owner of the cafe earlier worked in market research like I once did and in the same agency too

We are breakfast people

My obsession with breakfast as a meal started much earlier, soon after we had got married. K and I were at the start of our careers and had busy schedules during the week (as she still does). So we started going out for breakfast on weekends when we were free. This was her suggestion if I remember right. She didn't want us to go through the fuss of making breakfast at home on holidays. I was in two minds about this new practise back then. I had begun to enjoy frying eggs and sausages and having them with toast at home in the morning. To me this was part of the joy of setting up our own house and lives together. 

K was pretty determined though about our going out for breakfast and so the ritual began.

Down the waffle memory lane

The JATC Waffles, circa 2010

The place we used to visit most often for breakfast was Just Around The Corner in Bandra. We used to have toast and eggs there and coffee. Then they introduced a waffles and coffee combo. We tried it and liked it. So we would go there on a Saturday or a Sunday and shared a plate of waffles. I had the cappuccino. K, who is known for her love of cappuccino today, wasn't a coffee drinker back then so we didn't need to order another. The deal worked out to be fairly economical for us. We loved the simple waffles. Served with butter and maple syrup on the side. The waffles were neither too crunchy, nor too limp. They defined the right consistency of all waffles for us in the years to come. Watching the simple Amul butter melt on the freshly made and hot waffles was the high point of the week for me. It told me that all was good with the world.

I preferred to have my cappuccino with the waffles. Neither before, nor later. JATC was a self service place and the timing of service was was a bit difficult to coordinate. Whether I would get my coffee along with the cappuccino or not was as much a suspense as whether Jorge Salcedo would be able to get his wife and daughters out of Columbia or not  in the recently released Narcos 3 on Netflix. If the cappuccino took too long, I would get as antsy as Miguel in the same show.

Then JATC shut down. Its successor, Eat Around The Corner, didn't offer waffles. 

K and I looked around for waffles at a few other places in Mumbai but none really met the cut. Most waffles were over-engineered, were too sweet and the texture often went awry. Which possibly explains, why we wouldn't move away from the waffles counter the Berjaya Langkawi Hotel breakfast and would keep chomping on the freshly made waffles there during a holiday.

We finally came across lovely waffles in Bandra again at Mocha Moja and spent quite a few weekends with them. Then the Mocha Mocha here shut down too. We rarely ordered waffles again out of fear of disappointment.  

The one extra ordinary waffle that I had after that was the bacon and maple syrup waffles which chef Samantha Nunes made at the Marriott Goa breakfast but those were a work of rare art and not an everyday pleasure.

The Mocha Mojo Waffles, circa 2011

Waffles for one

For some reason, I thought of trying waffles at Poetry today. This was a first. I never order a plate of waffles when I am by myself. Normally K and I always share a plate. She adds butter to hers. I dip mine into maple syrup. The sharing is all very civil. 

I don't think that I can complete a plate by myself and hence usually do not order it when alone.  Today was an exception.

The manager at the counter was a young lady named Sherine, whom I recognised as someone who worked at Candies earlier. Seeing her made me feel at home though this was my first visit to the cafe. (I have had their cheesecakes before). The service was quite warm and I settled in here quickly too.

It's all about timing when it comes to waffles 

I placed my order with her and gave very specific instructions on how I wanted my waffles done.

"I want nothing on top of the waffles. Please give the fruits, Nutella, maple syrup separately. Add some butter on the side. Please ensure that the waffles are neither too crisp nor too limp."

K had taught me well. Sherine nodded earnestly to indicate that she got what I was saying.

Then she looked up from her notepad and asked, "do you want your coffee with the waffles or before?"

"With," I said with a smile. There was finally someone who understood how important this is to me. There were tears of joy in my eyes.

I waited patiently for my food. The cafe has free wifi, so I got down to work. I sat at the section downstairs as there was a customer there and the staff and there was some life around. Upstairs was completely empty though some people came in and settled there closer to lunch. I hate sitting in completely empty cafes and restaurants.

There played love ballads in the background and reduced the volume at my request. The decor was fairly pretty and the floorboards on the first floor and lights on the ground-floor looked similar to what we had chosen for a place we are doing up. I realised that the sofa by the walls were too low for me to sit and work from, and that the chairs opposite were perfect for this, and switched places. The only problem was when more people came in as the passage was narrow and you could not sit back but that didn't bother me much.

The section upstairs
The downstairs section. I'd advise you to sit
on the chair and not the bench if you have a
back problem and want to work. The wifi is good,
toilet clean

My waffles arrived soon and the coffee just after it. 

I cut into a waffle tentatively and took a bite and then smiled. Sherine looked at me from the counter with a serious face which seemed to ask, "is this how you wanted it?"

"Yes," I replied to her and smiled.

This waffle meets the Karmakar stamp of approval

The texture of the waffle was just right. Not soggy or raw. Nor was it biscuity, tough and heartless. This sang to me. I knew K would not have sent this back. The chef visibly knew how to work his waffle iron.

The waffles tasted good too. There was a mild sweetness to it which was balanced by the savoury kiss of butter. This was good stuff. I had the fruits too and smiled like Little Jack Horner saying "what a good boy am I'.

Asking them to serve the maple syrup, nutella on the side, instead of on top of the waffle, meant that I could have them as per my taste.

I first had a few bites of the waffle with butter spread on it for K who would have done so had she not been at work. Then dipped some into maple syrup, which is my thing.  She hates maple syrup. I then dabbed a bit of Nutella to the last bits of the waffle. A guilty pleasure that we share.

The portion size of waffles seemed to be a bit less than what is served in other places which made it more manageable for one to finish. Perhaps I told myself this to justify finishing the second waffle too. I knew I shouldn't have done so but I was by myself and the company of the waffle made the morning brighter.

I shut the files I was working on while I had the waffle as it deserved my full attention. Mindful eating and stuff you know.

The waffles deserved my undivided attention

I got back to writing while I sipped on the cappuccino. The coffee was pleasant tasting and fairly strong. I would have preferred it if the foam was stiffer. K has taught me to look out for that. I think she would have approved of the coffee in general.

I had actually planned to write about something else this morning. Then I changed my mind and wrote about today's breakfast. I had a feeling that it would be lost in Instagram if I didn't. 

My blog was once the my dairy to record what happened everyday. Instagram has taken over that role now. Possibly because I don't write at night anymore as I write all day now unlike when I worked in a market research agency.  I wonder if I should fret about this or just go with the flow. 

What do you think?

Specs: The waffle and coffee cost me Rs 402. I worked undisturbed for 2.5 hours. 

Address: Pali Darshan, 33rd road, Opp Mini Punjab, Bandra West, Mumbai, Maharashtra 400050

PS: Poetry has a more extensive menu of sandwiches and salads and stuff from lunch time onwards. 

From the archives:

1. A Post that I had written on the waffles at JATC
2. A post that I had written about the waffles at Mocha Mojo
3. A tongue in cheek post on the travails of working from home and why I work out of cafes

If you want to join me for breakfast in Mumbai on Saturday and chat about blogging then, please register at the Work Bay and come over