Delhi winter is at its peak, and I write this with my icy-cold hands. If only I had a warm cup of a rich, flavourful coffee, and all my winter misery would go away. I can say it works, as I recently found a cosy spot to escape the winter blues with a perfect cup of coffee at Pret A Manger in Punjabi Bagh, New Delhi. A UK-based sandwich shop from 1986, Pret came to India in April 2023, with a long-term franchise agreement with Mukesh Ambani-owned Reliance Brands.
With five outlets in New Delhi, I visited the Punjabi Bagh outlet, located at Club Road. Pret opened its doors at this outlet just two months back in November 2023 and is still at the early stage of becoming a “thing” in the busy Club Road bustling with Restaurants, Lounges, Bars and other Coffee and Sandwich Shops.
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As soon as anyone enters the shop, they are greeted with a friendly “Hello, welcome to Pret” from a barista at the counter.
What sets this place apart from the rest is its organisational structure. Pret boasts of serving fresh food, which is neatly packed, stacked and labelled on a big cabinet next to the main counter. Here you can pick a mini basket, put in the food items you want and give it at the cash counter. Here, you can also order your drinks and get all your food served on a tray.
Time For The Food!
The first thing I tried from Pret was ‘Smoked Chicken & Red Tepenade Hot Baguette’. The flavours were on point! The chicken was succulent, smoky, and juicy, and paired well with molten cheddar cheese and juicy red peppers.
I enjoyed the baguette along with sipping ‘Pomegranate & Kokum’ cold-pressed juice, which had a subtle yet refreshing flavour, prepared with no added sugar. The drink got its sweetness from sugarcane juice.
Next, I tried the greens, which will never make you feel that a salad can be boring. I ate the ‘Humous & Falafel Mezze’ Salad, which can be a complete meal in itself. The salad included a rice mix, a big dollop of humous topped with pomegranate seeds, sweet potato falafel, cucumber slices, pickled cabbage & carrot and lettuce, spinach and kale leaves at the bottom. The ingredients complemented each other well for a filling yet refreshing salad.
From the coffee counter, I tried the ‘Cappuccino’ prepared using almond milk. If you like a strong, hot coffee, you will keep coming back for this intense, richly flavoured coffee. On the other hand, if you like your coffee cold and sweet, you can try the ‘Hazelnut Frappe’, which is milky and less strong.
If you are not a coffee person but a chocolate fan, try Pret’s ‘Belgian Hot Chocolate’. There is no extra sweetness and a delicious flavour of cocoa, making it dreamy and delicious.
Pret is famous for its sandwiches and so I tried the ‘Cheddar and Pret Pickle Sandwich’, which is served cold. It was a fresh sandwich with onion, tomatoes and a thick cheddar cheese. You can tell it has a more British touch and may not suit well to the Indian palate.
I also tried the ‘Dark Choc & Almond Cookie’. The chocolate flavour was good, but the cookie’s texture was a bit too crunchy and hard for someone who likes their cookies gooey and melt-in-mouth.
I finished my meal with the ‘Four Berry and Greek Yoghurt Bowl’. The beautiful bowl had three layers from top to bottom — granola, Greek yoghurt and berry compote at the bottom. However, the taste was average and did not do justice to the attractive yoghurt bowl.
Pret A Manger is a wonderful place if you are looking for a cosy place to grab a bite, unwind and chat. Beverages, baguettes, and salads stand out for their refreshing flavours, while the desserts can take a skip.
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Where: Ground Floor, 5C, Club Rd, West Punjabi Bagh, Punjabi Bagh, New Delhi, Delhi, 110026
Cost for two: Rs. 1000 (approx.)
Source website: food.ndtv.com