At 24, most people wish to venture in the world of fashion and glamour. And then there are people like Afshan Virani who take the road less travelled and start one of the quirkiest South Indian restaurants in the city, Café Bean Garu.
Afshan always knew that she wanted to be a restaurateur. So she decided to take a leap of faith, quit her job with Out Of the Blue to pursue the dream of owning her own restaurant. Call it cosmic conspiracy but her then boss and mentor , Mr. Bajaj offered her the franchisee of the Cafe and thus began her love affair with Mr. Bean Garu.
Tanai Shirali, Chef, Le Sutra Hospitality Ltd., was tired of eating at the “boring, run of the mill, Udipi restaurants” in Mumbai. “The Udipi restaurants here do not represent the South Indian cuisine well. They make the cuisine sound very unexciting. Fuelled by this thought, we decided to try something new. So we re-invented the monotonous South Indian cuisine and added a dash of quirk to your done-to-death dosas. And hence, Café Bean Garu came to being”, say Tanai.
Vanakkam from Mr. Bean Garu
‘Garu’ in Tulu is synonymous to ‘aap’, a connotation of respect. And as the name suggests, the flavor at Café Bean Garu is typically Andhra. If you’ve been to Café Bean Garu before, you probably know of Mr. Bean Garu. For those who haven’t, he is the adorable loongi clad mascot of the Café who has a tale so interesting you want to write a book on it.
Frustrated with his father trying to push him into the loongi business, Mr Bean Garu ran away from home with the love of his life, Ms. Bean, to the city of dreams, Mumbai. Ms. Bean is the inspiration behind everything he does – food, art and also the reason for his narcissistic sarcasm. Buying gifts for Ms. Bean was becoming expensive after all (think inflation, Mumbai city and simply – the growing pangs of women in general). The only thing he knew and enjoyed was cooking and so he started cooking for pleasure and pocket, and launched Cafe Bean Garu in Mumbai.
Some Things Never Change
“People can easily identify with South Indian cuisine. In fact, most people pick south Indian food as their comfort food. We wanted to be different, but we also didn’t want to take away the core of South India. Hence, we decided that the spicy, tongue tangling Rassam should stay the way it is”, says Afshan.
“Choosing one will be difficult. But I’d personally recommend the Butter Herb Idlis and Nutella Chocolate Dosa”, says Afshan. “You must absolutely try the Dravadian Risotto and the Pesto Cheese Dosa. Not to forget, what’s South Indian cuisine without a piping cup of Andhra Filter Coffee?” says Tanai.
Café Bean Garu turns one today and Mr. Bean Garu is definitely in the mood to celebrate. As a token of appreciation, they are offering Loyalty Cards to their regular customers. That’s not all; Mr. Bean Garu has whisked a brand new menu which has piping hot ‘Pesto Appam’ to offer.
So how about you head to Café Bean Garu and join Mr. Garu in his celebration?
P.S. Avoid hitting on Mr. Bean Garu! Ms. Bean is quite the possessive kinds.
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