For the last week or so, I've been wanting to try out French cuisine. For an even longer time, I've been wanting to visit The French Bistro for breakfast. At 10.30AM on the morning of one weekend, we landed at their door, only to find it closed. They open only at 12.30PM. So much for French breakfast!
I googled for 'Breakfast places in Bangalore' and we decided upon Claytopia Bistro as that was the closest. A friend of mine had mentioned it last week and said it was a good place. She had explained that it was a combination of Claytopia (who sell artefacts made of clay) and Bistro (the restaurant/coffee-shop). We reached there a little past 11 and it was still open for breakfast.
The weather was mildly pleasant and it helped that the cafe was open-air. We sat down and ordered a rather heavy breakfast of Pancakes with Maple/Honey Syrup and Bistro Omelette (chicken, bacon, tomato and cheese omellete) for me, French Toast and Masala Omelette for the husband.
The French Toast was not bad but the husband insisted that he liked the ones I make better. Ahoy!
The Masala Omelette was succulent and the Bistro Omelette is a must eat, if you are ever there.
The Pancakes were yummy even without the maple syrup but add the syrup and you will be licking the plate in the end (no, I did not do that).
I also ordered a cold Hazelnut Frappe (Espresso with cream and chocolate).
The husband went for a hot Cafe Latte.
The ambience was neither too fancy nor too tacky. There were displays from Claytopia on the walls, posters on a notice board at the entrance and neatly arranged wooden tables with chairs. Everything seemed to blend quietly in the background while we enjoyed the outdoors.
The table we chose had a white concrete bench against the wall and the table was large enough that we could both sit next to each other on the marble bench. This way, we could share food (one of the pleasant changes I have noticed in the husband off late, he shares his food) and enjoy reading Lucky's guest post together, on my mobile.
The order arrived in good time and the food was of the right temperature. The waiter was very efficient and cordial, without being obnoxious. When I got up to peep indoors at their display of clay pots, he showed me where the entrance was and informed me that we could eat there if we wished. We chose to eat outside and check the indoors later.
While I took a call from a friend, the husband polished the French Toast and Omelette off his plate and proceeded to hog my Pancakes too. If I hadn't hung up when I did, I may have just made it in time to watch the last pieces of my yummy breakfast and my cold coffee disappear. I wish I could eat like him and never put on weight. Sigh!
Once done, we paid the bill (Rs. 450, including tips), thanked the friendly waiter and went in. The amicable lady at the reception asked if it was our first time there and explained the concept of the place to us. She pointed to an array of white clay pots (I say pots but it includes mugs, bowls, plates, trays, magnets, face-masks, etc made of clay) and said we could pick any of those for the price quoted on the shelves and paint them.
They would provide us paint, water, brushes and stencils. She explained to us how to obtain dark and light shades of the colours. I couldn't help noticing that the mug holding the brushes and the water bowls were all clay-pots painted and glazed by them. Advertising and cost-cutting in a happy marriage?
We had to paint our article of choice right there and return it to them for heating and glazing. We could pick it up 10 days later. The ingredients used to make the items, including paint and heating instruments were all non-toxic, so we could use them in our daily lives (e.g mugs could be used to drink and were not just show pieces). We decided to give it a shot and picked up a tray for our house. The husband did some quick research on his mobile and proceeded to draw lines as he would like to paint them on the front of the tray. Soon after, he picked up the brush.
When he finished, it was a beautiful looking tray, simply done in pastel shades with a red star on the left bottom corner. Each pointed end of the star had one letter of my name, in blue, with a heart in the centre. I got a better deal in this marriage, I admit. We went crazy with the bottom of the tray where, thanks to yours truly's moment of madness and brilliance, we decided to have a splash and partied with all the colours in a wild frenzy.
We both haven't painted in years and thoroughly enjoyed the hour we spent unleashing our creativity. Of course, when we later looked at the design book, our products felt like children's work. No kidding! It doesn't matter. I am glad we didn't find the picture book earlier. It was more fun going bonkers with the colours on the white canvas. Everytime I use the tray to serve someone, I'll remember and cherish the afternoon hour we spent together. The end result looked like this (pre-heating and glazing).
The clay articles are highly over-priced, no doubt, but we felt that the time we spent painting like kids was priceless. We paid Rs. 500 for the tray. The price included the glazing too but it was still very expensive. Totally worth it, though. We would never be able to spare an hour to do something like that, at home.
They also have parties for kids, the cheapest package being Rs. 350 per kid. The place is fairly small and can accomodate about 9 to a maximum of 15 kids (and that is when you push the limit). The package includes painting an article of choice (small ones like the tortoise/fish magnets), the glazing & all that it involves, a burger and probably a drink too. There are more expensive packages with tweaks to suit your needs. The place seemed quite popular, with quite a few young parents painting for and with their little girls. I did not notice any little boys there, so I'm guessing that if I have a son later, I cannot take him there. Wouldn't interest him, would it?
Apart from the young families, there was one other couple like us. The girl was extremely loud and kept complaining that her boyfriend was too loud. During the little time she painted a bowl and he watched, she grumbled about another girl (possibly the boy's ex) who was playing games and messing with their "relationship", knowing fully well that there was "a connection" between them. Don't judge me, she was begging to be heard, we simply couldn't tune her out.
I'd love to go there again but considering that it's a little high on the budget, maybe I'll wait for another special occasion. Price forgotten, definitely a place to visit. It's easy to find, bang on the main road, with the huge boards. It's to the right side when coming from Indiranagar towards Thippasandra on the 6th Main Road (where the Renaissance Church is, on the left).