My time at German Bakery was efficient, but joyless
Some places are the stuff of legend, their lore unsullied by the ravages of time. With German Bakery, it is certainly true that the place has grown into an institution for the people of Pune, a place to hang out at and savor the meal as much as they savor the conversation, all the while knowing they are sitting on a little slice of history. For this was the very place where blasts ripped through the bakery and set the social fabric of India afire.
However, it is essential that one separates the place from its storied past. Stepping in on one morning for breakfast, I found the place bathed in a yellow floodlight that just struck me as odd. It bathed the place in a sickly light that was at odd with the cheeriness one should try evoke in the morning. Of course, I’m the last person that should talk about that as I’m generally at my cantankerous best in the mornings.
Settling in, we called for some Masala Chai and a Spinach and Mushroom omelette for myself with some Akuri on Toast and a Hot Chocolate for the lady.
Where do I begin? Let’s get into it. The Masala Chai was bitterer than I am in the mornings, and that takes some doing. I figured a sachet of sugar is all it would take to sweeten the deal, but I was mistaken. I was loathe to add a second sachet of sugar to it lest I reduce to a hot, sugary syrup that pisses my palate off more than it already was.
The Spinach and Mushroom Omelette was much the same. It was large on size, but sans the heart and soul great egg dishes usually have. I did enjoy the solitary cherry tomato that came with it, but I’ll be damned if I came all the way for Cherry Tomatoes, much as I like them. Another thing that grated my gears; this is the German Bakery, and yet the bread that accompanied the eggs were your bog standard ones. To see how bread can complement and even elevate an egg dish, just try the Eggs Benedict or Eggs Florentine at Flour Works.
I had a sip of the missus’ hot chocolate and it was enough for me. One needs no more than a tony spoonful of caviar to know its quality. The flavor and texture of this hot chocolate reminded me of the stuff Cadburys sells in a sachet, which is not a good thing. I found my mind floating away to some other great Hot Chocolates I had had, and inwardly being grateful I wasn’t nursing it. Then I had a sip of the masala chai and was brought back down to Terra Firma.
Ruhi’s Akoori was no great shakes either. It was more of a dry, simple scrambled egg than the more exciting, creamy and spicy Akoori, and I’d have preferred the more humble paav to go with it than the more continental toast as well. In all, this too was a ding and we left with full bellies, but with souls unsated.
It’s easy to make a quip about the Germans being all about efficiency and humorless, but that’s not much of a bon mot now, is it? I do quite like the Germans though. I drive one and lust after some others, but this particular German carved no special place in my heart. Functional more than anything else, I’d give it a skip for some of Pune’s other stellar eateries, of which there are many.