Au Bon Pain has been on my list of must-visit for some time now and on a weekend, not too long ago, we managed to cross it off the list. MG Road was a haunt when we first came to Bangalore and the Food World and the food court in front of it a popular eating point. MG Road since then has lost its sheen for us, especially after the boulevard disappeared. Au Bon Pain is placed right out Spencer's (the earlier Food World) and takes up all of the space that was once the food court.
And they have taken the space very well. The yellow umbrellas, the LCD TV and the huge fans make for a pretty nice ambiance. Slam in the middle of the metro construction, yet airy and not dusty at all. Anyways this was our first visit and we were informed that we could pick trays, get our food and have it billed on the outside. Done!! We entered, picked our trays and I headed straight for their Signature Soup in a Bread Bowl. Huge canisters of different varieties of soups are placed on a center cart. The overhead canopy houses the bread bowls. Its best to put your soup into a paper cup (regular and large sizes available and priced accordingly) and wait till you reach your table to pour it in. I chose the potato and leek soup. The soup and the bread bowl were delicious to the last drop. Contemplated having another round, but wanted space for other stuff.
The Soup Counter
Potato and Leek Soup in a bread bowl
We then headed to the counter to order our main courses and that's when a member of the staff told us that there were actually combo offers going on where a Soup in Bread Bowl could have been ordered as a part of. Now I really wish someone had told me that before I served myself the soup. Maybe I should have asked for more clearer instructions, maybe the staff should have been more clear at the door when they were telling me to pick up a tray.
Anyways I had one of the signature sandwiches which was Mediterranean Hummus and Olive on toasted jalapeno-cheddar bagel. The was a neatly packaged sandwich with a very nice filling of hummus and olive. The sandwich is thoughtfully split into two palm sized portions and held together with a pick. Would have appreciated a slightly more generous layer of hummus though. Overall nice in taste.
Mediterranean Hummus and Olive on toasted jalapeno-cheddar bagel
Sudhakar had the Chicken Wonderwich that was all that it was described soft roll bread packed with spicy chicken steak. A nice and filling sandwich with an added layer of cheese.
We shared regular sized pasta salad which could have done with a bit more dressing. It ended up being a tad bit dry. The portion was healthy though.
Regular sized pasta salad
For Anoushka we opted for one the Harvest Rice Bowls - Afghan Murgh. A pleasantly flavored chicken gravy. Tomatoes and onions being the base with a range of spices. This was placed on top of a good quantity of rice and a fresh salad to boot. Overall a really nice meal to have, especially for office-goers in the vicinity.
Harvest Rice Bowls - Afghan Murgh
We were quite full and did not really have space for desserts, but brightly colored yellow one caught my eye and we picked a glass. Turns out that it was a trial sample of dessert they planned to introduce. This one, as I mentioned in their feedback form was alternate layers of an elaichi shrikhand with mango puree in my opinion. While the combination did not really work for me, it may for others.
The dessert on trial
Sudhakar's office is a hop skip and jump away and he decided to order in a few days later. The first time he called, he was made to hold on for around 10 minutes while the person taking the order seemed to be attending to someone else in the background. Each time Sudhakar would begin to place his order, he would be put on hold again. He gave up the first time. After which though he has never had a problem with the taking of the order or the delivery. The rice bowls have been great as have been the sandwiches. Every place, in my opinion is entitled to a few hits and misses. I would love to revisit for their pastries though. They have a great selection of breads and pastries, coffees and juices as well. More in the next visit. This particular meal came to around Rs 600. They don't have an exclusive restroom and you will have to use the one at Spencer's.
The salad, dessert and bottle drinks counter - above
The coffee counter - below
Address: #8, Spencer Plaza, Close to Barton Centre, MG, Bangalore - 560001
Cards Accepted: Yes
Parking: Street - all the best on weekends