It did show its presence a while back but you cannot help but take your time to see if the place is good or not. ROFL – Rendezvous of Food Lovers looks more like a coffee place on the crowded Law College Road patch where many eateries rub shoulders to attract young and old customers. There are also chances that you might notice it but remain undecided of whether to try the place or not. I went on a surprisingly cool evening.
The place looks as casual as it can get and is compact. I entered an empty eatery but since the sun was still to set in, you could excuse the low attendance. A television played the IPL match (point one for ROFL to attract customers). There was low lighting (visibility intact) and music played in the background. The word that came to my mind looking at the interiors was stark-clean. Slowly, the customers start walking in. One could see couples (young and slightly older), middle-aged friends and people of all ages. Somehow, the slow trickle of customers bothers you.
[divider ]Food and Drinks[/divider]
It is all about Italian, continental and cafe food at ROFL. The menu is reasonable with emphasis on popular food items. So the eggs section has choices like poached, scrambled and Akuri. You also find salads for health freaks and normal breakfast items. Typical sandwich choices like Chicken Ham & Lettuce Sandwich or Coleslaw might interest some. Since I walked in for dinner, I went over their choices of soups, starters, main course (not available between 4-7pm), pastas, risotto, pizzas and desserts. The appeal factor was ho-hum.
I began my hogging with Bruschetta which was Toasted Bread topped with Tomato Salsa and Cheese. It was heartening to see well-toasted bread with decent amount of tomato salsa and cheese. With five decent pieces to hog on, one could call it appetising enough. I also went for the Chicken with BBQ Sauce which again tantalised the tongues but not enough. Fit for one person, decent amount of chicken pieces rolled in tangy (and sweetish) BBQ sauce. The tanginess might leave some unhappy. Thankfully, the chicken was well-cooked. Lucky us!
Pasta had to be eaten and I went for Penne Mafia which is Penne Pasta tossed in Béchamel Sauce with a hint of Green Chilli and Diced Tomatoes (Rs 150 for veg). Again, the word decent comes to the mind, though the creamy sauce with hint of chillies and tomatoes looked nothing great. I choose to stuff myself with Chicken N Mushroom in White Sauce which was creamy enough with some nicely prepared chicken and mushroom pieces and well served with nicely toasted Garlic Bread. But do not make the mistake of ordering too many Italian items.
I choose to go with the eternal favourite Caramel Custard for dessert. If you go wrong with a popular dish, then you are not forgiven. In ROFL’s case, the custard is nothing great to talk about. One wished it was not too runny or too sweet. A little burnt taste would have helped it rise above mediocrity. The problem with the menu is that calling it special would give you shudders. One of the good things is that you can get your beers and wines here with ease.
One must admit that one has to keep the staff limited at a stand-alone restaurant. But having one or two people deal with the slowly trickling crowd was quite dangerous. Fortunately, the person taking the orders was polite and willing to listen to what you want before suggesting food items. Once the foodies started coming in, the rush to serve everyone slows the service.
ROFL – Rendezvous of Food Lovers is a place which is difficult to praise. The food quality and the portion match the amount you pay for it. What keeps it from becoming a must-visit is their effort to just include the popular and usual Italian and Continental food items. Pricing and good portions might work for attracting customers but can be easily threatened by much superior stand-alone joints. Till then, do enjoy the rendezvous.
Where: Shop 18-20, Ground Floor, Business Guild, Erandwane, Law College Road, Pune Timing: 9am-11pm (Alcohol served) Pricing: Rs 800 for two people