People at my workplace every now and then ask me where they should go for some good meal, or good live music, good ambiance or good booze! Even after I give them three-four options on a Wednesday they will again come back and ask me on Friday, the same question, looking for more options. As if I am a food encyclopedia or a Restaurant directory! Anyway lately I have decided to play it cool, just give them one option (which is obviously best according to me) and tell them this is the most happening place bro, go there and think of no other place. This creates no confusion and both of us are happy.
And thankfully lately one place has opened up near my office at Saltlake Sector-V that truly justifies this One-restaurant recommendation policy! It’s from the house of Momo I Am, and it’s called Café I Am! This is one single place that gives you everything and redefines your eat-out goals. It has got – yummy (and honest) food at unbelievable pocket-friendly prices, amazing mocktails, alcohol, awesome ambiance and music, Live band and DJ performances, and much more!
So first things first, how to reach this place? Café I Am is housed in the RDB Boulevard building (Saltlake Sector-V) at the first floor. This is the same building that houses RDB Cinemas. So basically you get in from the RDB Cinemas entrance and go upstairs, either take the lift or the escalator. Café I Am has got a highly deceptive small front (rustic wooden) door, but when you open that door you discover a huge area that’s aesthetically perfect, chilled out and so urbane!
There is a grunge feel to it with those Wall arts and chic wallpapers (that has got a signature touch of Momo I Am decor), wooden flooring, solid wooden furniture, rustic lamp shades, huge idols of Lord Buddha, open kitchen, long enough bar counter with high stools, some neat cubicles perfect for 5-6 people, lounge areas with swanky sofa sets, and more! It’s basically a huge 6,000 sq. ft. area restrobar that has got every kind of seating arrangement one can think of. The overall lighting is optimum and the music is always so good! If you are there on a Friday or Saturday night, you will get to watch some live band (or DJ) performances as well. Also, I must mention, the service at this place is also a highlight, it’s prompt, warm and somewhat homely, that’ll make you come back for sure.
Now let’s come to the crux of the matter – the food! Amazing Asian food has always been the biggest plus point for Momo I Am. And their mocktails have always been fresh, prepared with natural ingredients and very refreshing. But at Café I Am, they have taken the game to a whole new level. The food menu has got a huge change keeping the core Asian food items still there on the menu. In addition to those, they have added continental fare, and more Japanese items like sushi, ramen etc to the menu.
There have also been new additions in the beverages menu. Also they are recently launching their Breakfast menu which will be available from 8 am IST and include loads of continental options! For an ardent Momo I Am fan like me, this is a huge leap, something which makes me extremely happy! The mantra was simple all this while – awesome and unique Asian food at reasonable pricing with a chic ambiance that was missing in the city, and so everyone loved it thoroughly! I haven’t come across a single person who is not in love with this place. And now, you also get alcohol at Cafe I Am!
So now let’s check out the food items that I have tried over there, actually I have already been to Café I Am thrice including their inaugural day, and I am planning my next visit within a week again!! So here are the food items which I liked most till now –
- Xiao Long Bao – These are dumplings with soup trapped in them! Does that sound yummy? It surely is awesome and a must-try item at this place! These Shanghai style juicy chicken soup dim sums are not available very readily in Kolkata and would be preferred by everyone who loves that juicy burst in their dim sums.
- Sushi – I tried all the variants of Sushi available at this place – Prawn tempura sushi, Crab and avocado sushi, and Asparagus & Cream Cheese sushi. I liked most the prawn tempura sushi maybe for my love for prawns but I would like to say all these three variants are delectable, perfectly prepared and the price at which you will get them here is remarkable, it’s extremely pocket friendly.
- Japanese Panko Crumbed Fish – So here comes another Japanese dish that’s on the menu. Frankly speaking, Panko Crumbed Fish is available at quite a few places in Kolkata these days including some QSRs, so the mass is quite familiar to its flavors. Here the dish won’t disappoint you, the fish is fresh though it’s Basa which is being used but the magic lies in those two dips which were absolutely bang on.
- Crispy Lotus Stem – I had tried this dish on the very first day I had been to Café I Am, and I quite liked it. The lotus stems are thinly sliced and deep fried, tossed with some exotic spices and served with an amazing dip!
- Penne Tom Yum Goong – I love anything that has shrimps in it! This Penne Tom Yum Goong is kinda dream dish for any pasta and shrimp lover! The penne pasta has been tossed with shrimps and exotic veggies with a dash of red chilli flakes to spice things up! Impeccable flavour and lovely presentation!
- Grilled Teriyaki Chicken salad – I am not a huge fan of salads but chicken salads do attract me at times. Here the grilled teriyaki chicken salad had generous amount of sliced freshly grilled chicken with a teriyaki glaze, served on a bed of greens giving that perfect crunch and freshness!
- Pork Ramen – I always love having some me-time with my big bowl of Ramen! Now at Café I Am, you get this authentic bowl of Japanese ramen noodles in a comforting overnight simmered broth that’s topped with loads of diced pork (concentrating more on the lean meat), greens and that gooey egg, and you get this dish at just INR 270/-, this is freaking unbelievable for a ramen lover like me!
- Cracking Pork with jasmine rice – Crackling Pork with Jasmine Rice can be your best friend on a winter afternoon! Those handsome porky chunks (with a nice balance of fat and lean meat), super aromatic jasmine rice, veggies give this meal in a bowl a touch of warmth and comfort!
- Pork and chive dimsum with fragrant butter chili bean sauce – These pork dim sums sit in a pool of fragrant butter chili bean sauce which is a tad spicy though somehow I had expected a bit too much from this dish which wasn’t somehow met. Nevertheless, this dish will still be loved by many and I loved the dim sums as well, especially for that generous pork and chive filling! (see picture below)
- Roasted pepper prawn pizza – I never thought I will ever try pizza (the staple food of Bong youngsters these days) at any Momo I Am outlet, but here I am trying their amazing prawn pizza! It was a thin crust pizza that looked amazing and tasted even better. Though I didn’t get this pizza on the menu in my last visit, not sure why.
Also, I tried one unique dessert here at Café I Am, which I never had at any Momo I Am outlet, it’s called Momo I am carnival French roast. I also quite like their Cheesecakes, and Raspberry & Vanilla Bao.
Coming to the beverages, I have tried beer over here along with the Asian delicacies, besides their newly introduced signature mocktails. I have tried some of these new mocktails, here they are –
- Lhasa Mule – I loved this mocktail more for the Ginger Ale; it had mint and lime in Ginger Ale with some apple and palm sugar.
- Kill Bill – I am not really a person who loves banana so I would avoid this in the future. But it’s perfect for someone who loves banana since it has got passion fruit, mango, and coconut with a predominant aroma / flavor of banana in it.
- Red Dragon– I quite liked this unique drink having a good mix of raspberry, cranberry, coriander roots and lime, this one was quite different and pretty refreshing.
- Ping Pong – I absolutely loved this, and I would order for this every time I am here. This has got my favorite combo of litchi, watermelon, passion fruit, and apple! Must try!
- Soho La – This one is perfect for summers I must say, this refreshing one is made with a dosage of elderflower, cucumber, mint, lime, and apple.
Besides this, you can have alcoholic drinks as well. But as of now, they are serving alcohol on weekends and on holidays, so check with them before planning a visit! So wait no more, plan your next visit to Café I Am, and tag me in your pictures and reviews, and let me know if you find this article helpful and informative! My social media handles are:
Disclaimer: Foodiedada was here at Cafe I Am (Momo I Am) for tasting/review purpose!