Started by Esha and her husband Raghuveer, both of who lived in Australia, Cafe Mondo was setup with the intention of giving south Bangalore its due when it came to cafes apart from the mushrooming Coffee Days - and boy was it a refreshing change or what! Mondo is from the Spanish mundo, meaning world, and it was the intention of the young couple to represent as much of the world and not just the Mediterranean. Located at the corner of the street, this picturesque little cafe has a seating for a few outside, while the majority of the seating is inside.
My guests at Mondo were Lilian Fernandes, a techie at Cisco systems, and Bhawna Rao, a lifestyle travel consultant (I'm still trying to figure out what that means), have travelled around the world enough to know feta from gouda (and that's precisely what was required here as you'll soon read about). The menu at Mondo consists of pizza, sandwiches, salads, coffee (duh!), shakes, and desserts. We were game to try all, and so we started off with pizzas (they come in two sizes - 5 inch and 9 inch). We had 'A touch of Greece' having tomatoes, olives and feta, and 'Gouda Gouda' (both 5 inch), which had a whole montage of veggies - zucchini, peppers, olives, mushrooms, and Gouda cheese. The Touch of Greece instantly got our approval, while the gouda, though nice, had too much going on in it, to the point where I couldn't even taste the Gouda in spite of it being spread all over.
The fasta pasta salad was like any other pasta salad, and there wasn't anything special about it except that the cheery tomatoes used in it seemed very fresh.
To quench our thirst (and satisfy the need for caffeine in Lilian's case), we had the following: a orange sunrise, a honey mango (mango, orange and honey), an almond crunch, and a cafe mocha coffee in macadamia flavour. The almond crunch was the best of them.
We then moved on to our sandwiches. The menu has 5 sandwiches, and except for the paneer (cottage cheese) sandwich, we had the rest. So green revolution (mix of several green veggies), Greek griller (feta and tomatoes), Caprese (tomato and basil pesto), and roasted vegetable sandwich (whole wheat bread with a whole lot of roasted veggies) it was to be. Just as with the sandwiches, the Greek one here came up trumps, with all of us agreeing that it was the best - simple, yet effective. The battle for second place was intense with both women selecting a different one apiece. While Bhawna chose the Caprese, Lilian chose the roasted veggie, and I had to play mediator. OK, it didn't get to the point where there was a cat fight (wouldn't that have been fun!) and I had to mediate, but eventually we agreed that the basil pesto in the Caprese was a little overpowering, while the roasted veggie sandwich had a little too much green pepper (capsicum). When it came to the green revolution, I liked it a lot, with the pumpkin in it adding a bit of sweetness, but the ladies thought there was way too much going on in it (like in the Gouda Gouda pizza).
We polished off our meal with a couple of Mama Mia gelatos (Esha tells me Mondo is the only place in south Bangalore where you’ll get Mama Mia gelatos), a date and walnut cake, and a triple layered chocolate mousse (eggless). The date and walnut cake was simply superb, and the mousse was equally good, if not better. The gelatos came in second, with the ladies preferring the fudge brownie over the strawberry gelato.
At present they don't accept credit cards, so carry cash.
Food: Quite good
$$$: Cheap (avg. meal for two: Rs 250 - Rs 400)
Verdict: Must visit if in south Bangalore, especially if you're peta ka beta, in other words a vegetarian, but that isn't to say that meat lovers wouldn't like the place, unless of course if you're a wolf or something.
Extra Info: From south end circle, go on the road parallel to the Bangalore Hospital/Vijaya College (Main)/ R V Road, so if you're coming from Nanda theatre, from south end circle signal, take the road to the left of the road straight ahead of you. Still haven't got it? Google maps check maadi.
Cafe Mondo, #2/2, Pattalamma Gudi Street, Next to Armugam Circle and close to Gunasheela Nursing Home, Basavanagudi, Bangalore. Phone: 42088686