9 WR180122 Despite originating in Turkey, the modern café culture movement finds its home in Europe: amidst the cobbled streets of Paris, and in artsy Viennese outlets. Perhaps you would be surprised to learn that one of the finest of these European-style cafés is in Kolkata. This café, Piccadilly Square is a firm favourite for locals and tourists alike. We spoke to their Chief Mentor, Pooja Baid, to find out more. Piccadilly Square has thrived through a dedication to authenticity, not content with the lacklustre offerings of peers in the area, defined by cookie-cutter services and an often-uninspired menu. Established at the height of café culture in 2008, Piccadilly wanted to go beyond all of that, aiming to emulate the true strength of their European counterparts, as Pooja explains. “We identified the gap and decided to create a niche by providing a “European Café (Bistro) experience”, with an emphasis on authentic taste and quality. The unique menu brings together popular street food from Italy, France, England, and Belgium. The thematic European set-up, along with the aroma and antics of the open kitchen conveyed a unified story and a sensory experience. Since its inception in 2008, it has made European favourites such as crepes and waffles an innate part of Kolkata’s culinary map. Today, Piccadilly Square acts as a leading example, setting the pace for others to follow - an impressive feat indeed for what, essentially, started as a small start-up. “Upgrading our skills and learning from the best culinary Institutes of the world has helped us stay one step ahead of competition and be a trendsetter in the industry. We are proud to be the first to feature European street food and to successfully introduce all vegetarian, egg/gelatin-free dishes such as crepes, waffles, Italian breads and artisan gelato. Piccadilly Square was one of the first to introduce varied coffee brewing techniques such as Syphon, Pour Over, and Cold Brew using single estate coffee beans.” Again, proactivity comes to the forefront when it comes to keeping Piccadilly Square ‘fresh’ and exciting. They understand that success in the industry relies on forever moving forward, improving, and refining their offerings. “Starting with the ‘Cheese Carnival’ in December 2008, the Bistro has housed over 30 gala fests aimed at introducing new cuisines and incorporating seasonal produce. Our USP lies in integrating experiential elements into these festivals. In our Valentine’s Day event, couples curated a candlelit dinner that included creating table accessories and cooking a 3-course meal. When guests play the role of “co-creators” it makes the experience personal and memorable. “Over the years we have forged a formidable relationship with our guests.Their preferences and feedbacks are digitally recorded An Exquisite European-Style Café Excelling Through a Dedication to Perfection and used to personalise the experience.We treat our guests as connoisseurs and often invite them for tasting sessions, to get valuable suggestions. Our repertoire includes happy guests of all age groups that we are delighted to serve often.” As for the future, Piccadilly Square is hoping to expand further, utilising its considerable goodwill and peerless reputation to grow their service and nurture their client base. Keeping in mind the growing need for vegan and gluten-free food, we have plans to add more options in our menu to cater to this segment. Moving forward we strive to bring about a greater appreciation and understanding of coffee through our Coffee Club. It will be a platform to share, explore and experience the world of coffee by bringing together “coffee-minded” people. Piccadilly Square Outlets Lansdowne: 15 B Sarat Bose Road, Kolkata- 700020, Ph: +916291905165 Dalhousie: 21, Hemanta Basu Sarani, Kolkata-700001, Ph: +916291905166 Website: https://www.facebook.com/piccadillysquare Instagram: @piccadillysq Named ‘Best European Bistro – Kolkata’ in LUXlife’s 2019Winners Review programme.