There’s a new saying that is going around “Cycling is the new Golf”, and I was as surprised as you were until I visited the Ciclo Café. Sister branch of L’amandier, this Café is first of it’s kind in India and you have to visit them to know why. Walk into Ciclo for a cozy evening with your loved ones and some comfort food or to satisfy that cycling enthusiast in you. It’s a candy store for a cyclist, says Mr. Arrzaan Jilla, the Business Development Manager and a cyclist himself. Wake up to a new and healthy lifestyle with finger licking food and some mind blowing workout routine. Now you can indulge in your favorite food without feeling a tinge of guilt about those calories.
Q: Ciclo is a ‘cycle – themed’ Café, am I right?
I’m glad you asked. This is the most common misconception everyone has about Ciclo. It’s not a cycle- themed café. We aim to promote a healthy lifestyle that includes cycling as an activity in your day to day life. Majority of the people are not aware of the benefits of cycling and what it can do to your body. So at Ciclo, we try to create an awareness about cycling as a sport and lifestyle. Also, it’s pronounced as chi-clo. (Italian)
Q: How exactly do you promote cycling as a lifestyle and create awareness in a Café ?
As you can see, every piece of furniture in our Café has part of a cycle in it. From the chandelier to the tables, we have incorporated parts of a cycle into everything. Apart from that, we do have cycles (for beginners and professionals) for sale and rental basis. We organize cycling events as well, for which we even rent out the cycles and the gear for the participants. Also, if you take a look at our menu, we do a feature about a cyclist every month and some benefits of cycling, just to educate people. We had a live streaming of ‘Tour de France’, one of the biggest cycling events in the World, during which we had a special menu too.
Q: Tell us something about your food.
We are a Café that serves Italian and Continental food. We make it a point to stick to our core, that is Café food. But now we are trying to do something different, like a fusion. So we brought in ‘Dhansak’, which is a Parsi delicacy, some Kebabs, Chicken Tikka Pizza and even Vada Paav. All these are part of the Chef’s Special, that you’d find chalked on the boards. Besides that we have burgers, pizzas, pastas, quiches, pies and a good range of desserts.
Q: What is your signature dish, or say the crowd-favorite?
One of our fast moving item is from the dessert section, the Salted Caramel Cheesecake, which is my personal favorite as well. The Pesto Pasta and Pesto Pizza has had quite a few votes too.
Q: Apart from the unique theme, Ciclo is known for its ambiance. How did you manage to maintain this vintage homely look?
This was actually an independent bungalow which has been converted into a Café. So we have maintained the warm and cozy feeling of a home, even with our furniture. We have tried our best to keep it casual and incorporate our theme into every corner of the Café, the tables, walls, menu cards and everything possible.
Q: So how exactly did this concept come up, to start a Café that promotes a sport?
This is a very common concept all around Europe and we thought why not introduce it in India, as we do have a lot of cycling enthusiasts, but not enough platform. In fact it was suggested by Mr. Arun, the President of TI Cycles, after he visited L’amandier. Mr. Ashish Thadani, the Managing Director of Absolute Specialty has been an active cyclist since 2006 and he loved the idea. And that was the birth of Ciclo.
Q: How has the crowd responded to the Café, besides the food? How successful were the events you conducted?
The crowd response has been amazing so far. Like I mentioned earlier, we conduct events big and small. We have organized three Grand Fondo’s so far, they are 80km rides and almost 115 people participated. Jonty Rhodes took part in one of them and promised that he will be back again. We also had a Heritage Ride for Madras Day and a collaboration with IIT Madras as well. During these events we arrange breakfast for the group at a very nominal rate.
Q: What do you have to say to Chennai?
There is so much potential out here and it’s about time people get a good understanding about a cycling lifestyle while enjoying good food. Think of it like leaving back your calories with us.
So strap up your bikes or just rent them out at Ciclo and burn those extra calories from the Salted Caramel Cheesecake or any your guilty pleasures.
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