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The 45 Central Perk Shimla: Combo of Cafe and a Classy fine dine restaurant

SHIMLA–  With Christmas and New Year around, one of the most popular hill stations, Shimla is gearing up for lots of celebrations and parties.  Tourists will be flooding into the town in hope of snow, so it’ll be helpful if natives could share good places to grab food, drinks, and snacks.  In our last review, we had taken you to the Café Under Tree in capital town of Himachal – Shimla. Since then we couldn’t find another place worth a mention. But one of the HW Community Member happened to come across a place to dine. 

Apart from being a popular tourist spot in Shimla, Mall is also the only place for most of Shimlaites to let their hair down, for shopping, to just roam around and to dine with friends or family. On weekend, it becomes a carnival – an amalgam of domestic and international tourists and local crowd. Here, you can witness the magical British Era charm at any day of the year. 

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Abundant options from budget to luxury for stay and dine are available in Shimla. Because, it’s a tourist oriented market, most of the places are either expensive or over-crowded, while other are too monotonous and hardly have any variety in the menu. 

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Recently, an HW Community Member, Priyanka Ohri, came across a recently opened restaurant, The 45 Central Perk- a combination of cafe and a classy fine dine restaurant.

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Designed by a Delhi based architect, Pracheta Mehrish of the MOboutique fame, the interiors have finesse, like everything has been designed and installed with utmost care.

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Quirky quotes on the walls render a boyish charm to the place and royal blue sofas are wonderfully classy.

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Adding a dash of glamour to the restaurant are elegant ceiling lamps and the most coveted seat is right next to the window which offers food with a view.

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Aditya Rajpal, the owner of the restaurant not only has an educational qualification, but also a substantial amount of experience to head an ambitious project like 45 Central Perk.

He comes across as a very calm person and that is definitely reflected in the ambience of the restaurant. Hardly, a month old, the restaurant is almost always full and the staff is courteous.

I want to give people of Shimla a place where different tastes can be accommodated,

he said.

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And, looking at the menu, it is easy to say that Asian, Indian and Continental food is available under one roof in reasonable prices.

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You should definitely try the Cappuccino – made with utmost care and you usually would not want to finish it. Of course, it also has a lot to do with comfortable and quiet ambience.

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Trying food at a new restaurant and being curious about the USP (Unique Selling Point) is natural as we tried to review it from a commercial perspective. Why is the place different? Why should I come here again? According to

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Aditya Rajpal the USP of the restaurant is the ‘Hot Mocktail’ section. For instance, Mulled Pom Citrus is served hot with cloves, cinnamon and is also great for digestion.

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Appetizers in the menu are good enough to give you a taste from at least three different continents. Tomato soup, served with pistachios and Broccoli and Cheese soup, would reinforce your faith in Broccoli.

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One thing that could be improved was that may be savoury dishes could be made with minimum salt possible, giving the visitors an option to add salt according to their taste.

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Dahi ke Kabab was up to the expectations. The curd and salt in the filling inside the bread was quite balanced. This dish is definitely worth a try.

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Another delightful feature of the food here is the use of vegetables in snacks. The vegetables are deep fried in a delicious batter, which is not Besan and you can call it Salt n’ Pepper.

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Main Course of Hakka Noodles and Sweet and Sour as an accompaniment is worth a recommendation. Another recommendation can be Sesame Stir Fried Noodles, served with vegetables in a sauce.

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For a delightful change, Gajjar ka Halwa is served as a dessert. You can also have Phirni which is quite difficult to find otherwise.

If the Central Perk is to be rated on the basis of different parameters, we would say the place is comfortable and ambience is charming. Of course, the location of the café is very approachable. The drinks are satisfactory, but the food seeks consistency of preparation.

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The café also pays attention to presentation of the food, hygiene and cleanliness. The place doesn’t compromise with hygiene. The most expensive option is priced at 475 INR and meal for two is affordable between 500-700 INR.

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Another feature that’ll surprise you is that the restaurant uses simple glass (mostly found at dhabas and tea-stalls), and it does look familiar to all. 

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It’s been hardly a month since the opening of the restaurant, so it is obvious that there is still room for improvement. Hopefully, the menu will evolve with consistency of preparation, which is a hallmark of any good restaurant. Lot of time, heart and passion has gone into the restaurant and Aditya Rajpal has wonderful plans for it. 

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Images: Tarun Sharda

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