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BEAN AND BREAD

It is 5 pm, you finally have managed to take out time to treat yourself today. You walk into a cafe, the aroma of coffee grounds hit your olfactory glands, passing down relief and calming signals to your brain, and everything around you seems to pause for a while. At this moment, all you need is a cup of coffee and a couple of things to daydream about. You order one and eagerly wait for it to arrive. Smelling it before drinking, is an old tradition. Now it is time to have that first sip, the one that is going to change everything. Right before you are about to take one you seem to forget what coffee tastes like, but as soon as you let those droplets of the coffee pass down your throat, your judgemental mind seems to start comparing it instantly to your version of a perfect coffee. And when it doesn't meet your expectations, only a coffee lover would know much even a single sip of coffee can affect your mood. Instantly from a hyped-up child, you become a quiet old man. Ironically, in the beginning, you were to have a coffee because you were excited, now that you are heart-broken, you still expect coffee to improve your mood. And even if a cup of coffee is responsible for ruining your frame of mind, you still require one to make it better. The relationship between coffee and coffee lovers has been complicated for decades now. The most frustrating fact is when the cup of coffee you ordered had cost you a handsome amount.

 

Being a resident of Surat, you often hear about plenty of new places and cafes now and then. You tend to visit at least one food place every week, but then some outlets have a special place in your heart or should I say on your tongue? If you are craving for a food item, you would only visit that particular place. And once that diner has captured its position in your heart no matter how much anyone insists you to try out any other, you straight away deny. For me, it has been the same. And Ajay's Coffee has not only succeeded in grabbing its seat as the best coffee place for me but has also managed me to impress with its fast-food range.

 

How did I get to know about this place? I live in a city where word gets around fast and even faster when it is about a nice food place. So, one day my friend group decided to visit Ajay's. As discussed, I expect my coffee to be ideal, and the only concept running in my mind was that it was unmanageable to serve a fabulous coffee at such an economical rate, which was just 20 rupees. Yes, I was shocked too. I had mentally convinced myself that it would fail to meet up my expectations. After plenty of requests from my friends, I finally decided to take a sip from theirs. And no sooner I was on cloud nine. Perfectly balanced, neither too bitter nor too sweet, full-bodied, foamed coffee passed down my throat; leaving behind an unbeatable high standard that it had now created in my mind. Not only was I impressed by how well it had been made, but even more by how much I had got it for. You go to any cafe, it is unlikely to get yourself a coffee that costs fewer than 180, and as a matter of fact, most of them fail to match your expectations. That day, I realised why I had heard so many people praising Ajay's Coffee. It has become a permanent resident in my heart. No one has ever since been able to replace it.

 

It was not until recently that I finally got the moment to taste its fast-food range. Everyone enjoys a nice burger. But aren't we all concerned about how embarrassing it would be when you eat it and all the stuffing inside just ends up falling out? It's worse when you are a super clumsy person. Take it from me. Personally, I am such a big fan of burgers. But every time we decide to go for one, I end up choosing the simplest available so that it's not quite fancy; in return making it slimmer and easier to eat. I never preferred trying different flavoured burgers for this particular reason. I was under the same impression even for the burgers available at Ajay's, worried about dropping the stuffing inside, being anxious constantly. When I finally saw the burgers, let me tell you I have never in my life been so relieved. It was the right-sized burger. The post-jaw-ache seemed to not exist. I wonder how they manage to make every item with such precision. I took my first bite of their tandoori cheeseburger, instantly fell in love with its tangy taste and even more when gradually the spice started hitting my taste buds. The fiery flavour enters exactly when your mouth has completely become tart and suddenly your tongue tends to encounter an immense climax. The crispiness of the cutlet was unmatchable while the airy, yeasty buns perfectly balanced it. And how much would you expect such a perfect burger to cost? 100? Guess what, this was just for 40. Their rates manage to astound me every time just as much as their perfect food manages to. Fun fact: they have had the same rates since 2012. The fusion of Chinese food and fast food has always been legendary just as their Schezwan cheeseburger is. It had the right amount of pungency. The balance, between both the cuisines, had been maintained exceptionally. There was a perfect combo of ingredients that ignite both your sweet as well as sour taste buds. It became almost impossible for me to choose the better one amongst the two. But maybe due to my love for tangy flavours, the tandoori burger excelled. It has unquestionably become my favourite burger.

 

If you ever have been to Ajay's you know it is not a fancy high-end cafe, but certainly has an unbeatable vibe. It has succeeded for years now to provide us with the satisfaction that most of the others have failed. We have all experienced the feeling when we visit a fancy cafe, end up ordering a few things, but in the end, we return with an empty or half-filled stomach. I have never walked out of Ajay's with this feeling. Not to mention, how welcoming and friendly the staff there is. Despite the great rush, they never make you feel that it is chaotic. I have seemed to join the group of people whose favourite hangout place is Ajay's.

 

Their food is awesome, and the coffee is a 'Sone pe Suhaga'. They have undoubtedly managed to define the word perfection.