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Priya Motiani

JWB Blogger

JWB Eats: With Bloated Tummies We Came Out Of The Floating Leaf Cafe

  • JWB Post
  •  July 15, 2016


A lot of people these days have started to become suspicious of my work, or should I say, if I work. They tell me with a stink eye, “You don’t really work! All you do is roam around and hog pizzas!”  

Now, if going out on lunch dates with my teammies to the nicest places in the city is a part of my job then I guess I am guilty, right?

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But here’s something you should know. I am contentedly guilty. Especially, after our most recent food voyage – the voyage to The Floating Leaf Café. Man! The mere mention of the cafe evokes scrumptious memories in my mind (and in my tummy).

Located inside the Surya Mahal Tower on Tonk Road, the cafe stands up to its name (or should I say, floats up to its name) in the literal sense. It is positioned on the second floor which isn’t really a complete storey, but more of a huge balcony looming over their sweets outlet – Kesar.

Even though we geniuses walked in straight from the main entrance, we couldn’t make this observation (Guess we leave our brains back at the office when we go out with our tummies). It was Divya Arora – Director of the cafe – who brought the floating phenomenon to our notice.

Our rendezvous with Divya led us to believe that she is one charming and gracious woman full of poise. Now, you may call me mad, but I also went ahead to believe that her personality also reflected in the personality of the cafe.

‘Personality of a cafe? Is that even a legit thingy?’ The answer is YES! Look at the subtle, serene, yet creative ambiance for yourself.


“How long has it been since the cafe’s inception?” a chirpy drooling-over-the-chairs Lavanya asked Divya.

“It has been almost 2 years,” Divya replied.

“It is funny how I’ve never heard of this place before,” the apparent hogger-in-chief Ayushi mused.

”Back when we launched Kesar and The Floating Leaf, our main emphasis was on developing Kesar. The floating Leaf started out as a venture for experimental, creative, and contemporary cooking, as opposed to Surya Mahal’s age-old cherished and choicest recipes,” said Divya.

“So, have you designed this place?” Lavanya quipped.

Divya: “No, that’s done by an architect. I have designed the menu, the concept, and everything in between. As a part of the family business, I have worked extensively in the R&D department of international catering. And then again, being born and brought up in a house of jewelers, I also have a little bit of innate designing instinct within me. All that accompanied by a wonderful team led to this place.”

Even this poem on the menu is Divya’s creation. Interesting.

Divya: “This year, on Father’s Day, we did something special. We introduced a Braille menu for blind people so that they can get the comfort of choosing from a wide range of things all by themselves. We would love to see other restaurants and cafes doing the same, which is why, if anyone’s interested, I am willing to get these printed for them.”

Isn’t this an amazing initiative!

“What’s your favorite dish on the menu?” I finally broke my silence. 

Divya: “It is difficult to pick one. So, let me quickly order some dishes for you all.”

And seconds later, we saw this plate of scrumptiousness coming towards us. What it exactly contained, we knew not yet. We were Jon Snow(s).

And being Jon Snow(s), took we the first bite! Only to gawk mindlessly at Divya, while our expressions read WHAT IS THIS in caps, the next minute.

“These are called Drunken Mushrooms,” Divya, who was now amused, answered.  

How were they, you ask? Well, you take one look at Lavanya’s expressions and there will be no need for me to do any talking!

Left to right: “What is this!” “Okay, I think I like it.” Öh my god, I love it!”

Here’s a piece of trivia: The cafe gets its mushrooms from a man who especially farms mushrooms all through the year. How cool is that!

The Popeye Crepe 

The fact that Divya was stuffing us with spinach in varied (even concealed) forms, reminded me of my mother. Too much paalak! I am not cribbing, just making an observation because the crepes were delicious! Oh, and they were cheesy! *Getting mommy here right away*

And I guess you would have guessed why we don’t have many pictures here. Turns out, even our photographer Pallav couldn’t resist being Popeye.

The drinks!

Left to right: Oreo Shake, Banana Shake, Cranberry Saga

To balance the fresh and hot delicacies that we were unapologetically gobbling, we needed something equally refreshing but cool. And let’s just say, the Oreo shake was a favorite with Lavanya, the banana shake was Ayushi’s pick, and the Cranberry Saga never reached me. So, no comments.


“Would you just look at that!” Ayushi quietly meant to whisper in Lavanya’s ears. But the fact that I am mentioning this is evident of the fact that she said that out pretty loud.

I am not overstating. Nor am I understating. The Cannelloni was one of the best that I’d ever eaten.

PS: It tastes best with the bread. Don’t forget that sidey thingy!

It was legend wait-for-it dary. LEGENDARY!

Here’s a fun fact about the cafe: They offer you the option of ordering half the quantity of a dish (in whichever dish’s case it is possible) so that you can order a variety and still not burn your pocket.

Momos platter

Momos are sure shot a pretty common dish. But what made them different here was an assortment. There were different kinds of momos – as you can make out from the shape and size.

The only thing I wished for is for them to have a chicken filling. Which is when I came to know that the cafe is purely vegetarian. *Bubye wishful thinking. Hello, grated carrot cooked in subtle flavors!* 


There is a reason that I haven’t mentioned the name of this Pizza. And the reason is that at The Floating Cafe, the pizzas were never christened. The menu only bears the names of the toppings – what to make out of them is left to the customers.

Happily for us, Divya ordered her favorite version. And it was delicious…

… but it was also unusual. Why? Because these people do a special rendition of the pizza base – they make it with a lot of fragrant and freshly grounded herbs.

Golgappa Shots

As I’m typing this out, Jayati – who sits next to me and who didn’t show up for this activity and who is now envious – is murmuring, “Itna kitna kha kar aayi ho! Likhe hi ja rahi ho kab se!”

She’s gotta point! But this is the last dish, I promise!

You’re not really a true Jaipuri if your heart doesn’t go dhak-dhak at the sight of golgappas. All of us, except Lavanya, were true Jaipuris in that sense. ‘Cuz we ate the golgappa (that had the regular masala plus anaar) and downed the shots within seconds!

This was a big day for me – The first time that I had taken shots. Ayushi, on the other hand, looked all food-drunk.

Chocolate Brownie Bowl

I am serious when I say that we did not see this coming! This was a bowl full of chocolate brownie soaked in coffee and served with a scoop of vanilla and chocolate ice creams each.

Even though we said we were full and there was no room for even a single bite, we ended up smelling like coffee along with chocolate-smeared faces.


Knowing full well that Divya was knee-deep in the food business, I dared to ask her, “Do you also run a line of gyms?”

I think I kinda need to pitch a tent and settle in a gym, you know, after eating this much!

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