The café culture has permeated deep into the lifestyle of the people of Guwahati as the number of cafes or bistros is witnessing a fast-rising trend. The Steaming Mug is one of the popular ones in the list of bistros and fast food restaurants of the city. The place is located at Mandovi Apartments, Opposite Rabindra Bhavan.
The Steaming Mug is the brainchild of Bidyut Krishna Baruah and Tanya Das Purkayastha. A former IT professional who spent a considerable period of time studying and working in Delhi and Pune, Bidyut Krishna Baruah had long harboured dreams of opening a café in the city. "Having stayed outside for a long period of time, I saw many cafes in Pune where students and youth can hangout or do their project works over a cup of coffee or a meal of their choice. I wanted to start a similar trend here in Guwahati. That is the vision behind The Steaming Mug."
The first thing that strikes one as he or she enters the place is the interiors. The ambience is nice and the interiors are pretty with very interesting wall decor. As soon as one enters the place, one gets the feel of entering an upscale café found in other metro cities like Delhi and Mumbai. The waiting staff are courteous and makes you feel at home. As Bidyut says, "Our waiters may not have any formal education but they are experienced in the hospitality sector." Most of the chefs and waiters have been trained outside.
The place has two areas for seating. While one is the conventional chair and table sitting area, there is another raised wooden platform where customers can sit on the ground. "The entire design and décor has been conceptualised and implemented by me and my partner. The sitting area is conducive for students who want to get together to do their project work or for someone who wants to read a book as they sip their cup of choice."
At present, the bistro has a seating capacity of 30-35 people. The restaurant also has a separate area for smoking. So for all those who love to have a puff with your beverage, you now have a destination. Herein, Baruah says, "Although I personally do not endorse smoking, we have a small smoking area due to public demand and for the benefit of those who love to smoke".
The music playlist of the café is quite eclectic. While it does not remain confine to any single genre, it encompasses different kinds of music like rock and roll, hard rock, hindi songs, ghazals, etc – all depending upon the mood of the customers. There is also a small library in the corner of the bistro for all those who love the combination of books and coffee.
Coming to the food, the menu is quite diverse - ranging from sandwiches to pita breads to chicken Satay. As Baruah says, "I have found that most of the cafes of Guwahati serve both Indian and Chinese food. I wanted to do something different. So our menu mostly comprises of Continental food besides a variety of sizzlers, salads and beverages. We have a wide range of ethnic and continental food which are not generally found in other cafes of the city".
A first-time visitor to the restaurant can try their Bob's Steak which is a full-course meal. The pizzas served here are freshly baked at home. "Earlier we used to buy the pizza bread from outside but nowadays, we have started preparing our own pizzas. So customers can really look forward to enjoy a wide range of pastas and pizzas when they come to us," says Baruah.
The pricing of the food is average and at par with other cafes of the city. A meal for two will roughly cost you around Rs 500.
A customer Prasanna Barua said, "This is the perfect place to enjoy a cup of hot coffee along with some food to enjoy the winter afternoon. For me, this is perhaps one of the most romantic places to go to in the city and a new found favourite for me."
Another customer Kasturi Kashyap said, "This is a decent cafe in guwahati. Simple but classy.
I love the presentation of every dish. The staff members are very polite and I loved the ambience and everything. Kudos to the team of The Steaming Mug!"