I must admit to being somewhat skeptical about a restaurant that serves only eggs and egg-based dishes. Although I love eggs in their myriad avatars, how, I wonder, could you build an entire menu out of them, let alone an entire restaurant?
I am pleasantly surprised. The Egg Factory is tucked away behind Dewar Wines on a tiny side street off St. Mark’s Road. Is parking a problem? You betcha. Leave your car at home when visiting this one.
Decor is minimal, avoiding the obvious bright-yellow-and-white in favor of small but interesting visual cues such as the spanner-shaped door handle and black and white photographs of eggs, chickens and coops. Simple wooden benches (not very comfy for long-haul!) and tables give you a view of the semi-open kitchen. My immediate impression: small, warm, and friendly, the kind of place you’d think of as your neighborhood hangout.
The menu is impressive for the imaginative use of a single ingredient. Ranging from basic omelet/egg curry offerings to more imaginative egg-based starters, pastas, frittatas, wraps, subs and even desserts, it’s obvious that every item on the menu has been chosen with care. The restaurant has done a great job of proving that eggs can be more than just a breakfast item – you won’t find sausages or bacon here.
We start our meal with two kinds of crostini: Tomato, Mozzarella and Egg; and Spicy and Sour. Both are good (perhaps the latter is just a shade too spicy), but the Tomato, Mozzarella and Egg is outstanding. It manages to achieve a delicate balance of flavors on a tiny, bite-sized piece of crisp bread. Yum.
My dining partner for the day, a nine year old with a sophisticated palate (his favorite food is sushi) decides to order a portion of French toast with maple syrup before he has his “real lunch” because the crostini were “only teeny”. Much to his distress, I nibble at it. Not too sweet, not overtly eggy, and a generous portion, but a mite too oily, and not as crisp as I like it. Needs the oil to be hotter before it goes in the pan.
We move on to the pastas. The Penne Alfredo with Cilantro Pesto and Eggs is an unusual creation by owner-partner Yogesh. Penne in a coriander-based cream sauce with a hint of mint, tiny pieces of diced red pepper for a mild kick, and just-right sprinkle of cheese on top. The pasta is (thankfully) cooked al dente, and isn’t all gooshy and limp. The sauce is just right, with no one flavor outshouting another for attention. Didn’t like the garlic bread that came with it though – not enough garlic and not at all crisp.
The Egg Canneloni was pretty good too, albeit the fact that someone had been slightly heavy-handed with the oregano. If you like lasagne, try this. It’s almost as satisfying, but won’t fill you to bursting the way lasagne does. My suggestion to the owners: an optional cheese topping would be nice.
Also attempted the Arroz Con Huevos, a Mex fried rice with a double fried egg. Way too spicy for my taste – and I love spicy food, can do a three chilli alarm easy. It’s a fallacy that all Mexican food has to be unbearably spicy; this particular dish is testament to that fallacy – and I stand by that no matter how popular the dish turns out to be for The Egg Factory.
For dessert, we sampled a Poor Knights of Windsor and a Bread Custard respectively. And this is where my only real objection arose: both came topped with a smattering of coarsely chopped glace cherries. Unnecessary, adds nothing to the flavor, and is reminiscent of the days when a sprinkling of “tutti frutti” atop a dessert was a mark of sophistication. Neither of us liked the bread custard, which was basically custard with bread soaked in it. On the other hand, both of us loved the Poor Knights of Windsor, which came to us stuffed with jaggery and raisins, sizzling in caramel, and sprinkled with powdered sugar. If you love desserts, check it out for an interesting change.
At present, the beverage menu is limited to a few smoothies – an area that they intend to expand on, says Yogesh.
Most prices at The Egg Factory come in at under Rs.100, with the average ranging between Rs. 69 and Rs. 89. Pop in for a quick bite whenever you’re hungry, and both you and your wallet will leave feeling full.
The Egg Factory
Ground Floor, White House, St. Marks Road, Bangalore