When do you step into a hospital? Only when you need medical care, or if you are visiting someone who is admitted to the hospital or if you have to catch up with a friend who is a health care professional. There is no other reason for you to make a trip and it would have never crossed your mind to make a visit just to nibble or munch on the knick-knacks and other dishes available at the hospital cafeteria.
But interestingly people do. They dine at a hospital because the food served there is simply good and delicious. We chat up people who have discovered the goodness of hospital cafeteria food and their favourites.
Ruby Hall Clinic, Sassoon Road
Parminder Singh has to make frequent trips to Ruby Hall Clinic for his son’s vaccinations and also to treat minor injuries which the little one keeps getting from his minor falls. But Singh does not resent it at all because he enjoys the food available at Ruby Hall Clinic cafeteria. His fascination with hospital food began when he had taken his son for routine vaccinations and both of them were hungry. “Instead of going back home, I decided to take my son to the cafeteria and ordered cold coffee and other dishes. I feel the cafe serves the best cold coffee,” says Singh.
Since that day whenever Singh and his child visit the doctor they make it a point to go to the cafeteria and have their favourite Chilli Cheese Toast and Chicken Sandwich along with Cold Coffee.
Singh says that the staff there is extremely helpful because of which the overall experience is always good. The cleanliness and the ambience of the place add to the experience.
King Edward Memorial Hospital Canteen, Rasta Peth
Avneet Bagga recalls visiting a friend who was admitted to the King Edward Memorial Hospital. “Since I went directly to the hospital from college, I was not only tired but hungry too,” she says. Being lunch time, the lady from the cafeteria was on her regular rounds at the hospital and asked Bagga if she had placed an order. Shy at first, she eventually gave in to her hunger pangs and ordered a Mysore Dosa. “Till date, it is my favourite dish at KEM Cafeteria,” she says.
Next time onwards she never missed out on ordering food from the cafeteria whenever she visited her friend and proudly says that she has tried most of their dosas as well as parathas.
Bagga says that she discovered a great dining place in the most unlikely place. “My friends still find it difficult to believe when I tell them that my favourite place to have Mysore Dosa is a hospital cafeteria,” she says and laughs.
When asked what she likes about the place, Bagga says that along with the tasty and decently-priced food, the canteen at KEM, though situated in the hospital premises, has a life of its own and is different than any other canteen she has been to.
“Besides whatever you choose to order, it will turn out delicious and the best part is that it does not burn a hole in your pocket,” she assures.
Jehangir Hospital , Sassoon Road, opp Pune station
Aarti Athvale, a city-based college student says, “Last year, my brother was admitted to Jehangir and I used to visit him during my lunch break.” Since it was meal time she decided to check out the cafeteria at Jehangir Hospital. “I tried their Rice Plate and Chicken Sandwich. The food was so good that I had to tell my mother not to get food for me from home,” she recalls.
She says that the food is not only cheap but is of good quality because of which she never really has to bother about the hygiene. She says that having food at the cafeteria had become a ritual for her whenever she paid a visit to her brother during his stay there. “We even had small family gatherings with cousins visiting us and snacking on the cafeteria food,” she says with glee.
Athvale says that whenever she goes with her brother to the hospital for a check-up they make sure they have some extra time on hand so that she can grab some delicious bites.
So the next time you visit a hospital, do not forget to check out the cafeteria menu. Who knows, you may discover your favourite shake or lip-smacking toast.