Baccanale, Cafeteria and Gelateria, Port Baku Mall, 151 Neftchilar, Baku Tel.: (050) 464 0843 www.olivagroup.az
A Bacchanal, according to vocabulary.com, is a crazed party with drunken revelry, ecstatic sexual experimentation, and wild music. In a nutshell, it is ‘sex, drugs and rock’n’roll’. Well, steady on, chaps! We had a jolly good time at Baccanale but we kept our clothes on, didn’t touch a drop of alcohol and stayed well away from any mindbending substances. I mean honestly, not only are we of a certain age and upright and mostly well-behaved members of the Baku expat community, but frankly, on a Saturday lunchtime after a sunny walk along Bulvar, even I don’t lose my inhibitions to that degree! And in Port Baku Mall of all places! So, I’m very sorry, I have no scandalous behaviour to report. Too bad!
What I can tell you is that Baccanale, up there on the third floor (second, UK style) of the mall and right next to The House Café, is definitely worth a visit, even if it is a lot tamer than its name promises. Thanks to its huge bow window overlooking Neftchilar, it is flooded with light. There’s cool chill out background music, for once not too loud , and the décor, all in taupe and scarlet with a black and white tiled floor, is contemporary and inviting. The hams hanging from the ceiling and the wine and condiments displayed Warhol style on floor to ceiling shelves, enhance the café’s Mediterranean vibe.
Two things made a good impression on me: the professionally presented menu with arty photos and without spelling mistakes and the good looking food and cakes displayed in the deli counters. On offer are sandwiches, paninis, pizza, snacks, grills, crepes and desserts, including fabulous Italian ice cream and sundaes. A massive cup of excellent Americano coffee costs just AZN2.90, unheard of in expensive Baku.
Baccanale is open during the day and evening; we went for a light lunch of Pollaoilo salad with lettuce, cherry tomatoes, diced chicken breast, cucumber, grated carrots, arugula and a chip of parmigiano and a Marinero sandwich with tuna pate, semi-dried tomatoes, red onion and fresh green basil leaves. Both were pretty good, though the sandwich could have done with more filling and the salad with less dressing. I was keen to sample what looked like a bliss inspiring baked cheesecake but, unfortunately, on this occasion, the lovely husband wouldn’t play ball. All in all, the ambience, service and general presentation were most enjoyable and definitely worth a return.
Our bill came to AZN 27.30 including two bottles of mineral water and the aforementioned humongous coffee. Good luck with the sex, drugs and rock’n’ roll, you’ll have to provide your own, but for an easygoing snack, you can rely on Baccanale to meet your basic sensual requirements.