I don't know why I put off a visit to Candies for so long. Six years in the city, so many people recommending the place and yet I never made a trip to eat at Bandra's legendary bakery/cafe. Then Kalyan gave me a little nudge and just by coincidence, that weekend I found myself in the neighborhood of Lilavati Hospital. That first trip to Candies was accidental. The two subsequent trips absolutely intentional.
For in Candies I have found the answer to Wengers, my favorite Delhi bakery. Let's recap Wengers for you - an ancient bakery with several separate counters all selling goodies you'd give an arm and a leg for. Lovely bits of deliciousness in cakes and puddings and pies. Candies is all of this and a lot of extras. When you first walk into the cafe near Lilavati (there are three Candies, but this is the only one I've been to), you spot outdoor tables and an outdoor counter. A counter set with salads, sandwiches, tea cakes, petit fours and brownies. And puffs - glorious vegetable puffs and lovely little mushroom and corn puff pastries. The guy will tear out a bill and tell you to pay before he hands over the goodies.
So you walk indoors to a crowded counter that has a lot more in store. This is the world of samosas, spring rolls and potato chops. Also the world of mini-meals - the lasagne verde, the macaroni. And finally, the world of danish pastries. Remember that none of it is exactly fine dining and everything is precooked and just reheated, but it tastes so good when you bring it outdoors to eat.
And then you turn to the most important part of the outdoor counter. After the irritating "go back inside and pay for this", you get a cinnamon laced cappuccino that comes with a trio of petit fours. A bite sized jam tart, a tiny little cream pie and a fluffy chocolate coated eclair. All for free with your coffee; all lovely enough to get you hooked to Candies forever.
What Candies misses versus my beloved Wengers is marshmallows, jujubes and peppermints. But there is still enough variety to make you go back several times; just to sample everything in store.