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“ITC Could Do Better Here” 3 of 5 bubbles
Review of Cafe Mercara Express

Cafe Mercara Express
Ranked #7 of 6,589 Restaurants in Chennai (Madras)
Certificate of Excellence
Cuisines: Indian, Cafe, Fast Food, International, Contemporary
More restaurant details
Restaurant details
Good for: Romantic, Local cuisine, Large groups, Special occasions, Business meetings, Kids, Families with children
Dining options: Breakfast, Brunch, Dinner, Late Night, Lunch, Delivery, Reservations, Seating, Serves Alcohol, Television, Valet Parking, Validated Parking, Waitstaff, Wheelchair Accessible
Glasgow, Scotland
Level Contributor
111 reviews
84 restaurant reviews
common_n_restaurant_reviews_1bd8 48 helpful votes
“ITC Could Do Better Here”
3 of 5 bubbles Reviewed October 31, 2013

I love the ITC hotel, however it could do better with Cafe Mercara. It is by no means bad, but it lacks the character and unique sense of style that can be found elsewhere in the hotel.

What cannot be faulted is the food. Their biryani is one of the best dishes I have ever had, its abolsutely outstanding. However, it says something for the restaurant that I'd rather order it on room service and eat it in my room than eat in here. When I've managed to resist that fabulous biryani (although not sure why I'd want to), the rest of the food is really top quality stuff as well. Great french fries, the halloumi tagine dish is remarkably good and they have an excellent selection of burgers and sandwiches.

The issue is the ambience. The cafe is funereal and you feel conspicuous as a guest. They have a jukebox, which is a nice idea, but its a mismatch with the setting and it doesn't succeed in giving Mercara that spark and character that it needs.

Cafe Mercara serves food and alcohol 24 hours with is certainly a draw for the business traveller.

  • Visited August 2013
    • 4 of 5 bubbles
      Value
    • 2 of 5 bubbles
      Atmosphere
    • 4 of 5 bubbles
      Service
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Food
Helpful?
Thank DearChicago
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Philippe_Charraudeau, General Manager at Cafe Mercara Express, responded to this review, November 7, 2013
Dear reviewer,

Thank you for your valuable feedback. We are pleased that you were impressed with our culinary offerings and enjoyed the biryani, French fries and our signature tagine. However, we regret that the ambience of Café Mercara Express could not match your expectations.

We look forward to serving you again.

Warm regards,
Philippe Charraudeau
Vice President and General Manager
Report response as inappropriate
This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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256 reviews from our community

Visitor rating
    168
    64
    18
    3
    3
Rating summary
    Food
    Service
    Value
    Atmosphere
Date | Rating
  • English first
  • German first
  • Italian first
  • Japanese first
  • Portuguese first
  • Any
English first
Chennai (Madras), India
Level Contributor
17 reviews
13 restaurant reviews
common_n_restaurant_reviews_1bd8 12 helpful votes
“Fine atmosphere, fine food, good jukebox”
4 of 5 bubbles Reviewed October 29, 2013

I've made about three visits to Cafe Mercara in the company of my wife. Every trip was approached with enthusiasm, by both of us, so that pretty much sums up the case.

My missus is given to boycotts of restaurants that are not spotless, and those who do not serve foods that are perfectly blended and cooked. Also, her expectations of attentiveness of service are high. As also the pleasant demeanour of waiters.

Cafe Mercara passes on all counts, their midnight omelettes and eggs benedict and puri bhaji are memorable.

The view from a window table is green,dark and soothing.

I recommend the place as a 98 percentile achiever. 99, I'm afraid, I must retain, in case I stumble upon God.

Visited August 2013
Helpful?
Thank LeithCastle
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Philippe_Charraudeau, General Manager at Cafe Mercara Express, responded to this review, November 4, 2013
Dear Reviewer,

Thank you for your valuable feedback. We’re delighted to learn that you enjoyed your visit to Café Mercara Express and that the food and service standards matched your expectations.We are indeed very humbled by your excellent rating.

We look forward to your next visit and the opportunity to serve you again soon.

Warm regards,
Philippe Charraudeau
Vice President & General Manager
Report response as inappropriate
This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Bengaluru, India
Level Contributor
6 reviews
4 restaurant reviews
common_n_restaurant_reviews_1bd8 5 helpful votes
“Can be better”
3 of 5 bubbles Reviewed October 16, 2013

We (family of 3) had snacks at the Cafe Mercara Express. Ordered the fritter platter and Fruit Pizza. The Fritter Platter could have had a little more fritters :-).

The Fruit Pizza was nice !

Visited October 2013
Helpful?
Thank sv23
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Philippe_Charraudeau, General Manager at Cafe Mercara Express, responded to this review, October 28, 2013
Dear Reviewer,

Thank you for dining with us at the Café Mercara Express. We are glad that you enjoyed our Fruit Pizza. However, we regret that the fritter platter was not up to your expectations.

We sincerely hope that you will return with your family and allow us another opportunity to serve you again, in the not too distant future.

Warm regards,
Philippe Charraudeau
Vice President and General Manager
Report response as inappropriate
This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
London, United Kingdom
Level Contributor
25 reviews
15 restaurant reviews
common_n_restaurant_reviews_1bd8 40 helpful votes
“POOR MENU, DISINTERESTED STAFF,TERRIBLE EXPERIENCE”
1 of 5 bubbles Reviewed October 13, 2013

Indeed ITC Grand Chola is a master piece but Cafe Mercara Express was a terrible experience. We went as a family (5 members) to this Cafe on 4th October before leaving to UK. Menu choice was very poor and food taste was horrible (as cooked by inexperienced chef) - overcooked starters and tasteless soup. Added to this the serving staff was disinterested to take up the order and serve us (have to call them twice for each and everything). There was a person in black suit (name unknown) was attending every table but din't care to come to our table and ask whether everything was ok. Not worth the money. If they are going to continue this, they will be surely out of the business.

I have to add this, we also went to The Spectra at The Leela Palace a day before, we were served by Mr.Ranjan (experienced, courteous and knowledgeable staff) and the food was so tasty (we had a memorable experience). While taking order he explained about the taste and texture of the dish. May be your staff can get a training from him.

I want to give this feedback to the Mercara Express Manager (Mr.Abhimanyu) but he has left the restaurant by 11.30 pm, so I gave my business card to the person called Mr. Gopal and told him to inform the Manager to read the comments in my feedback and send me an email. But nothing happened till date.

I will never come back to this restaurant or will recommend to anyone who wants a good dining experience.

  • Visited October 2013
    • 3 of 5 bubbles
      Value
    • 3 of 5 bubbles
      Atmosphere
    • 1 of 5 bubbles
      Service
    • 1 of 5 bubbles
      Food
Helpful?
1 Thank prem k
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Philippe_Charraudeau, General Manager at Cafe Mercara Express, responded to this review, October 28, 2013
Dear Reviewer,

Thank you for choosing to dine at Café Mercara Express and for sharing your valuable feedback. We regret that your dining experience was not up to your expectations and we sincerely apologize regarding the same. We assure you that this is definitely not what we stand for. We have taken note of your negative comments and ensure that the service staff and the culinary team will be briefed about the same. Do allow us another opportunity to serve you and make it up to you.

Warm regards,
Philippe Charraudeau
Vice President and General Manager
Report response as inappropriate
This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Mumbai (Bombay), India
Level Contributor
10 reviews
4 restaurant reviews
common_n_restaurant_reviews_1bd8 28 helpful votes
“What is this??”
2 of 5 bubbles Reviewed September 27, 2013

I felt it terrible as I soon as I saw the menu was large.. so large with as many as only 5 items to choose from..

Is that a joke..??

Only 5 -7 items from such a huge menu..!! Forget it.

Visited September 2013
Helpful?
1 Thank mithunsanghavi
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Philippe_Charraudeau, General Manager at Cafe Mercara Express, responded to this review, October 8, 2013
Dear Reviewer,

Thank you for sharing your valuable feedback. We regret to hear about your disappointment with our menu at Café Mercara Express. We have taken a note of your comments regarding the same.

We look forward to another opportunity to serve you in the future.

Warm regards,
Philippe Charraudeau
Vice President and General Manager
Report response as inappropriate
This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC.

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