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Tuck into something sweet



Swati Kuruvilla expanded her kitchen and living room to create a foodie's niche. — Photo: Murali Kumar K.

WHEN SWATI Kuruvilla, proprietor of The Tuck Shop, extended her kitchen and expanded her living room to accommodate passers-by in search of tuck, she had no idea the response would be so overwhelming. Just goes to show that foodies are abound in every cross and main in the city. However, she is quick to clarify that the tuck offered in her eatery is not what some Bangaloreans have become acquainted with. The sticky coconut sweet, that inexplicably goes by the name of `tuck' in some parts of the city, is nothing near the laboriously created delicacies churned out by Swati. The desserts and breads are made fresh from Swati's own kitchen and the menu is as varied as her moods. Step into the homey tuck shop and you'll find anything from a scrumptious lemon almond pie or a pineapple upside down cake to filling chicken quiche and croissants of different kinds.

On certain days of the week, she even caters to the devotees of the nearby temple. Eggless versions of most of her cakes are served to her customers and have grown to become quite popular since her opening. Painstakingly slicing shortbread with caramel and chocolate into exact squares, she explains why exactly she sliced her living room in half to set up an outlet for her baking. "I've never bought a single birthday cake for my kids. They've grown up on everything I serve here in The Tuck Shop. In fact, I wouldn't serve anything to my customers that I wouldn't serve to my family. You could say that my passion for baking is what spilled over into this outlet," she says.

Aside from cream pastries and pies, cookies and puffs, Swati has something for the health conscious as well. Her carrot cake is made from 100 per cent whole-wheat flour, is made without butter, is loaded with carrots and is topped off with a cream cheese frosting. The breads range from whole wheat to ragi and soy, aside from the white bread for her sandwiches, all made in her own kitchen. "Just like home," her husband vouches, as he takes over the meticulous slicing of the shortbread squares.

For the caffeine addicts, The Tuck Shop provides a number of interesting options to those who want their fix for the day. Swati's son Pat is in charge of the kiosk outside and is constantly conjuring up new variants of the java bean. So far, they have 20 different kinds of coffee on offer. Try the latte mocchiato or the con panna if you're the more adventurous type or any of the chilled coffee-based desserts Pat enjoys "inventing". There's also the doppio — a double shot of expresso and the cappuccino fredo and iced cappuccino.

Even the tea promises to be unusual, with ingredients like cinnamon and nutmeg in the brew. What is most striking about The Tuck Shop, though, is that the proprietor, with the support of her family, oversees the baking herself, right from scratch. Everything on display in the shop is the product of the efforts in Swati's kitchen. No outlets and distribution is on the cards for the Kuruvillas, though. Swati believes that the stringent quality control she is now in command of would then be lost. "This is just an outlet for all my baking," she says, simply.

Some of the more unusual products here are the tomato cheese and olive bread, the capsicum and cheese bread, litchis and cream cake, rich chocolate truffle cake, lemon curd tarts, apricot and pistachio cake and the meringue-based pavlova. Each of the desserts and snacks can be made in miniature to cater to corporate lunches, family brunches or children's parties. Just give Swati a call and she's sure to cook up something just right.

The Tuck Shop is located on Shirdi Sai Baba Temple Road in Cambridge Layout and can be contacted on 25560388 or 25560389.

SOMIKA BASU

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