Ask any business honcho (except Warren Buffet), and they'll tell you that measured diversification is the best way to manage risks as an entrepreneur. Now, while chefs and life partners Seefah Ketchaiyo and Karan Bane are not exactly part of the Fortune 500, serial entrepreneurs they really are. After opening a small 16-seater Asian diner in 2016, the two moved their much-loved restaurant, Seefah to a bigger space on Hill Road. Next up, was their burger-specific delivery model called Asian Burgers by Seefah, which falls under the same banner. And then, as the exigencies of the pandemic moved the world to push the envelope a little further, so did Bane and Ketachaiyo. As their restaurant had to shut down (not once, but twice and no thanks to the second wave of COVID-19), so came to fruition Seefah Bakery—a delivery-only venture that's specialising in all kinds of treats, with an Asian twist to boot.
What we tried:
It would be best to call the concise menu at Seefah Bakery an exciting work-in-progress as Ketchaiyo and Bane task themselves to develop newer confections. For the moment, their offerings include pillowy milk buns in different flavours, like a char sui pork variant, one with chicken sausage, another with ham and cheese and two more—buttermilk cream and coffee butter—to cater to those with a sweet tooth. There's also the wildly popular fluffy Japanese cheesecake and a frankfurter Thai chilli paste roll, plus their latest launch, shokupan, which is a Japanese milk bread loaf that's slowly taking the Internet by storm. Well, that's the long and short of it with this menu, but we know for a fact that there's more in store.
To quote our colleague, who sampled Seefah Bakery's shokupan recently, the light-as-air bread has the ability to "fill your home with the smell of cake." It's soft, supple and tastes best with a lathering of butter when lightly toasted and paired with a cup of tea or coffee. The ham-and-cheese bun is a textured beauty, with layers of good ham and mozzarella cheese. It's ostensibly our new favourite for breakfast unless there's the char sui bun on the table, which frankly is addictive as hell. It comes with smoky, barbecued pork ensconced within bouncy bread, topped with inky black sesame that adds just a slight touch of nuttiness to the goodie. We absolutely love the Japanese cake and its homespun nature and think it to be the Tom Hiddleston (Yes, the guy that plays Loki in Marvel's cinematic universe) of desserts—spot on with everything, but a little ignored because it is no gooey chocolate cake.
What didn't work:
There was also the frankfurter Thai chilli paste roll, which we'd have to nitpick to find faults in, so we'll just say it wasn't suitable to our palate. Maybe we love our frankfurter with a runny egg alone. The coffee bun was baked to perfection, but wouldn't be our first choice, given our dislike for coffee, in general.
Be that as it may, Seefah Bakery ticks all the boxes for us—from being imaginative to getting the textures right. And if we were to ever host a hi-tea, we would look no further, especially because it's a place that's serving really good quality treats, while keeping things simple. In fact, it's exactly this—Ketchaiyo and Bane's ability to take the most basic food and elevate it with nuance and technique. Still wondering whether you should place that order? We say, yes, do it right away.
Suman Quazi is a Writer, Host and the Food Editor with India Food Network and Start2Bake. She believes that while food is cultural, societal and intellectual, it is also deeply personal and is keen in contributing towards a dialogue around food in India that's meaningful. Her work has appeared in leading Indian publications like Midday, Living Foodz, Zee Zest, Deccan Chronicle, 101India and DailyO.