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Amour, a French café nestled within a picturesque Art Deco bungalow from the 1960s, welcomes visitors with the delightful aroma of freshly baked cookies. With its vibrant yellow exterior, elegant curved edges, and charming French garden adorned with white wrought iron seating, Amour aims to establish itself as one of the first French cafés in Dindigul. Owned by the Ponram group, renowned for their biryani chain, this year-old café offers a menu filled with an enticing blend of traditional French delicacies and Indian-inspired dishes, catering to the diverse tastes of its customers.
While Amour’s menu features an array of sandwiches, wraps, salads, pasta, and pastries, it also includes flavors that pay homage to the love for biryani and fiery meat curries in the region. Imagine relishing unique creations like minced meat pizza infused with chicken kothu kari or savoring the delectable chicken tandoori rolls. The café attracts a diverse clientele, ranging from dhoti-clad men leisurely enjoying a cup of coffee to college students gathering for fries and ice cream. S. Mani Ram, a 24-year-old member of the owning family, expresses his desire to offer contemporary cuisine in a traditional setting that appeals to people of all ages.
Amour strives to provide a refreshing experience in a town that lacks sit-down establishments conducive to long conversations over a cup of coffee. Spread across four rooms on the ground floor of the bungalow, along with some outdoor seating in the enchanting French garden, the café preserves the building’s original charm with vintage mosaic flooring, wooden windows, and beams.
One of the highlights of Amour is its commitment to sourcing ingredients from the surrounding towns. For example, the rose tres leches are adorned with slivers of dried rose petals from nearby Nilakottai, imparting a delicate floral note to the moist cake. The tender coconut mousse, a popular choice among patrons, features translucent flesh from coconuts grown in Ayyampalayam, lending a mild sweetness to the gelatinous creation.
Amour also tantalizes taste buds with their mango tart, boasting a crumbly crust paired with a scoop of local mango variety from Natham. The mini walnut pies, with their subtly sweet crust and gooey filling infused with cinnamon and walnut chunks, are another must-try delicacy. To complement the dining experience, Amour serves Ice Square ice cream with unique flavors like jackfruit and hill banana, sourced from the nearby Sirumalai hills. Their adventurous ice cream flavors, including chili, garlic, and ginger, manage to intrigue customers. Noteworthy options include the nutty karupatti ice cream made with palm jaggery and the refreshing panakarkandu (palm crystals) ice cream. Mango lovers will find solace in the indulgent mango ice cream.
According to R. Nagendran, Mani’s uncle, Amour came to life during the COVID-19 pandemic, allowing the family ample time to brainstorm and create something special. They drew inspiration from intriguing cafes in Auroville, Bengaluru, and Chennai, seeking to bring a similar experience to Dindigul. The people of Dindigul are embracing this new hangout spot, relishing the excellent food, ice cream, and the timeless charm of the decades-old bungalow that stands as a testament to a bygone era