Sunday, September 23, 2007

Lazy Dining in Delhi - Table for One

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Anna Karenina

The Delhi Walla sets off to a pleasure trip.

[Text and picture by Mayank Austen Soofi]

A good café is one where you can read a book. Or write one. Delhi does not have many. Those which fancy themselves as cafes (think Barista, Café Coffee Day and Costa Coffee outlets) are extremely youth-centric, noisy and pretentious. They lack individuality. The food is industrial; the stewards speak with accent; the music is loud (the in-house music bands are often embarrassing); and they all try too hard to be American. Besides, the high turnaround obliges you to leave, once you have dunk down your coffee and munched your sandwich, within a tolerable time limit.

By launching the Table for One series, this blogsite has undertaken to profile eating places in the capital which are moody, easy-going, and where you can be free of the city’s fast-paced life for a while. These hangouts - cafes, restaurants, and dhabas - would be recommended not because of food but for their romantic ambiance.

Some considerations to be kept in mind while deciding the places: Are there (at least some) dishes which are full-filling and inexpensive (but not unhealthy like McDonald burgers); is the staff attentive and still let you be; is the clientele noisy (too many kids scurrying around); is the décor jarring to the senses; is there some time during the day when the place is not packed to a full house; and most importantly – can you concentrate on the book you are reading. Or writing.

The Delhi Walla hopes that the series would assist the readers in finding their own comfort zones in the city.

Bon voyage.


Abdusalaam alHindi said...

An interesting post and an interesting blog. Will look into it more.

Anonymous said...

The concept of eating out ..or sipping coffee ALONE by yourself.. don't exist in India ( atleast didn't exist till the time I was there) I remember if I had to eat alone sometimes.. even in the college cafeteria .. I would cringe, thinking about the quintessential social question.. " what would the 'others' think about me.." so yes.. till my life time in Delhi.. which were a good many yrs.. I have never ventured out or even seen someone reading ALONE in a coffee shop.. but I will keep a tab on your blog.. coz now that I am addicted to starbucks.. I would love to sit and get some "me time" with a grande nonfat latte and a nice book whenever I visit my city.. :)

~ T

cathatfished said...

why dont u please put all the posts from one series into a set we can read together? :)

Reeta Skeeter said...

Neat! Looking forward to all the Table for One posts :) You are blogrolled.

Anonymous said...

a great series idea soofi. i've 'tried' to sit around alone and read at cafes in delhi. the people around keep expecting someone to walk in and join you.

Anonymous said...

where is this spot?