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The Timeless Madras Coffee House

The Timeless Madras Coffee House

By: Shagun Nayar

MCH-www.zootout.com_The Madras Coffee house, located in the Outer circle of Cannaught Place is much more than what meets the eye. I say this because the Madras Coffee House has been able to successfully withstand money-making corporations and multi-national food chains and stand tall& proud as one of the oldest café’s/restaurants/hotels in the capital city. The offers keep coming, but the dedicated and loyal workforce of this humble and charming little café is true to its cause of protecting what seems to be, one of the very few remaining  haunts of Old Delhi.This coffee house is a legacy in itself because of its rich historical background and cultural importance. It emits a strong sense of pride and loyalty which is why the owner feels that in a couple of years, the Madras Coffee House will be considered as a heritage landmark.

It was initially a modest ice-cream parlour which was owned by the Hem Chand Jain family who moved from Punjab to Delhi. Like any farsighted business man, he expanded his shop into a restaurant and bar called the Shanghai Restaurant and bar which was a popular haunt for the British soldiers who brought over their lady friends, danced with them within the pasty white walls on band music, ordered Chinese food and sipped on their cocktails. Owing to the supremacy of the British crown and the strong pertinent racial bias, Indians were not allowed in this restaurant even though the owner was an Indian national. The owner frowns when he speaks of this, but that’s just how things were back in British India. Post-independence, the restaurant was changed once again into a pure vegetarian milk bar, called Respo Bar &once again, Indians were welcomed with open arms. Owing to its prime location and popularity, Jain transformed it into a fully functional coffee house in the 1950’s and that is how the Madras Coffee House came into being.

On entering this coffee house, you are immediately transported back in time. The windows are covered with plastic flowers hanging down, there is a temple with an idol at the entrance of this coffee house which is surrounded almost as if it is under guard, by a structure of bamboo. The ambience of this place is sure to make you nostalgic. The pale off-white walls running across the coffee house, covered with broad panels of metal engravings are met with dark orange tables and modest wooden chairs covered with an olive green fabric.  The entire place is exactly how it was in the 1950’s.  There is a huge backdrop of Kwality Walls Ice-cream posters behind the counter and an ice-cream parlour that is no longer functional. It’s a typical coffee house with music playing in the back, crowded with college students, middle aged professionals and the odd 1-2 foreigners.

11040258_818025618267079_1839288466_nThe menu is diverse with a wide array of dishes spread across Indian, Chinese and South Indian. The infamous filter coffee, the airy-light Idli’s and the delicious Special Masala Dosa were my favourites from the menu. The filter coffee was made just like any typical south Indian filter coffee served with a sugar pot. The Idli’s were soft and airy, accompanied by an authentic rendition of the coconut chutney & spicy Sambar, the special masala Dosa was a combination of well-boiled potatoes, curry leaves, cottage cheese, peanuts, fried onions and tomatoes.Dining in the Madras Coffee House was an experience in itself with soft, soothing music playing in the background, students and professions reading their books and the manager, waiters bringing in food with utmost simplicity and joy.

So, if you’re ever wandering the streets of Cannaught place or looking for a taste of real Delhi, don’t forget to check out the Madras Coffee House and be transported back into time with walls that tell stories of the glorious past and food that will make you come back for more.

Location: P 5/90, Outer Circle, Connaught Place, New Delhi

Contact Number: 011 23363074

Approximate cost for two: Rs. 450

 

 

 

Anubhav Sapra is an avid foodie! He is a Founder but proudly calls himself a Foodie-in-chief at Delhi Food Walks. He is also a street-food and Indian regional cuisine connoisseur and loves to write about street-food.
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Barista Meets Artista

Le Méridien New Delhi  presents  “Barista Meets Artista” at the India Art Fair 2015

Delhi witnesses Le Meridien’s international campaign ‘Inspiration Brewed Here’

Le Méridien New Delhi  in conjunction with India Art Fair 2015, South Asia’s largest contemporary Art Fair, played audience to a unique and interactive coffee and art performance by LM 100 member Esther Maasdam – The Global Latte artist along with visual artist -Sohan Jakhar.

This unusual art performance reinforces the brands commitment to coffee culture. The event was India’s introduction to the new year-long Inspiration Brewed Here campaign and that saw the appointment of Esther Maasdam as the first ever global latte artist for the brand. The Campaign was launched on November 11, 2014 at Le Méridien Vienna. Destination-inspired latte art is the first phase of the Inspiration Brewed Here campaign. Le Méridien will continue to announce new coffee programming throughout 2015 at hotels worldwide.

LM Coffee Art 31 Jan (1)Esther Maasdam, the global latte artist, said on the occasion “As a brand that targets the creative minded traveler, Le Meridien has given me this amazing platform through the Indian Art Fair’s seventh edition to showcase the splendour of latte art. Le Méridien encourages its guests to unlock each destination via locally-inspired programming and cuisine with an eye for the arts.  Merging my work in latte art with the inspiration that travel naturally brings is an exciting and unique challenge”

To find out more about Le Méridien, please visit www.lemeridien.com.

About the LM100 Creative Community

Le Méridien has introduced LM100, a group of cultural innovators of mixed generations and interdisciplinary artistic fields, chosen from the fields of art, architecture, cuisine, and design by Le Méridien’s Cultural Curator.  LM100 members will offer their creativity and develop original and interactive programs for Le Méridien hotels worldwide that will transform the guest experience.  LM100 members will curate Le Méridien’s interactive initiatives and propose other established or emerging talents that reflect the brand’s core values.

About Le Méridien Hotels & Resorts

Le Méridien, the Paris-born hotel brand currently represented by 100 properties in 50 countries, was acquired by Starwood Hotels & Resorts Worldwide, Inc. (NYSE: HOT) in November 2005.  With close to 80 of its properties located in Europe, Africa, the Middle East, and Asia-Pacific, Le Méridien provided a strong international complement to Starwood’s then primarily North American holdings at the time of purchase. Since then, Le Méridien has gone through a brand re-launch, which included a large scale hotels product consolidation as well as redefining its brand strategy. By appointing a full-time Cultural Curator – French arts-provocateur Jérôme Sans – Le Méridien transformed numerous guest touch points, thus bringing unique and interactive experiences to its guests. Plans call for dynamic expansion of Le Méridien Hotels and Resorts within the next five years, concentrating in the U.S., Latin America, and Asia-Pacific markets, including destinations such as India, Thailand and China. Le Méridien recently opened new hotels in Arlington (VA), Istanbul, Coimbatore (India), Koh Samui (Thailand), and Taipei, and will open in the next 12 months in Bali, Zhengzhou (China), Ho Chi Minh City (Vietnam), and Suvarnabhumi (Thailand).  For more information, please visit www.lemeridien.com.

Anubhav Sapra is an avid foodie! He is a Founder but proudly calls himself a Foodie-in-chief at Delhi Food Walks. He is also a street-food and Indian regional cuisine connoisseur and loves to write about street-food.
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COFFEE with Raju Bhaiya

COFFEE with Raju Bhaiya

 By Shagun Nayar

On my way back from college, I found myself craving a hot cup of well-made coffee on a rather cold windy winter evening. Okay, so one thing about staying or studying in north campus (A part of Delhi University) is that, you find innumerable places to eat. They range from the local Cholla-Kulcha Waala, the small stalls serving hot steamed Momo’s to the fancy well lit up cafes at Hudson. But having stayed and studied here for over a year and a half I have come to realise that there are very few places which serve you good coffee. The obvious exceptions being Costa Coffee or Barista. However, these big coffee shops fail to qualify as your daily dose of ‘chai’ or ‘coffee’ since you’re living on a student budget and are perpetually trying to save money.

IMG_20150128_165130941So, I went on a quest to find a place where I would get a piping hot cup of well-made coffee. To my rescue came, ‘Raju Coffee Waala’ who is interchangeably known as ‘Raju Maggie Waala’. Situated on the Chatra Marg, right outside the Law Faculty, Raju makes the best coffee I’ve had in North Campus. What sets Raju apart from the various other chai/coffee stalls is the fact that his coffee is hand beaten. This is the reason behind his coffee being Frothy, Light and Flavorsome. In addition to this, he sprinkles some coffee powder on the top to give it that extra kick, making his coffee the best in the neighbourhood.

Raju Suri or Raju Bhaiya understands the relevance of marketing and in an attempt to increase his sales, he has devised an addition to his normal cup of coffee i.e. a cup of ‘light coffee’, for those who love having their daily dose of coffee but don’t like it strong.

So, the next time you’re wandering the streets of Kamla Nagar /aimlessly driving by this beautiful university road or walking back from a tiresome day at college. Be sure to stop and pick up a cup of piping hot coffee at Raju Coffee Waala.

Timings: 10:30am – 6:00 pm

Rate: Rs. 15/cup

 

 

Anubhav Sapra is an avid foodie! He is a Founder but proudly calls himself a Foodie-in-chief at Delhi Food Walks. He is also a street-food and Indian regional cuisine connoisseur and loves to write about street-food.
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CBTL: Making your Christmas Delicious

 

CBTL: Making your Christmas Delicious

By Priyali Prakash

Christmas celebrations are on in full swing and restaurants are coming up with various novelties to make this occasion memorable for their customers. The Coffee Bean and Tea Leaf, a well known chain with multiple outlets across Delhi, has come up with a special limited edition holiday special menu that is available till 31st December and goes perfectly with the spirit of the festive season.

Plum Cake, the classic Christmas dish, is available during the celebration period here. It comes with a twist of a dominant cardamom flavour. If you like that, you will surely enjoy this cake.

Other Christmas delicacies here include the Yule Log cake, a delicious chocolate cake for all chocolate lovers and the Stollen Bread, which though comes topped with icing sugar, is a little sour in flavour.

altAkV3EMV6xLWFXmYGTfEpu6CIgt_aU-TsGCrSVhD1Q3sCLiving up to the name of the place, CBTL has introduced new flavours in their coffee. Cinnamon mocha cappuccino and Spiced honey cappuccino come with a dusting of cinnamon powder with chocolate and honey respectively and, of course, strong coffee. All coffees at CBTL are conventionally served with brown sugar on the side and the tea comes with white sugar.

Apart from the Christmas menu, CBTL has also introduced new dishes in its regular menu which is a practice every six months. This time, the new dishes are quesadillas and wraps. The cheese and corn quesadillas have a lightly seasoned filling and are served with sour cream, pickled veggies and salsa on the side. The salsa is amazingly flavourful. The chicken wraps come with the same salsa and have a filling that tastes like any spicy Indian curry.

altAp6o1xPrhokcAbO6iI3tQeNCp9Xh6IcZlgJDaQum1jRpOther desserts introduced in the regular menu are baked mascarpone cheesecake that comes with cherry compote on the top and a bottom that isn’t quite crunchy for a regular cheesecake. The hazelnut mousse cake is a little on the dense side but is full of flavours.

Apart from the new introductions in the menu, CBTL has come up with gift hampers for sale and these are quite popular with the corporates. These hampers are priced at Rs. 450 plus taxes and CBTL offers discounts on bulk bookings. Hampers are available at all CBTL outlets across Delhi till the end of this month.

CBTL is putting up a good show to make the festive season delicious for its customers. Kudos to the team!

Anubhav Sapra is an avid foodie! He is a Founder but proudly calls himself a Foodie-in-chief at Delhi Food Walks. He is also a street-food and Indian regional cuisine connoisseur and loves to write about street-food.
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Raaga,the coffee lounge

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Italian delicacy in Delhi..!!

By-Samridhi Jain 

Raaga – The coffee lounge correctly stands on the ground that you cannot judge a book by its cover, the place will not attract you initially due to its location and surroundings but once inside, you forget all about it and find it a combination of homey and upscale restaurant. The ambiance is cozy, comfortable and pleasant with elite finesse. The restaurant has a very musical and calm aura which works well with their menu. The place is perfect for all ages, if you wanna go alone, with friends or with your family. The seating is very comfortable with sofas to plop down on.

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The menu has all the Italian treats that you can think of, from bite size treats and munches to full main course dishes it has it all. The price is acceptable considering the dishes taste amazing. The dishes and drinks I ordered left me ecstatic with great presentation and outstanding taste.

The canapé and lasagne I ordered had impeccable preciseness and consistency of taste. There is a huge variety of drinks varying from coffee and tea to smoothies and shakes. 

The staff is friendly with complete knowledge of what they are serving. The service wasn’t very rushed or very slow.  The place could easily be a food lovers paradise and has the capacity to compete with the huge number of restaurants in Kamla Nagar. North Delhi people do not need to go to south for a good experience or for a family meal or formal meeting it available right here. IMG-20130914-00242 IMG-20130914-00243

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Anubhav Sapra is an avid foodie! He is a Founder but proudly calls himself a Foodie-in-chief at Delhi Food Walks. He is also a street-food and Indian regional cuisine connoisseur and loves to write about street-food.