Indian in name and serving coffee which is absolutely not Indian neither British (rulers of India for over 100 years, they had a great influence on our daily living) beverage. It intrigues me that what would had inspired the establishment of this coffee place?! I could not guess the answer. I don’t remember clearly, but from the hazy image of the inauguration certificate of the restaurant hanging on the wall behind the cashier’s counter that my subconscious has managed to retain anyway, I can tell that it was somewhere in the late 50’s that this place was opened. I would have liked to give the exact year but I am on digital detoxification other than using WordPress 😛 ( I have excuse for almost anything).
I got introduced to this place by a photograph that my friend had posted on his Snapchat. What really got me into this post was one of the waiters in the photograph who was wearing a dress peculiar to the 60’s Bollywood movies’ posh restaurant waiters. I liked that part instantly given my love for the oldskool thingy!! I replayed the snap and read Indian Coffee House, Chd in the caption section. In those 20 seconds this place made an everlasting impact on my mind. A month passed by and a sudden but planned trip to Chandigarh invaded my set schedule for the coming weekend and hence a chance to visit my recent cafe crush !
Monday, 28th Feb, 2017, co-incidentally the birthday of my above mentioned friend, was the day that happened to be a trip day to this locale. I was excited. Indian Coffee House is housed in Sector-17, the heart of the city. I would like to sway a bit from coffee talk and would like to add that no matter how many new, more showy places have been opening in the city but sector17 is still the most charming and authentic place of ‘The Chandigarh’. It was just past the noon and we were standing right at the door of this antique coffee place. ‘Antique’, as my quick running gaze found out from the very first glance of the restaurant and its ambiance. There was an old-looking but still fine, name board at the entrance, small entry gate, a menu written in white on a black board hanging on the right hand side wall of the hall, old styled fans which were probably as old as the restaurant itself, retro seating arrangement, all the waiters doing their job in ‘that’ uniform, crowded and almost fully occupied. Luckily, I managed to get a table for us (me and my friend, Bhupinder).
While getting ourselves settled in the seats I noticed that most of the guests were past their middle age. This compelled me to step into my vision zone and imagine all the old people sitting there as the young charismatic individuals who would come to this restaurant during their times for get-together, for business meetings, for special occasion or just to eat out. Bhupinder’s voice interrupted my imagination film. She caught my attention and pointed to an old couple waiting for their food to come and said in a dreamy tone that this must be the place which they used to visit as a young couple for the dates.:) 🙂 Of course, this dreamy thought in a dreamy tone made both of us smile and we giggled in unison. Soon our food was served in white China ware and coffee in a crisp white cup and saucer by the waiter in white pants and white band gala (Indian Tuxedo) and a red wide fabric belt wrapped around his waist and a white turban with its one end fanning upwards making it look very beautiful. We savoured the food and sipping the last bit of my coffee, it occurred to me that this must be one of the very first only coffee serving places. It dared to step out of the British trend of having tea as a primary beverage.India was enjoying the freedom.
It was a delight to have experienced this cafe! After finishing, we asked for the check and on it they mentioned that no debit or credit is accepted here, pay in cash onl! Whoa! This place is really a pleasure flight into the old world Indian charm. =)