Old Haunt

Evocation of a vanished time.

[Text and pictures by Mayank Austen Soofi]

Indian Coffee House (circa 1957) expresses its extraordinary romantic atmosphere in its run down furniture. The café is a tribute to the dignity of old times when there were no take-away McMaharaja burgers, no self-service counters and no stewards in baseball caps. Here is the evocation of an extinct elegance. Tea is served in the kettle, toast is accompanied with knife and fork, and the waiters are turbaned. The establishment is set on the second-floor of Mohan Singh Place, a dreary shopping complex, next to PVR Rivoli in Connaught Place. The principal hall is shabby and beautiful, a blend of solitude, conversations, and imaginary Chopin compositions. The section for “Ladies & Families” is less sophisticated. The terrace is cruder for it looks to the vulgarity of Connaught Place’s incoherent skyline. But the view only sharpens the relief one feels on entering here. The place, despite its soggy toasts and watery tea, is more civilized than the rest of the city. You go nostalgic for an idealized age of intellectual life when tempers flared only on the economic theories of John Maynard Keynes. The Delhi Walla presents a visual tour of the Indian Coffee House.

Where Mohan Singh Place, Near Hanuman Mandir, Baba Kharak Singh Marg, Connaught Place Time 9am to 9pm Nearest Metro Station Rajiv Chowk

Full menu

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In search of the lost time

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A pause in the conversation

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“And Marx was…”

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Man of the book

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Of another time

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Here’s your masala dosa

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State of the world

Are Newspapers Dead?

The coffee counter

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Delicate is the world

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For ladies and families

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Headgear

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The terrace patrons

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Where’s our coffee?

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Palm reading

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On a date

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Job satisfaction

Photo Essay – Indian Coffee House, Mohan Singh Place

Cold coffee is here

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Time is the essence

City Institution – Indian Coffee House, Baba Kharak Singh Marg

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