Photo Essay – Indian Coffee House, Mohan Singh Place

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

bfinal

Time is the essence

City Institution – Indian Coffee House, Baba Kharak Singh Marg


5 thoughts on “Photo Essay – Indian Coffee House, Mohan Singh Place

  1. I’ve been to the Allahabad Coffee House. The Cold Coffee there looks exactly the same as in your photographs.
    There is a Coffee
    House in Simla also.. the same old world charm!

  2. Heyyyyyyy..Did you go there today?? :O 🙁
    I was there near noon..N i was Actually expectin i mite see The Delhi Walla..I dint tho:(
    Infact i went over to discover more places after that at Paharganj..n thats onlycz i read gr8 things bout the place here 🙂
    N to be truthful..Paharganj was ALL worth it..Thanx Sirjee 🙂 🙂
    Only thing i was missin was a Companion 🙁

    @Sudeep Theres a Indian Coffee house at Shimla as well, if i am not wrong cz they DO have no. of branches

  3. Dear Mayank
    Is the charm of the Indian Coffee House to be experienced by men only or will I as a Western woman be let in and be wellcome there?
    Regards,
    Dilys

  4. Abhishek, we missed seeing each other.

    Dilys, women, and western women included, are welcomed there. Go there. It’s a fantastic place with great mood. Go with a book.

  5. Oh..I wish i had stayed, in that case 🙁
    Anywayz..Mite jz b a regular at all the Coffee Houses you ve been mentioning, soon after CWG
    Hope to catch The gr8 Delhi Walla sometime.. 🙂

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