City Hangout – Flipside Café, Hauz Khas Village
A cultivated casualness.
[Text and pictures by Mayank Austen Soofi]
No. 7. First Floor, at Hauz Khas Village (2651 6341) – Taken in by its faux-bohemian spirit, some consider Hauz Khas Village a John Lennon song. People come here to soak in its slapdash alternativeness. One club plays jazz, one bookstore showcases books by non-conformist publishers, and one restaurant (glowingly reviewed in Time magazine’s Europe edition) has stapled printouts for a menu. Most people walking in the village lanes are spotted with SLR digicams and Apple Macs. In keeping with this casual sophistication, Flipside Café (opened in March 2011) has its walls painted in yellow, red and light blue. Some portions are scrawled with indecipherable drawings. There is TV and free wi-fi. The floor and the counter are of wood; at least one wooden chair is left unpolished. The area closer to the kitchen is more private. It has a large sofa flooded in a pool of naughty red light.
Besides listed in the dark red menu card, the day’s dishes are also jotted down on a black board. Crepes (18 types), cakes, coffees and shakes crowd out a selection of pizzas, served by the slice.
The café’s young Indian-Italian owner has a drooping mustache, à la Genghis Khan. Raavi Chowdhury earned experience by working as a steward in the eateries of Venice, his mother’s city. The head cook, Minty, is from Manali, his late father’s hometown. Robbie, who prepared The Delhi Walla‘s order (tomato cheese pizza), is Mr Chowdhury’s younger brother. They treat guests with polite casualness. I heard Mr Chowdhury saying, “Hey, you guys want desserts?”
The café is partial towards rock and roll music. The place fills up during the noon. When I was there, one table was taken over by guitar-playing girls, and another had a man tapping on his Mac. A cookbook lay on the third table. The TV was on mute.
A couple of framed art works are another distraction. Most are for sale (prices range from Rs 4,000 to Rs 18,000); some works (Jimy Hendrix and Beatles portraits) are by Mr Chowdhury and are not available to buyers. The café has 30 covers. Price for two: Rs 600. Open: 10 am to 8 pm, Tuesday closed.
Hey, you guys want desserts?
Any relation to Genghis Khan? (Raavi Chowdhury)
A slice please
The Hauz Khas attitude
Robbie, the pizza maker
Coffee is ready