City Food – Tasty Toast, Triveni Tea Terrace
The unchanging indelicacy.
[Text and photos by Mayank Austen Soofi]
Triveni Tea Terrace in central Delhi’s Mandi House is known for its delicious shami kebab and carrot cake. Another famous item in the menu – Tasty Toast – is believed to date from the time when this landmark canteen was founded in the 1960s.
As it happens, Tasty Toast is as unimaginative as its name.
A grilled toast stuffed with oily potatoes, it is an inferior version of the legendary Bombay Sandwich (The Delhi Walla wrote about it here). There is also a more expensive variety filled with cheese. That too is no better.
You must not, however, judge the entire canteen with this toast. The Terrace reopened with a revamped look in early 2015 (I wrote about that here), and the new management took pains to introduce some new dishes – poha is easily the best of the lot. But the management did not discard the old items. After all, many of the canteen’s loyal customers identify Triveni Tea Terrace with familiar snacks such as Tasty Toast.
And those among us who have no understanding of Triveni’s place in Delhi’s cultural life must learn to see this sandwich as a heritage to be celebrated for its endurance. Tasty Toast was there when our parents were courting their college-time crushes in the Terrace. It was there when we followed in their footsteps.
This Terrace used to be a haunt of legendary artists such as MF Husain. Tasty Toast must had been a part of their lives, too.
So, for our city’s sake, please don’t ever drop Tasty Toast from the Triveni menu. Also, please don’t make it taste better. Let it always remain the same.
Where Triveni Tea Terrace, Triveni Kala Sangam, Tansen Marg Nearest Metro Station Mandi House Time 11 am to 5 pm
Take it or leave it
It is natural to hope that certain things remain unchanged. But change they will because the only permanent thing is change. Lifestyles change, people change, ingredients change…When better, tastier, healthier, and less expensive options become available, no one will eat those oily sandwiches. Making them would no longer be worth it and slowly and gradually they will disappear from the menu. My Mom says when they came to Delhi after partition from what is now Pakistan, they were not aware about tea. Now she needs to have tea at least twice a day.
Bhai, don’t be silly, if things remain same than people won’t crave for information anymore as it has always been the “familiar same”, bloggers and writers like you won’t have a passion to preserve things by documenting them, they won’t have a means of making a living. If things remain same, then bhai, tu likhega kya aur khaye ga kya, sirf chai aur tasty toast ke layk hi bann ke reh jayegi kindgai and no five star book launches. he he he. Don’t get trapped in writer’s cliche.
Chaal aish kar … likhta reh, falta reh, bus fooliyo mat (stay humble, jaisa bahi hai tu) 🙂
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