The first Indian Coffee House opened its doors in Churchgate, Mumbai in 1936. The place was an instant hit and its success triggered a coffeehouse boom, peaking to 72 outlets across the nation including Jaipur. Indian Coffee House holds two branches in Jaipur, first at MI Road and second at Jawahar Kala Kendra. But the fusty old building that houses Indian Coffee House at MI Road holds a strong whiff of nostalgia in the air of the Pre-Independence Era.
As soon as you enter the building, you can easily spot people sitting at far ends from each other lost behind the day’s newspaper or scribbling on pad or holding traditional type of meetings. I would like to call the ambience “retro” rather than shabby. The waiters moved around in a quick orderly fashion, with the right hand carrying the serving tray, exactly raised to shoulder length.
Unlike modern coffee companies, no ICH outlet is a clone of the other in decor, menu and pricing. Most of them operate in old, decrepit buildings, immune to time and trends. “That, and the ceiling fans are perhaps all they have in common,” says the café manager with a wry smile.
A grimy board lists Coffee at Rs29 and Special Coffee at Rs32. There are 50 more items, apart from the Coffee they serve. Their menu also includes breakfast snacks, primarily South Indian, eggs made in different styles, cutlets, their unique version of Chana-bhaturas, with some branches even serving the full meal.
And when the meal ended, the bill was always brought to you neatly tucked in a pile of saunf. Tips if any were all stuffed in a common piggy bank kept on the manager’s desk.
Youngsters should come here to relish a part of our great Indian heritage.
Indian Coffee House
Branch 1: Mirza Ismail Road, Near Ajmeri Gate, New Colony, Jaipur
Branch 2: Jawahar Kala Kendra, Jawahar Lal Nehru Marg, Jaipur
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