Archive for the ‘Coffee Shops’ Category

Chalta Hai and Cream Center

The omnipresent attitude across India and the often cited blame for India’s poor state of affairs is its ‘Chalta Hai’ attitude. Now even restaurants seem to have imbibed the attitude, especially after the concept of dining emerged. Now one dines at a restaurant, one does not go there for just the food. When it was the latter the emphasis was on the food, now its more on ambience and atmosphere.
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Coffee with Hemingway

Have you heard that Hemingway and J.K. Rowling – before she became richer than the Queen – work a lot out of cafes? If you have ever heard such stories, believe them to be true, and possess some love for the world of words, then you want to ape them big authors. So last night, armed with a stack of printouts from various websites, I landed up at Resident Inn Chennai hoping to have a drink of that acrid drink they call coffee. Since I can’t write anything except blogs, I had, of course, decided to do the other thing that people with a love for words do: Read, as I sip my coffee.
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Mocha Coffee & Conversations….

This is one heck of a place ive fallen in love with madly over the past few months. Introduced by a long last friend as an excuse for a treat for her to come back to chennai this place was a good thing to go to and for me to find out. Located in Khadhar Nawaz Khan road its a killer joint for the Hip hangout types, if you are looking out for one.

Drive into Khadar Nawaz Khan road and when you hit the very last end of the road on your right covered by trees is mocha…
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Bitter sweet symphony

teashop.jpg
A tea shop near the Valluvar Kottam bus stop

The teakadai at Saidapet looks spooky at night. At 2 a.m., this is the only shop of any kind that’s open in the area. All the rest on Anna Salai are closed. This teashop is easy to locate: it’s bang opposite the Saidapet bus stand (not bus stop because it’s far too big). The tea itself isn’t so great. But on a rainy night like yesterday, when I had the black spray of the rain on my face, the warm liquid tastes like elixir. Along with the cup cakes that look old but tasted yummy, tea drinking quickly became an experience to relish.
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Get to know your chennai city better

A website seems to be picking up attention, which has a mashup tool of Google maps so called Wikimapia, and a wide variety of other choices to search for.
Chennai city

The best part is the events, members seemed to contribute in this section and the navigation is greatly categorized as “All Events”, “what’s going on”, “what’s coming up”, “what’s over”.

Local search is one more important feature, I guess the site has tied up with other search engines/ portals to give you the best results for your city. So next time you want to know the where abouts of a restaurant, this site is a cool place to hang around.

word of mouth one more interesting section where users recommend a service or product – bad and good times.

Ok enough of me telling stories, check out the website http://www.ilaaka.com

When I order an Espresso…

I know what I am ordering. Waiters in Barista, Cafe Coffee Day, Amethyst, Brio – Please note. It has been my experience that whenever an Espresso is ordered, the waiter has a shocked look, and explains “Sir, it is black coffee, are you sure?”. Some concerned ones go even further and educate me, “Sir, it is freshly brewed coffee with no milk, no sugar. Are you sure?”.

I thought may be it was only me with my rustic looks. But I observed the same thing happen with others too. The coffee bars in Chennai seem to think that the citizens are not yet ready for the Espresso. Horror of horrors, even after you order, they come back and ask, “Sir, do you want hot water along with the coffee to dilute it?”.

Be a Madrasi, enjoy the sundal

When a Madrasi wants to spend sometime catching up with friends or go out as a gumbal, he should go to the beach or to the temples for a divine atmosphere. Thats the hypotheses. Why do I say that?

Number One: Public places like beaches and temples provide ample entertainment. People watching is something you could indulge in, the panoply of people is wide and amusing.
Number Two: Its cheap! You could buy yourself a plate of bajji or sundal and enjoy your evening watching the sun set or that maami who thinks she will be purified if she does the sit ups in the temple.
Number Three: You can sit there for hours on end for FREE. Unlike places like Ashvita – The coffee shop which charges obnoxious ‘cover charges’. Their idea goes like this. If four people go together and only two dishes are ordered, then, the bill will contain cover charges for the two other people who did not order. Sacrilege. And the cover charge is not a trivial amount, it is Rs.25! You could buy yourself a plate of garlic bread for that same money instead of paying cover charges.
Number Four: You are not expected to behave yourself at a beach. You can express yourself without inhibitions. Everybody there is in his own world. At least nobody in particular owns the beach to kick you out of the beach because you were laughing aloud. But the temple authorities could, it is better to maintain a low profile at temples.
Number Five: You don’t have to strain much to communicate. In coffee shops and pubs alike music is too loud, the why is something I have been trying to understand. What could the logical reason behind the loud music culture in pubs and coffee shops be?!

Anyway, I rest my case.

An early evening meet, and one early morning

Weekends are not a good day for the Chennai Metblogs readers. The reasons are many, but I will now disclose only one – the authors are all out, meeting each other, having fun and planning the next offensive.

So it was this weekend too.

On Saturday, a bunch of us met at the Crosswords’ Brio coffee shop to discuss, among other things, what makes coffee-parlour waiters look at us askance when we order an Espresso. Have you noticed it? Let’s say you go to an Amethyst – and order a Double Shot Espresso. The waiter tilts his head, looks at you and says “Saar, that’s black coffee…”
Of course, my dear folks, we are not talking of coffee here. Not yet. We will only talk of what comes after you click the link that says “Continue reading”
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Chit Chat and eating out at midnight

I can almost hear the conservative groans. “What has this city come to if people drive out in the rain bang in the middle of the night to eat. We have lost our culture,” they would say. And the few cars near Chit Chat are somewhat defiantly parked. People did come in them in the rain and bang in the middle of the night just to eat.
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Cross words in T Nagar

Tomorrow it will be officially open for business. But the business of books has already begun at Crossword, T Nagar. Situated on the first floor of the new Kuppu Arcade, Venkatnarayana Road (somewhat opposite Panagal Park), the first of the book chains to enter T Nagar has found a good spot.

The ambience is very inviting, plenty of seating to make oneself comfortable, a biro coffeeshop adjacent for refreshments and an absence of the hurry that characterizes the shopping district of Chennai.

The books are still being unpacked but a reasonable collection is on display already. Given the proximity of several IT companies, the Business and Management books section is well-stocked and occupies an entire wall. This branch is much bigger than the one in Shopper’s Stop and seems all set to become a stopper’s spot.

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