Tuesday, 16 March 2010

Cafe Coffee Day for ice cream with glee

Cafe Coffee Day in the CP district of New Delhi is a prime hang out location out for young Facebook, Twiterring, SMS texting Indians. It is not somewhere one goes for tea. My travel buddy assured me that tea was no doubt the best remedy for all stomach bugs, but we did not go here for the tea in particular. Travel buddy went for uber icy air con. I was suffering from the aptly named Delhi belly and needed to stop for reasons that I will not go into so as not to put you off any brew you may be sipping as you read this.

Cafe Coffee Day is not about tea, nor air con, nor toilets. It is about ice cream and chocolate and mobile phones. Most kids here arrived in groups, but they didn't talk to each other. Phones buzzed from one corner of knockerbocker glory fans to the next. My travel buddy, Dan ordered a concoction to excite or perhaps even scare the biggest of ice cream fans- the Devil's Own. And sinful it was- lashing of chocolate sauce, with processed squirty cream and piles of ice cream. Funnily enough, the actual coffee that Cafe Coffee Day is so proud to grow on its own estates seemed to be lacking. My stomach turned, and I made a mental note to eat this next time travel buddy was feeling a bit queezy.

We went up to the fast food style bar and placed our orders. 'One Devil's Own please' said Dan.
'Regular or large? asked the waiter, impatiently punching the till keyboard.
'Ooh large, please' replied travel buddy
'Would you like extra cream with that?'
'Ooh yes please'
'chocolate sauce?'
'Ooh go on, yes'
Chocolate sprinkles?'
'Yes again' he said, looking at me, with apparent glee.
'Any food or cakes?
'Well I am on holiday' he said surveying the counter of prepacked cakes that were actually not plastic, but that were deceptively made with real edible ingredients.
'Sorry? Yes? I did not understand' he replied, confused
'Yes, yes, I mean yes, I'll have a slice of that chocolate cake please'
'Whipped cream?'
And so it went on.

I went back to the toilet and arrived back just in time for my order.
'And for you madam?'
'Just a tea please. No milk.'
'Any food or cakes?'
'No thank you'
And that completed my order.

I ordered a Garam Masala- literally translating as a spicy hot one. It was what Indians would think tea looked and tasted like in a sleek fast food chain in America. Thankfully it was noting near. Perhaps I was just feeling rotten that day, perhaps it was the whiff of chocolate and cream that was making my stomach churn, perhaps it was the disappointment at not even wanting to indulge in any of the ice cream madness, but I felt a sudden rush of comfort from the very first sip, even though in truth this was nothing more than a cheap tea bag plonked into a thickly rimmed mug of tepid water.

Which just goes to show that it's not always just the tea, nor the food, nor the company or general ambiance of the place, it's a combination of all these factors multiplied with my particular mood at that moment in time. This complex formula decides whether the tea room/cafe/street stall/friend's offer of a brew gets a thumbs up and broad smile or a stamping of feet and folding of arms.

I looked to my side; after wolfing down his 'Devil's Own', Travel Buddy had gone quiet. Without a word, he ran to the toilet. My gleeful chortle was more wicked that his iced coffee. Travel buddy was right, tea really did make you feel better.

Cafe Coffee Day
Shop No -37, M block Greater Kailash, New Delhi, India

Quality of tea: 5/10
Service: 5/10
Ambiance: 6/10
Food: N/A but if you are into heart attack inducing desserts this place is for you.
Value: 10/10

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