Cafe Samovar: the Artist’s hideout

Too much has been written here about the city (with people telling me I’m obsessed). But the truth of the matter is, it is the small things that make a big difference. On Sunday, I was introduced to this small place. Out on the edge of Kala Ghoda (which to this day remains the most mystic triangle I have been on in the city), there is a gallery that houses a tiny café called the Café Samovar. The heritage dates it back to the golden times of Indian Cinema and artistry. 

The café is rather small which sort of spells itself to you like a modest little secret getaway from the rumblings of the city. On one side it has the trendy French windows of the gallery with lights decorated with handmade lampshades, on the other side there is a window opening to a garden. It was the first time I had seen Marigold being used to decorate the tables.

We walked in through the narrow doorway and the café opened our eyes to the varied cultures in Mumbai, from old parsi veterans of art to young groups of college going teens.  The conversations can just grow on with Hariprasad Chaurasia playing in the background (the patrons have good taste) The service is top class and you don’t have to wait for hours to get your food. The culture in this age old café is so vastly different from your regular CCDs that you almost begin to wonder who it was who said there was no culture of cafes in India before these chains came along. No, the culture was very much there, it just wasn’t pop cultured the way it is now.

The café is housed with the perfect intention, one gets to look at beautiful exhibitions of art and then sip a cup of mint chai and talk of what one just witnessed.

The only drawback is that the café closes at 7 15 PM. But having spent all of around 150 bucks and managed to have 2 chais, a coffee and the beloved find the mint chai and yummy and filling snacks, this café now comes on my regulars list. Definitely, a place I’d frequent much more. So should you! Who knows, you might just bump into the intellectually rich clientele it boasts of J

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