** For the busy bees, Scroll till you can scroll no more to find the Short version!**
And for all others, I know you have nothing else to do, so read on 😀
My tryst with Tibetan Colony was made in 2012 when I had to take a friend, who was visiting Delhi, out for coffee. I have always been attracted to the unusual, so the likes of CCD don’t excite me. The friend had similar tastes. A deep and thoroughly time consuming search showed me a small, but tastefully done, cafe by the name Coffee Home, in an area which I had never explored before. So I decided to give it a shot, and Oh my! Am I glad I did?
Since then, I have introduced this place to a lot of people, and have got identical reactions, they love it too. The colony is alternatively known as New Aruna Nagar or Samyeling. It is a self-sustainng society wherein the economy is supported hugely by tourism, guesthouses and restaurants.
The place also has numerous curio shops which, the ladies in my friend circle tell me, have amazing collection and at a good price too.
If you are used to roaming around in Delhi markets, then spending time at this place is going to be a change for all your senses alike, sight, taste, olfactory and hearing. And this is largely because of the fact that it is more of a colony than a market, which means 1. there are no shopkeepers hawking their wares, but residents trying to earn a living, and 2. the number of visitors is largely outnumbered by the inhabitants. This results in a general feel that you aren’t in Delhi anymore, but somewhere in the North-East, which is a good thing because, honestly, how many of you have been to the North-East? Not even 17%
Now who doesn’t know about QD’s, Ricos and other such wonders? But what if I tell you that the place I am telling you about has cafes and restaurants that are at par with the best of GTB Nagar, to say the least, and even cost you less? Come on now, don’t hide your surprise.
And what if I tell you that the decor of these restaurants will put all the similarly priced joints you have been to, to shame? Arrrre, socks to pehen jao!!
Some of the places I frequent and recommend are:
Ama Cafe: Visit once, and you won’t feel quiet right at Starbucks ever again. The coffee and cakes they serve are delicious and original.
Asian Kitchen: Bang for buck! QD’s’ humbler cousin. I can personally vouch for their Chicken dishes and Cold Coffee. What else do you need?
The Coffee House: This is Ama cafe on a diet. Smaller, and cheaper. Try their Chocolate Walnut Brownie. Also, the cakes are all home made.
Tee Dee: This place has good ratings on Zomato. The food is mediocre. My suggestion, go easy with experimenting Tibetan dishes, you will be hugely disappointed!
Other than these, there are numerous other places, some of which I have visited (but not enough to write about), which are equally good options (Rigo, Wongdhen House, Nor-Khyil, Dolma House et cetera). The eateries here offer large varieties of momos and other Tibetan delciacies. Also on offer are the things you don’t easily find in Delhi, pork ribs, beef (Hawww?).
To address concerns regarding safety, I have found that the people here are more decent, and have never caught anyone eyeing any of my friend, like they usually do in Delhi. There are whole families living here and auto rickshaws are readily available just outside the colony, so safety is not an issue. Like I said, the moment you enter the large gate, you leave Delhi behind, in heart and in soul.
We often complain that some of the places we go to, or the things we do for that matter, are over hyped. That they fell below your expectations and are not worth the hue and cry they attract. But in hindsight, aren’t we ourselves the people who fuel this hype. We are the ones who formed serpentine queues when Starbucks opened up, who still frequent Shake Square in Connaught Place. Then why do we complain? Instead, let us create demand for novel ideas, and value for money products by not being a part of the unreal hype factory. Let us shower acknowledgement upon those who deserve it.
And this Tibetan Colony, brimming to the top with culture and personality, deserves to be acknowledged more than anyplace else.
Upshot: There is a Tibetan settlement near Majnu Ka Teela, on the bank of our pristine river, the Yamuna. This place, the Tibetan Colony, boasts of some excellent eateries and cafes, which are unbeatable in the stuff they serve at the price. You can also find shops with hip clothing and shoes, again, at a very affordable price. When you do visit, I urge you to explore the area by yourself. Some places which I highly recommend are Ama Cafe, Asian Kitchen or the Coffee House. Before you know it, the Tibetan colony will become a regular haunt of yours.
How to reach: Get down at Kashmeeri Gate or Vidhan Sabha Metro Station and ask for Majnu Ka Teela.
*Very Important Info – Eateries here do not serve Non-Veg on WEDNESDAYS!!*
Hope you get out of your comfort zone and visit it someday, see you there! 😀
P.S.: I noticed that Zomato has messy “Cost for Two” figures for restaurants in Majnu Ka Teela. Cut down those by 100-150 and you will get the real picture.
*I do not click a lot of photos, and therefore the images used in the post are taken from other sources. If you click on the photos, they will take you to the original image link. The reason behind putting them up was to help the reader in visualizing what they read. I will take them down if anybody has a serious problem with them.