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Regaining the lost heritage of Connaught Place’s restaurants


Delhi’s commercial business district of Connaught Place has been the heart and soul of its iconic restaurants for decades. With a new-found resurgence of Gastro-Pubs in CP, Some of these old world restaurants have received a second lease of life, especially after the Commonwealth Games renovation project was completed nearly seven years ago. (Anmol Wahi/ht photo)

United Coffee House in F Block at Inner Circle was established in 1942. During the Pre-independence period, it was a hub for many politicians and bureaucrats.

Victorian-era plates on display that were among the first ever used at the United Coffee House. (Anmol Wahi/HT Photo)

One of the first menu cards at United Coffee House. There were limited items on the menu with very low costs and it was the first to introduce a multi cuisine menu. Even today it retains the Old Delhi, Indian street foods and Victorian era food items.

The essence of the restaurant has been kept intact with the Victorian Interiors.

Wenger’s started in 1926 and was the first bakery to be established in Connaught Place. The bakery currently sells 25 types of chocolates.

When established, the bakery served just four types of cakes, a far cry from over seventy types sold today.
Biscuits are always served hot and fresh and there are constant quality checks as synonymous with Wenger’s.

The interiors of the Embassy Restaurant underwent a complete change with design cues borrowed from the architecture of Connaught Place such as high roofs with wooden pillars and arches. Some of it’s clientele has been visiting the restaurant regularly for over forty years.

Menu items on the Embassy restaurant cards have been the same since 1948, with the chef retaining original recipes and flavours intact.

A detail of an arch with stained glass windows at the Embassy restaurant.

The Kwality restaurant in the Regal Building, was first set up as an ice cream and snack parlour in 1940. They were the first to bring Kwality ice cream to India.

The restaurant has a reputation for serving the now iconic ‘Kwality chole bhature’. When first served, a bhatura cost just one Rupee.

Madras Coffee House was first started as a Chinese restaurant in 1935 and got to be known by its current name much later with menu and recipes unchanged since 1958.

The current owner of the Madras Coffee House maintain that they do not want to renovate the restaurant and change any of its original character from the time it has existed.

Source: Hindustan Times

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