The Coffee Gods are finally here….
Starbucks recently opened in Connaught Place, New Delhi.
Like others we wanted to be there on the first day but to our surprise at 6 in the evening there was a kilometer long line for people waiting to get in….dumped the programme and eventually went for breakfast over the weekend.
It is very unlike any other Starbucks outlet I’ve seen, either in South East Asia or England; nevertheless done up very beautifully, though not a typical Starbucks decor which is chic and matter-of-factly. It has a rustic, earthy feel with a jute mural created on the wall as the main design work and I love the double height ceiling.
We were just in time for getting in at 10:45 am and soon the doors closed again with a queue of onlookers waiting to be seated. There is an interesting mix of furniture with log blocks at tables and low level chairs and puffies.
They have a long process of selecting the menu first, and then paying up and finally getting your order…or at least it seemed longer than other places. The menu is only available on the wall which almost looks insignificant. The font sizes are too small and the lighting on the menu is not good. It surely leaves the first comers confused. The staff is not too forth coming in helping you decide your menu. It seemed they expect you know their menu already… !!!
To start with we ordered Wild Mushroom Pockets which were not so wild…just our regular domesticated button mushrooms, though very delicious, Chicken-n-Vegetable Lattice which was ordinary. Though the good thing here is that their food does not have that synthetic taste which a lot of the other coffee chain giants have. For me that is a huge plus !!
I played safe with my Hot Cuppa Latte and KJ settled for Iced Latte which I thought was insipid. The Iced Latte was the result of the poor menu board….. we kept looking for cold coffees and totally missed the Frappuccino section. Their board surely needs more clarity and a rework !!
For the next round we ordered a Reshmi Kebab roll which again was interesting…and by now were completely sold at the Mushroom Pockets, hence ordered yet again. Since Kartick’s coffee was so bad he settled for a Mocha Frappuccino which was awesome !!
The menu has been modified for the Indian Palette and I still haven’t had a chance to taste their signature coffee.
While we thought the Iced Latte was not happening, I remember the cold coffees we had in Singapore at Starbucks, they were really out of this world. Also the ‘simplicity of entering a Starbucks and ordering my coffee and sitting for hours with my laptop’ culture was completely missing here. The point missed here is who they are and there is preoccupation with how they are.
The service is bad as of now. I’ll probably give them the benefit of doubt that they are new and handling huge crowds. The food which is already ready and needs to be only warmed, takes 20+ minutes and is served at your table while the drinks are to be collected from the counter ourselves. They though come around faster….so by the time the food arrived my coffee was done with.
Besides the service and the bad iced latte the experience was good, we enjoyed our bite and would go back !! Haven’t given up on them …yet !!
Was I there for the experience alone or are they really the coffee gods ??? Time will tell.