Black Coffee Café – Sunni, Tattapani, Himachal Pradesh
They say if you are hungry food tastes even better. Exactly what my heartfelt while at lunch at Black Coffee Café in a laid back village called Sunni in Himachal Pradesh. We were five famished souls on our way back to Baldeyan, Shimla Hills, after a stint of battling the rapids while rafting on river Sutlej in Tattapaani, when we chanced upon this hidden gem.
Tattapani village is located in Karsog about 29 km from Naldehra. It is situated on the right bank of river Satluj at an altitude of 2,230 ft. above the sea level. In local language, ‘Tattapani’ means ‘hot water’.
The place is known for its hot water springs that are spread over an area of one square kilometre. The spring water is said to have curative powers that provide relief from ailments like joint pain, fatigue, stress relief, and poor blood circulation, and reduces fat and skin diseases.
As a result, a huge number of tourists visit this area. However, they fall short of decent places to eat their fill. So Black Coffee Cafe in the middle of nowhere was literally a valuable find.
Not to be confused with loud, blaring café lounges àl’Américaine mushrooming in its more cosmopolitan cousins, this village joint was spanking clean with functional furniture and offered an extensive non-café like a menu. It seemed more like a food place, a better-built highway dhaba.
A paper printed poster announced Black Coffee Café to be a “Quality Corner … A trusted name in homely food”. I took a consensus from the hungry brigade and in we went just to find no one in sight. A few knocks on the door that led to the kitchen brought out a youngster who presented the menu and quickly laid the green fluorescent plates down for us. Things were looking bright already.
The Food at Black Coffee Cafe, Sunni
The food was inexpensive and we ordered lavishly. A plate of assorted salad vegetables appeared quickly followed by a plate of masala Maggi and a burger for the two kids.
We also ordered for some tawa chapattis (thin flour bread baked on a griddle), desi style scrambled eggs and rajma (red kidney beans) which is the food you can never go wrong with while you are in the hills.
This is staple stuff out here and what we ate was simply awesome to Sum-it-up. I can still remember the taste of cumin tempering in my mouth and it is been more than a year since this meal. Yet another hungry soul’s order appeared in the form of Masala Chowmein which indeed was as spicy as it was tangy – surely an indigenous but hearty preparation.
As we were wrapping up, we remembered ordering vegetable momos as well – a part of the order that kind of got forgotten by the chaps in the kitchen. This was the only experience I would not want to be repeated if ever I go back there. And we did miss ordering coffee so that surely needs to be checked on the next visit.
In all, food for filling up five hungry stomachs & drinks to wash it down with cost us just about Rs. 400 and we were ready for our climb up to Mitwah Cottage in Baldeyan, our hermitage for the trip.
Travel advisory: Be sure not to get pushed by your “contacts” at Tattapani who will try to take you up to their hotel for a drink and food. Tattapani has become too commercial as I have been observing over my last few visits and the experience is nothing great. The Black Coffee Café, Sunni was indeed a nice homely surprise as they did promise.
I will surely stop by again for a meal when I am in that belt again. Hope you do too.
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