Black Coffee Café – Sunni, Tattapani, Himachal Pradesh
They say if you are hungry food tastes even better. Exactly what my heart felt 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.
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 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 flourescent plates down for us. Things were looking bright already.
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 food you can never go wrong with while 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 its been more than a year since this meal. Yet another hungry soul’s order appeared in 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 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 costed 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.