Having grown up in Durgapur, I was fascinated on my first visit to Jamshedpur, which incidentally is only 4 hours by train from Kolkata where I stay now. The well planned streets, the landscaped gardens, tree lined roads and everything else gives you a quaint feel of an idyllic town where if you are not visiting for work, you would want to explore with a map in hand. And that is what I did. Jamshedpur is not a loud city, far from it, but it does hold a charm that is somewhat laid back and serene, a contrast from the steel plants and the blast furnaces that give the city its character.
Unabashedly I am a foodie and more importantly a coffee lover and I did Google to have information on the best cafes in Jamshedpur and made it a point to visit the best ones. I have visited cafes in many cities in India and some around the globe too, and even though I do not want to, I often end up being judgemental and hence forming very strong notions about a place which may range from awesome to awful. Jamshedpur, I must say was in the former category and I will explain why. Here are 3 places which are totally worth a visit and would find a pride of place in any city on earth.
Bruebeck beckons: Talking about coincidences, here is one. Recently I am listening to the song Take 5, byDave Brubeck the American jazz pianist on loop and one of Jamshedpur’s most classical bakeries is incidentally called Brubeck too. If you look closely there is a piano just below where bakery is written, so the link to jazz is there. Once you walk into it, you are greeted with shelves packed with delectable bakery items and jazz music as you would expect. You have the fruitcakes, the mousses, the tarts, the brownies and the blackforests and of course the usual burgers, sandwiches, hot dogs and puffs. The staff behind the counter greets you with a smile and the aroma of fresh bakes mean you know you are in a bakery which takes its job very seriously. I ordered a double-shot espresso (my usual) and an apple pie and headed upstairs to the sitting area, a minimalist,thread-bare , warehouse kind of place with brick walls , wooden tables and white lights, a scene straight out of a quirky LA cafe. Coming to the coffee,the espresso was rightly balanced, bold, not bitter, rich, yet subtle, combined with an apple pie which tasted of fresh apples, with a subtle hint of cinnamon and sugar. I could go on and on, but I stop here, Brubeck Bakery is a must visit when in Jamsehdpur. A kind of place that is dreamy, quirky and stylish,all at once.
The European feel : Meaning‘good’ in French, the Le Bon bakery, cafe and pizzeria is the kind of place you would want to spend your time on a sunny Sunday afternoon in Paris. Decorated as a typical European cafe with white, blue, yellow and red palettes, this one exudes a bright charm that you so associate with good mood. Apart from the large collection of cakes and pastries, various Christmas goody hampers were on display. There was also a large array of freshly baked breads, buns and cookies.You could sit back and enjoy your coffee and that’s what I did apart from biting into a finely nuanced apple cinnamon slice. It was just after dinner so I did not taste the menu on offer which includes soups, salads, small bites,sandwiches, wraps, burgers, pizza, pasta and sizzlers, grills and desserts. The kind of place where you would like to wind up after a long day.
The Gravitea of the situation : This cafe is owned by Avisnash Duggar, a man who loves a lot of things in life apart from tea. It offers an overwhelming 150 kinds of tea and is characterised by an earthy decoration and exquisitely handicraft pieces,some of which you can collect too. Duggar is into collecting rare artefacts,especially a precious rage of cups and saucers from all over the world.
The place is ideal for chatting up, meetings, events and such and there are a lot of activities that bring in the crowds, apart from a thrust on all things natural and healthy like fruits and vegetables. The restaurant also has on its staff differently abled people, talented individuals with gold medal in Olympics and you can feel the passion of the entrepreneur in every aspect in which the cafe is run. Duggar is also a proponent of no-honking and has worked tirelessly on this issue, just one of the many ways he wants to make a difference in the society. The ambiance is great, and so is the quality of food, the pastas,pizzas, burgers, sandwiches, bhels , chows , soups, salads, continental and South Indian dishes and wide selection of desserts and pancakes, lassis, shakes and cold coffee. Coming to the tea, apart from the various kinds, the tea is served in pots, with a timer and the place gives you a sense of being in a place where time has stopped, where tea and conversations still matter and where people come together not only for some fun but also for a cause.
So for the young at heart, who love the smell of freshly baked bread and the aroma of freshly brewed coffee, Jamshedpur is the place to be. Grab your cuppa and asseyez-vous et détendez-vous!