Angels in my Kitchen

New Delhi, India

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I wish this place were called ‘Angles in my Kitchen’, or ‘Angels in my Emissions’. As it is, I can barely stomach writing about anything that purports to involve angels. If there truly are angels in this café’s kitchen, I hope they are at least sanitary, vegetarian, and somewhat interested in good coffee. I don’t want to end up with another intestinal parasite just because some seraphim forgot to wash his hands after using the toilet. And, frankly, I find the thought of any angel implicating himself in the preparation and consumption of animal flesh abhorrent—certainly one of the many reasons I find the Judeo-Christian tradition so unsavory (see: Abraham and his dubious sacrifice of the innocent ram in place of his son Isaac, Genesis 11:22).

Angels in my Kitchen

A confession: the above prefatory comments are a means to divert you, the reader, from the fact that the café in question is unequivocally a restaurant, a patisserie, and/or a bakery. Whatever the case, it is not a coffee house. Nevertheless, I shall pull the ‘creative license’ literary trump card and treat it as if it were—or should be—one.

Angels in my Kitchen

‘Angels in my Kitchen’ is your typical Delhi café. It boasts an extensive menu that neither inspires one to wonder at the skill of the chefs, nor to speculate upon the amount of preparation given to the multitude of dishes on tap. Rather, when confronted with such gastronomic tomes—a common feature of ‘Western’-style establishments in India—I am left to ponder at the quality that slips through the cracks when café-a-teurs insist upon being such dilettantes. Need any one eatery offer breakfast, lunch, dinner, dessert, and electrolyte sachets? Certainly, this is not a feature restricted exclusively to South Asian establishments—see thos. more‘s Kaffa Crossing tableau, for an example of a similarly confused ‘café’ in our own West Philadelphia, PA—but being a resident currently in Delhi, I am forced to face this particular situation squarely, in the face, on a daily basis. I can only imagine that ‘Angels in my Kitchen’ would improve infinitely if it were to transform itself into a nice little coffee house. I say this not out of some misguided self-interest (ok, yes, it would lend legitimacy to this at-the-moment questionable ‘cafe’ tableau), but rather because I believe Delhi’s brand-conscious, rising middle class could really use a kick in the pants, and I am positive a home-grown, independent, fair-trade-conscious coffee house is just the venue for the job.

Angels in my Kitchen

I also propose that ‘Angels in my Kitchen’ nix the Journey and the Billy Joel, both of which were heard during this morning’s visit to said establishment. I can appreciate some mid-forties lawyer from Minneapolis digging on such bad 80’s tunes, but the notion that this music carries an audience here only conjures notions of some bizarrely misplaced, schizophrenic nostalgia for the conspicuous consumption of the Reagan years. In India, mind you.

Angels in my Kitchen

There are some things we are unable to transcend, but by recognizing our own agency—the potency of subjective experience—we may be able to locate some breach in the strictures of habitus that bind and structure us. I would like to think I succeeded in doing just that, whilst sipping an adequately pulled cup of espresso today at ‘Angels in my Kitchen’. I had allowed my mind to wander, to meditate upon the view onto the multi-storey Pizza Hut across the way, when I spotted a cat plying his way from rooftop to rooftop. As this is in fact the first cat I have seen in Delhi—and I have been here for two months—I am positive this sign augurs well for our little market. Perhaps next year, when I return to Delhi, I will find that things have changed for the better. In ‘Angels’ place, I will find a new establishment—a coffeehouse, perhaps, called ‘Cats in my Kitchen’. Or, better yet, ‘Angels’ will have become entirely overrun by cats, its large market-facing windows filled with lounging calicos, harlequins, and tabbies.

Delhi cat

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Angels in my Kitchen

7, Main Market
Defence Colony
New Delhi,

2 Responses to “Angels in my Kitchen”

  1. nadeem

    tell i want to learn barkery course in delhi but parttime pls help on my email adrreess

  2. Sudip

    Quite disappointing really. We had heard so much about the restaurant on the top floor that we decided to celebrate my daughter’s new and first job there.

    First of all the first floor is no longer the Angels In My Kitchen restaurant. Its now called CAVA. This is when the disappointment started. The management assured us it belonged to the same owners and many of the old menu items have been retained except we noticed the prices of all of them have been hiked by another Rs.150 or so. Drinks are prohibitively expensive.

    The first impression of CAVA is that its expensive. The next is the chef is probably a greenhorn who doesnt know how well the chicken leg stake is too be cooked. In the end we left with lots of strands of meat inside my teeth gaps.

    The worst is when we complained about the the hardness of the chicken. The Stuart explained that chicken leg roast is meant to be hard. That explained to me why on a Saturday night the place was empty except for a couple of women and men sitting, shouting and generally gettting drunk.

    I will not be recommending the place to anyone nor will I be visiting it again. On the way down we picked up a whole walnut pie from what is still the Angels in my kitchen. It was as in the old days… outstanding.

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