Chill & Chai at Khoj | the hidden gem of Khirki Village!

After a long afternoon at Select City Walk, my friend and I wanted to escape to a quiet aloof place, where we could sit in a corner and sip on a cup of coffee. Recently, I had heard about a little café called Chill and Chai, in Khirki Extension. We decided to head there, as it wasn’t too far off.

Making our way through the narrow lanes of Khirki Village, we landed in a gully, overrun with hawkers and labourers. I felt we had come the wrong way, when we spotted a white building, which stood starkly against the chaos of the locale. Few signboards, here and there read ‘Khoj Arts Studio”. Still unsure, we climbed a small flight of stairs. And there it was, Chill and Chai café.

Michael Barrett from UK and Coraline Joveneaux from France, jointly own this café, located in a building originally serving as a studio for various artists. The colourful ethnic prints of the furniture, paired with white walls, was enough to showcase the cross cultural concept of the place. I particularly loved the pictures that they’d used as decorative. The pictures of real people, with the colours of their turbans or some peculiar features, enhanced to good effect.

Emily, the sweet waitress at the café, who happens to be fluent in Korean, Russian and many more languages, gave us some great insight into the concept of the café. They promote local artisans from various places of India. Their products like pottery, utensils and organic consumables, are on display and up for sale. They even promote products by Chef Moses, the chef at the café, who also takes cooking classes. All the money, from the sale of the products, then goes back to the respective artisans.

Products - Chai & Chill
Products – Chai & Chill

As for the menu, I found it concise and interesting. The menu has international cuisine, albeit with a touch of French. The best part is, however, what you see is what you pay. No need to worry about the hefty taxes and charges, which we are made to pay, at most places.

So we ordered for:

  • Fresh Salad
  • Lasagna with salad on the side.

While the food was being prepared, I enjoyed chatting with my friend, while listening to lively French music. The white walls, green plants and a bunch of creative people, this place really has a nice cheerful vibe to it.

The food arrived on our table and I was pleased to see the portion of the food. In times like these, when people show generosity while serving food, I feel they are big hearted.

My fresh salad had generous amounts of lettuce, carrot, bell pepper, onion, tomato and vinegar dressing. The vegetables were fresh and this is a perfect dish for health food lovers. With no cheese or unhealthy dressing, this was a lovely treat.

Fresh Salad - Chill & Chai
Fresh Salad – Chill & Chai

The Lasagna was served piping hot. It had generous amount of red sauce filling with veggies. Delicious, comforting and everything that one needs for a hearty meal, this dish was just wonderful.

Lasagna - Chai & Chill
Lasagna – Chai & Chill

We finished our food and spent some more time chilling at the café.

The food bill came up to Rs 180.

I also bought some of the products by local artisans and farmers.

Once, we came out of the café to drive back home, I realized that even though the approach to this café is a little discomforting, the café creates such a perfect ambience for you to forget all that.

There is an Art Gallery as well, where work from various artists from all over, is showcased.

Chill and Chai café is so close to the malls, yet so distinctly different from them. There is simplicity, purpose and a laid-back feel, everything that you need, to unwind in the anonymity of a quaint little place.

Directions to the place: In case, you choose to walk from Select City Walk, cross the road on to the opposite side. Then, take the narrow dilapidated road leading to Khirki Ext. After about 100 m, you would see a Sai Baba Mandir. Take a left before the mandir. You might feel that you are going wrong, but believe me, that’s the way. In less than 100 metres, on to the right, you would see a white building, with some signboards saying ‘Khoj’. You’ve arrived.

Address: S17, Khirki Ext Rd, Malviya Nagar, New Delhi, Delhi 110012
Contact: 085878 83948

NOTE: Chill & Chai is not functional anymore. Rustom’s Cafe & Bakery  has opened up at the same venue.



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