We went Diggin! You heard it right!
This was our continuing quest for a Coffee Shop Part II
In our quest for a good coffee shop one weekend, we found a place called “Diggin’”. Now let me say at the very outset, that we did not bump into this place. We came here after a bit of a hunt through reviews, searches through various media, discussions online and we were as usual apprehensive. And then we followed the map and arrived at Diggin’. Another point to clarify: this is not the quest for good coffee. It is the quest for a good coffee shop!
There are franchisees who brew a nice coffee and the Costas and Starbucks and even the local brands pour out a good, strong, rich in taste and worthy of their brand espresso that you seldom have much to complain about. Even though they say that Starbucks brews out a poor quality espresso in St Petersburg and I had mediocre quality in Paris, I daresay that in New Delhi the espresso is very good. But then we were not looking for a billion dollar coffee franchisee. I can get that anywhere in the world. We were looking for something else, someplace, something new and bright and maybe different if that is possible.
When we walked into Diggin’, we were more than pleasantly surprised in many ways and disappointed in some. Firstly, let me get over with the disappointments: the place has no parking. Secondly, it is not really a coffee shop. It is a restaurant. That means that on a weekend afternoon it is loud with the “erudite” Delhi crowd and finding seating for two is a challenge. And if you are alone, just forget it! Consequently the place has slow service. But I can live with that. If I am going looking for a good coffee shop on a Saturday afternoon to enjoy, I am not in a tearing hurry to catch a bullet train. And finally, as is often the case with us, we take pictures of what we do, where we go, what we eat and drink, nice shots of the décor and so on. And while we were at it, the waitress comes and points at our cameras and says, “Sir, you cannot take pictures.”
“Of course we can! This is what we do. It is our job to take pictures. That is why we have a camera. I am a paying customer and I would like to document what I am doing in my best possible abilities. And my best possible ability is not a phone camera. It is a 4000 dollar full frame camera. And two of them!” Of course I did not expect her to understand that. Hence she was insistent. And I did not care. That makes the coffee bad even before I had ordered it!
Now to the positives: Diggin’ is a large place with two floors with both indoor and outdoor seating on both floors. The indoor décor is beautiful. The outdoor is mostly beautiful greens, potted plants, creepers… a lot of greenery. There are real plants everywhere. Not plastic make belief stuff. Christmas was long gone. But there was a festive feel. I ordered my usual regular espresso. (I had already asked if they had a espresso machine.) I must say that the espresso was very good despite the waitress being adamant about our cameras!
We were more than pleasantly surprised. My fellow traveller, writer and professional photographer, Bobby Roy ordered his cappuccino. He liked it too. And believe me, he is not easy to please once someone interferes in his camera work! Oh, how I laughed at the situation! We liked our respective coffees. But we were reluctant to say too much good about the place because of the way the waitress got to us. How an innate sentence which is absolutely meaningless and has no bearing on the establishment that we have come to honour can bring about a strange reaction in an otherwise positive way of doing some good and interesting work.
At the end of the day, we came back with the coffee buds satisfied. We did however hear more than one irate customer complaining about the orders being mixed up. Seeing the amount of customers, I was not surprised. We sat back in our chairs, relaxed, laughed and had fun. An afternoon well spent.
Verdict: Good Coffee. Good espresso!
Food: That was not our agenda. However we ordered a classic margarita with pepperoni and it was actually palatable.
Ambience: Weekend loud.
Service: nondescript and slow.
Text: Krishnendu KES. Photographs: Bobby ROY.