An Eclectic Platter
Saidulajab is an underrated revelation for the Dilliwallahs seeking a slice of the city's alternate culture.
On one of those days when you're in no mood to brave the parking nightmare in the malls, head to Saidulajab for a quiet-conversations-cum-good food outing. Hidden safely behind the uninspiring environs of the South Delhi locality, this hideout is slowly but steadily creating an alternate entertainment hub in its many lanes, offering a chunky slice of music, art, culture, shopping and of course, food.
Grab your Grub
Jugmug Thela is trying to bring back smells and flavours of the past, where a vendor would bring the chai in a cart. Thirty-six-year old Jiten Suchede's popup urban-street style thela at Saidulajab is then an ode to memory of old chai stalls where people would talk to each other unlike in cafes where each table would become an island. A former graphic designer, who returned from the UK, Suchede's entry into the business wasn't planned at all. It happened when friends urged him to set up a chai stall at a handicrafts mela in 2013 when he put together a makeshift thela with reclaimed wooden planks. They parked the thela at his rented space in an old warehouse that used to be a Murgikhana once. Murgikhanas were disallowed in the late 1990s and the space in Saidullajab was a warehouse until Suchede rented it out and others followed like People Tree, NGO Jugaad Trust, designers Renu & Rekha, Blue Tokai Coffee Roasters, Jamura Design, which is Suchede’s carpentry business. This space, called Champa Gali is meant to be an interactive place which will soon have a reading room to reconnect
people over tea. Hobbyists can come together and create customised wooden furniture like tables and benches here as well. The art aficionado can also find an art gallery here . Then, there is a small shop for Karm Marg, an NGO that works for orphans. If you find your way out of this eclectic labyrinth, there's also the Rose Cafe which is worth a visit. The cafe is now a fixture in the city's Sunday brunch scene for its dainty tea room and a Jane-Austen inspired ambience, or head to Fio for a romantic dinner.
While you must not miss the artisanal bakes and coffee here, there is another space that is a must-do. Jugaad Trust, an upcycling store, sells best-out-of-waste products such as jewellery, hand printed and Khadi clothes, bags, and stationery, and its eco-friendly fashion products are handmade and generate income for rural women and young adults. Jugaad, which roughly translates to ‘making the most out of whatever little you have’, is a crucial Indian trait of innovation. All profits from the trust fund 50 per cent of NGO Karm Marg’s, activities. Here, you’ll also stumble upon People Tree for distinctive clothing collection and accessories to unusual artwork and books. This studio-store combines ecological responsibility and social purpose.
Groove like That
From holding the ReSound concert organised by Music Basti in February this year to hosting two open houses that saw a fun mix of music, poetry and shopping—a lot has been up in the lovely lanes of Saidulajab. This space recently witnessed capital-residing duo of rapper Delhi Sultanate aka Taru Dalmia and singer Begum X aka Samara Chopra perform at the first zanniversary celebrations of the Bass Foundation Roots Sound System, the city-based reggae sound system they launched in 2016.
Fio at Garden of Five Senses
The hidden treasures of Champa Gali