Canteen areas in government buildings are almost always associated with unpredictable service, bland food and the companionship of flies — your lunch partners or a part of your lunch instead.
Now, imagine a café that would give even the popular coffee chains of the city a run for their money. Café Mocha I-T, situated in Aaykar Bhawan, Sector 17, is the brainchild of Garima Singh, additional commissioner, Income Tax (HQ), Chandigarh. The project she says was approved and encouraged by Jaspal Singh, chief commissioner, Income Tax (northwest region).
The old canteen, which was upgraded, still offers Indian food and snacks at economical rates, whereas the newly-built café has an exotic menu, if one is feeling adventurous. Framed pictures of freedom fighters adorn the walls and catch your attention soon as you enter, not what is generally seen in your local Barista. Garima Singh says, “I saw a picture of Subhash Chandra Bose with the words ‘change the system’ and it struck a chord with me. We need to inspire our youngsters and remind the ones in the system to constantly strive for betterment.”
Having to work under a budget, she has managed to model the place on the décor of top coffee shops. So, where did the idea come from? “I wanted to change the impression people have of stuffy government eateries,” says she.
The café is being run by Café Beans and Brews, owned by Satbir Singh. What makes the food standout is the homemade taste. The brownies and chocolate-chip cookies are worth trying, as is the Australian tea with cinnamon. A cup of coffee at this cafe makes one forget they’re sitting inside a government building. And what’s more, the cafe is open to the public!
Posted on the Facebook page of Indian Revenue Service is a comment by Vineet Agrawal, senior VP, JSW Steels (Mumbai): “Such a facility is not available at even corporate headquarters of the company I am working with. Kudos to the officers who have made it possible.”