The Stolen Coffee Room

“The what? What did you say was the name of the coffee shop?” I asked with some amount of disbelief.

The Stolen Coffee Room,” Deepa repeated patiently, with barely suppressed excitement. “You heard it right the first time.”

“The. Stolen. Coffee. Room.” I repeated slowly. “What an intriguing name.”

“It’s an intriguing name for an intriguing place,” ” Deepa declared. “You know Sudha, I didn’t want to leave this place at all and if the kids hadn’t been there with me, I probably wouldn’t have. You will love this place.”

Now I was more than intrigued. “Tell me more about this place.”

“I’m not going to tell you anything. You have to visit it and see it and experience it yourself. In fact, let’s go there together,” said Deepa.

So that’s how I came to be standing outside The Stolen Coffee Room (TSCR) with Deepa one rainy evening in July. The bright blue entrance glowed in a welcoming manner as did the neon red “Open” sign. And with a mix of anticipation and delight, I stepped inside.

Entrance to The Stolen Coffee Room

Photo: Deepa

I stepped inside into another world, another place. A place that can best be described as someplace else. A place from another time and era. And a place that delighted the senses.

The seductive aroma of fresh coffee and grilled sandwiches, the warm and mellow lighting, the quaint furniture, the comfortable seating arrangement designed to make you relax, the retro decor, the quirky framed poster art on the walls, the bric-à-brac, the laughter and happy murmurs of happy and satisfied patrons, the soft and unobtrusive music to match the atmosphere… And that bookshelf filled with books just waiting to be picked up and read. :-)

We spent a lovely evening at TSCR that day laughing, chatting, relaxing, pulling out books from the bookshelf, discussing them (I even made a list of books that I wanted to read after seeing some of them), wandering around the café admiring the posters and other artifacts… We also had a deliciously filling mushroom and 3-cheese grilled sandwich, philadelphia cheesecake, and some hot coffee that was just perfect. I don’t think there would have been two happier or contented people that day, and when we left TSCR at 9 pm, it was with a great deal of reluctance, and a promise to return soon.

Photo: Deepa

Over the next few days, the thought of writing a post on TSCR took root as I wanted to share this wonderful place with everyone. I wrote a couple of drafts, but both were such lifeless and incomplete reads, that I discarded them without regret.

And when I came across their Wednesday Soirees d’art to celebrate art through “music, poetry or wit” on TSCR’s Facebook Page, I knew that I had to visit the place again soon. That’s when the idea of speaking to the owner of TSCR to get more information on the idea and philosophy behind this place took shape.

So a couple of Fridays back saw Deepa and me at TSCR again. This time it was also to meet Sonam Sisaudia, the proprietor. I can’t tell you how strange it felt to visit a place with the purpose of gathering information for a blog post, since I do not travel or visit a place with the specific intention of writing about it. But somehow doing just that for TSCR felt perfectly right.

Once again, it was a lovely, relaxing evening, in spite of having my blogging cap on and questions whirring in my head. There were students doing their assignments, a couple having a cup of coffee, and a group of young boys discussing carrom. And over some grilled tomato and mozzarella sandwich, coffee and Philadelphia cheesecake (yes again), Sonam spoke to Deepa and me about TSCR.

The Stolen Coffee Room was conceived as a non-commercial, homely, quaint, neighbourhood café — a place that its patrons could relax and lounge in, and have unlimited conversations. The story behind its intriguing name was finally revealed when Sonam said that it signified the ambiance stolen from another era or period. Ravi Vazirani of Ravi Vazirani Design Studio designed and executed the TSCR’s theme. And like good designs it evolved as the place took shape. A lot of effort has gone into conveying and reiterating and conveying that theme—from the furniture that was sourced from flea markets or custom-made to the specially chosen music to the artwork on the walls to the deliberately mismatched furniture to… Many of the books and various objets d’art have come from Sonam’s personal collection. Not surprisingly, TSCR is used by photographers as a setting for photo shoots of aspiring models.

Initially conceived as a place that would serve only coffee, the TSCR added sandwiches and dessert to their menu based on customer feedback. The menu is also an evolving and a changing one with Sonam now planning to introduce a range of teas and infusions to cater to the many tea lovers that frequent TSCR.

The Wednesday Soirees d’art are open events where people can share their poetry, music or read from their books. Sonam told us with pride that TSCR was always full on the soiree days with many people having to make do with standing space only. Encouraged by the response, she has plans to increase and diversify the events at TSCR.

Listening to the soft-spoken Sonam talk about TSCR was very inspiring for me. Her quiet passion and determination for her dream to take shape and succeed was really something else. After a point, I just stopped asking questions and let her talk, and indeed that was the best way for the conversation to happen.

The Stolen Coffee Room is like a breath of fresh air in Navi Mumbai, with the potential to become a niche cultural hub, a meeting place for artists, musicians and poets.

It is the place you want to go for a lazy Sunday brunch.

It is the place you want to drop in for coffee after a dinner and a drive.

It is the place to drop in for a bite on your way to or from Pune.

It is the place to hide away and work on your next creative idea.

It is a place where you can watch the world go by.

It is a place where you can read interesting books in absolute peace.

It is a place for coffee and conversations.

It is a coffee house with a difference.

The Stolen Coffee Room is a somewhere else place. It’s elsewhere, and yet here.

About The Stolen Coffee Room

Address: Off Palm Beach Road, Sec 44-A, Seawoods, Navi Mumbai.
Landmark: Turn left at the Ramchandra Mahadev Tandel Chowk (if driving from Mumbai)
Nearest Railway Station: Seawoods Darave (Harbour Line)
Telephone: 022 2771 3132
Timings: 10.30 to 22.30 Monday to Sunday

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85 thoughts on “The Stolen Coffee Room

  1. ohh it sounds LOVELY… and I do love a good Phili Cheesecake… but Seawoods is tooooooo far away. I hope I can bug my hubby to drive me over the weekend… won’t that be fantastic? :D

    you’ll join for Coffee, won’t you SudhaG?

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    • It IS lovely, Shraddha. And the perfect excuse to bug your significant other about. And when has distance ever deterred a determined Mumbaikar? Go for it I say and I’ll join you too :-)

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  2. This was a restaurant review with a difference and knowing you and your tastes, it would certainly be worth the visit. I love places that are not loud and at the same time are not too arty or literary to make me uncomfortable. Maybe this time when I go over, we could meet there over….um…brunch, tea…and..do they serve dinner too? :D

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    • TSCR is open from 10.30 am to 10.30 pm. And if you are ok with sandwiches for brunch, tea and dinner we can spend the day there. :-) You know, this place is perfect for a blogger’s meet and the next time you are in Mumbai, we should have the meet here. What say?

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  3. Done, we’re meeting here the next time. I will bring a couple of books (books that have been reviewed by you) and we will read in peace, sitting side by side. What say??

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  4. Looks and sounds lovely. I love the quirkyness that has become pretty common in similar coffee shops that are opening up around India and especially in Delhi and Gurgaon. My only fear at times is that with popularity the food and drinks eventually take a back seat. While the atmosphere is important, the real test is keeping up with the food and drink quality, and it’s always good when and if the proprietor is passionate about it.

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    • It is lovely, Raghav. I do understand your point about food and drink taking a backseat when places become popular.

      But I think and hope that TSCR will not go that way for three main reasons: (i) Every little detail in this place complements the idea of coffee and conversations in a neighbourhood cafe. (ii) TSCR is very open to customer feedback and periodically add, change or delete stuff from their menu. (iii) The proprietor’s passion and vision makes the place tick and she is open to experimentation at every level.

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  5. ‘It is a somewhere else place’ indeed. Your post was quite like the cupboard in The Chronicles of Narnia through which I escaped mentally to that amazing coffee house. It is a pity it is so far off from where I live.

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    • Well, non-metros have other attractions like special chaiwallahs, and book shops and what not. That is equally interesting, isn’t it? But tell me, Monishikha, wouldn’t it be lovely to have a place like this with your watercolours on the walls? :-)

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    • Hey, NS. I actually had you in mind as I wrote this post. Don’t you just love such places? Lets make a deal, when you come to Mumbai I’ll take you to TSCR and when I come to Baroda you take m to thattea place you wrote about :-)

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    • Welcome here, Khushbu and thank you so much for stopping by and commenting. I hope that my narration and pictures more than matches your experience when you visit TSCR. Don’t forget to share the link here when you write about it. :-)

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    • *blush* Thank you very much, Suresh, for your kind words. This place is really something and I look forward to the day I can actually disappear into for a while to read, to write, or to just think.

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  6. That’s an interesting name for a coffee shop. It makes one curious and want to really check it out. Thank you for the explanation, as to how it gets its name. :) I already love the place.
    It reminds me of a farm I went to in Santa Cruz , CA.

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    • Thanks dNambiar. I really liked this place and am delighted that other people like it too. I was able to get a lot of information on TSCR only because I got to meet Sonam, the proprietor, and chat with her.

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    • Welcome here Binti, and am so delighted to see you here :-) The Stolen Coffee Room will turn 1 in December, which means that it was not around when you were living in Navi Mumbai. Maybe when you get back …

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  7. Your post title drew me here…and now, I want to thank you for opening up this world.TSCR is just the kind of place I dream of, to sit and day dream with friends and a good chat. Ah! With the rainssplashing outside or warm sunshine streaming through…Loved your write-up! :)

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    • A very warm welcome to you, Ilakshee, and I must say that you have a most unusual and lovely name. The Stolen Coffee Room is actually quite perfect to escape into and take a break from day-to-day living. :-) I haven’t visited TSCR during daytime and I’m looking forward to doing so one of these days.

      Thank you so much for stopping by and commenting.

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  8. Pingback: Read the best blog posts from the Indian bloggers picked up by Purba Ray

    • Welcome here, potpourrpearls, so nice to meet another person who thinks that books, coffee and art is all that one needs :-) Thank you so much for your comments. And yes, do add TSCR to the list of must visit places when you come here.

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    • Welcome here, Ruchira and fellow coffee-lover. Delighted to see you and your comment here. You should have seen my face when I saw the book shelf and the books. I wish I stayed closer to the TSCR, so that I could go there and read their ever-expanding book collection.

      So what if you are not in Mumbai? Next time you are here make it a point to visit it. :-)

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    • Revolutions, huh? But since it is a somewhere else place, each person who enters the doors of this place can think of their pet dreams — be it revolutions, art project, their next creative idea or blog post. Or just lose themselves to the charms of this place. :-)

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    • Hey Chintan, good to see you here after so long :-)

      Yes, TSCR is an inspiring and a tempting place too. I’m quite tempted to take a day off from work and just spend the day there reading, writing and listening to music. Just escape form daily routine and come back inspired.

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  9. Hi sudhagee
    There is a coffee shop in a mall near my place in Singapore which they have decorated using some artifacts from by gone eras . They have a telephone , cycle , camera etc from very early 1900s . I love that place . I don’t think it would match this one but I do get a fair idea about the ambience at the Stolen Coffee Shop :)

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  10. What a name! What a place! How dreamy it is! Never been to Mumbai in my life. And not sure if I will be there in the near future too…thanks for sharing the beautiful story of this mystic place…

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    • Mumbai is … well Mumbai. And it is a city that I feel everyone should visit at least once in their lifetime. And TSCR, which is in Navi Mumbai should also be graced with a visit at least once.

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