Wandering journalists find perfect place to take tea till late hours


Enjoying various flavours and colours of tea in perfect ambiance

Zubair Qureshi

Federal Capital though brimming with a large number of restaurants and eateries, yet, sadly there are very few tea houses or cafés where one can go, sit and enjoy steamy cups of tea or coffee at affordable price. Unlike Lahore and Pindi, Islamabad cannot boast of such luxury. There are either very expensive restaurants within the premises of the ‘star hotels’ or international chains which though remain open round-the-clock yet charge you hefty amount in return of a lone cup of tea. There are also some third class, dirty tea houses where all your peace of mind goes off in smoke billowing out of the makeshift stoves. In such ‘miserable’ situation, one finds Islamabad a Metropolis where traditional gatherings and meetings over a cup of tea rarely take place.
However, as the saying goes “Crisis is a situation when you do things you never did before,” one such late night wandering journalist has volunteered to offer such a ‘dream corner’ to his fellow wanderers, mostly single, working journalists, some intellectuals and university professors too and they can spend their leisure time at his newly set up café after the day’s fatiguing work.
Azmat Malik, a local journalist of Islamabad who has earned the report of a good investigative reporter, while talking to Pakistan Observer here on Saturday said the idea of setting up his own restaurant T-CAFÉ struck him one night when after day’s work he returned to a restaurant in Super Market late at night. “My friends from other TV channels and newspapers were waiting for me there. We used to spend two or three hours there till middle of night daily. That night while taking my 3rd or 4th cup of oily tea, a friend asked me how long we would be drinking that kind of thing in the soiled cups and at the broken tables. That was the turning point in my life and I decided to serve my friends at some good place and thus set up T-CAFÉ next to Chen One in the Jinnah Super (F-7 Markaz).
Although the café has been inaugurated only one-and-a-half month back on January 20, 2018 (by no one else but the famous journalist of the country Rauf Klasra) yet it has become an instant craze in the community because of its low rates, beautiful ambiance and above all the fact it remains open till late hours. Malik himself takes care of the visiting guests, mostly students, journalists, the jobless youth, love birds and families. You can have ‘Gur Wali Chay”, “Karak Chay”, “Tea with Cardamom” and “Malayee Mar Kay.”
Tea is something you need after every two or three hours, said Malik. What he has discovered after decade of journalism in the federal capital is that a good cup of tea is all we require to release our depression or celebrate our success. Similarly, while working on investigative story or covering an event, tea is there to boost your morale and keep you going. This secret well learnt is now being executed by Malik as scores of customers visit him daily. Besides, earlier he used to spend on his friends and now they buy tea, sandwiches and snacks thus like a successful businessman he is earning money instead of spending. T-CAFÉ also provides “Paratha”, “Burgers”, “Panini”, “Rice” and “Fries” all the fresh stuff to the customers. You can also have traditional ‘saag’ with butter and paratha here. Sunday is fixed for breakfast and students are special guests who can enjoy the ideal ambience coupled with delicious food on 25pc discount.

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