Place – Freedom Ganga Café
Location – Laxman Jhula , Rishikesh
10th October 2016
How many of us have faced a situation in a foreigner frequented tourist destination where Indian Tourist are either neglected or are not given proper attention.
Two days back , when I was in Rishikesh with my sister and a friend ,we wanted to check out some cool cafe. I heard a lot about Freedom Ganga Café. I was told by fellow travelers- its totally your kinda place and you’re gonna love it. Excited me , went to check it out at around 9ish on a Monday night. The lane where this is located near Laxman Jhula , a non local can easily get lost. We somehow managed our way there. A total hippie place with a lower and an upper floor. Very chilled out .We found it to be pretty good.Upon entering we chose a low seating table near the river facing side. We saw only white people around us. There must have been barely 4-5 Indians. There were two waiters doing rounds asking for people’s orders and getting food whereas there was no one attending us. About ten minutes later we were given the menu card. We were prompt at making our decision with respect to food .Realizing they are gonna take time to bring our food we wanted to place an order right away. We tried catching attention of the waiter. He ignored us very conveniently three to four times.
When asked ‘When would you take our orders?’ He shot us a very arrogant look and with an ‘ I don’t give a fuck’ attitude he told us – I’ll take 5 minutes to come and take your order, I am very busy.
This was getting quite interesting.We decided to give him his time and wait & watch. Even after 20 minutes he did not turn up. Whereas the fellow diners (White) got all their meal courses. He , in fact was making small conversations with them ( Let me also mention smiling )
After a point we thought we had had enough so I went to the manager asking him is this what the place is famous for! Firstly, the service needs to be taught how to be polite to the guests. I narrated the incident which he pretended to listen to. The waiter then turned up and said ‘ sory ‘ in a Haryanvi accent telling us that he had a very big order and hence he was gonna take at least 1.5 hours to get us food. The whole point is, if you can’t take orders say the place is closed or stop the kitchen for any new orders. Why waste people’s time acting pricey ? Hospitality does not work this way. There was a very visible biased attitude towards Indians and Foreigners. I told him , I am surely going to write a review about this .He even had the audacity to mock us with a smile ( Sarcasm added ). Both the waiter and manager seemed least bit apologetic.
Being a foodie and a blogger I do visit many places in Metro cities as well as small towns & tourist places. I also understand when a restaurant / cafe is busy, it will take time to bring food but there is way to handle that situation. This arrogant attitude is a total turn off and does not suit the industry which is Hospitality. ‘Atithi Devo Bhav’ is a must but not at the cost of discriminating fellow Indians.
I am so not going here again. But those thinking of visiting it think 100 times as there are many beautiful cafes around
( We later went to Little Buddha Café and had a lovely 5 course meal. Details in next blog post)
Taste – NA
Ambiance – 4/5
Service – A COMPLETE NEGATIVE
Value for money – NA
P.S. Image Source – Tripadvisor (unknown )