Ashfaq Hotel


Close by the gate of the Chhota Imambara in Husainabad is the famous eatery that was started some 50-60 years back by Mohammad Ashfaq. He started with a shack, but took up the current premises in a few years to run it till 2007. It is now run by his son, Mohammad Javed. Javed is an erstwhile National-level athlete. He competed in the Open National Athletics Championships in 1990, and gave stiff competition to Bahadur Prasad (whose national record in the 5000-metre race stood unbroken for 23 years; and who represented India in the Olympics two times). His father’s ill health and other family responsibilities compelled Javed to give up the track and take care of the business. He regrets even today that he could not make his mark in the 5000m athletic event. Instead he faced adversity with a sportsperson’s spirit. The Tirangi chai is one of the specialities of Ashfaq Hotel. Served in a glass tumbler, the lowest transluscent layer is just sugar. Succeeding this layer, a bit of milk, brewed tea, and finally a layer of cream display three distinct colours that are much appreciated. This was invented by Usman, an employee who worked here for 40 years since his childhood and passed away in 2018. It is an example of the ingenuity of crafts persons. Another kind of chai is the Dabang chai, named to applaud Salman Khan’s film of the same name. They sell sweets, poori-sabzi, shahi tukra, samosa and other eats as well, but there is greater demand for tea and for lassi. Javed himself prefers tea: “I can’t think properly until I have a cup of tea!”