Delhi – For the Food

It takes a while to digest the city of Delhi. Two weeks after I returned, I am struck with a sense of nostalgia for the city – sometimes. For its clean, wide roads. For the metro and its easy method of transport. For the cheap shopping. For the great food.

Living in a different city means adapting to its daily rhythm and after years of living in this laidback city, I don’t think I’d ever want to live in Delhi.

Regardless, here’s a list of places to see / visit / shop / eat

For The Stomach:

1. Kake Da Hotel:
    Location: Connaught Place
    Cuisine: North Indian
    This came highly recommended and was our first stop for food in Delhi. We landed there after a heavy, true Punjabi breakfast of aloo parathas and I had very little space to fit in more food. But the mere taste of their chicken curry and rotis would make you want to lick more of the gravy. Seeped in ghee, this isn’t a fun trip for your heart, but sure a good trip for the taste buds. 
Of course, a little more Delhi visiting and comments later, we did realise that this place was slightly overpriced and overrated… but if it is your first time in Delhi, this is a must-visit.

2. National Hotel:
Location: Connaught Place
A short walk from Kake Da Hotel, the food is quite similar… nothing much to add to that.

3. The Beer Cafe
Location: Connaught Place / Janpat
The first true blue beer place we visited and on a good, hot day. It was recommended by someone on Twitter, and we pretty much fell upon it at the right time. The cafe is supposed to have beer from all countries and at first glance, their menu looks extremely promising. But then you go down the list and realise that they do not have much of the beer mentioned on the menu, which can get disappointing. Still, we managed to try a few kinds of beer. The food is quite delicious, the music is old school and lovely. Of course, being a beer place, the TV gets tuned to the cricket match in the evening. 
The manager said that the beers need to be imported and so they stock up according to need and season. Would perhaps be better if they had a revolving menu, rather than a fixed one with everything mentioned on it. A little more on the pricey side, but that’s the price you pay to drink beer from all over the world.

4. Afghan Darbar Restaurant
Location: Lajpat Nagar Market
Such an awesome discovery! A small place, tucked away between a medic and something else, this is the real deal. And you know it the minute you step in, with most of the clientele being Afghanis. The food is the most Authentic Afghani food I’ve ever eaten, with the tenderest lamb and the yummiest quabuli uzbeki! Their service is quite slow and erratic, and you do get the feeling that they’d rather you weren’t there, but ignore it and feast on the best food you have this side of the border.

5. Roshan’s Kulfi
Location: Karol Bagh
The perfect treat for a hot day!

6. Bikanerwala:
Location: Karol Bagh
Now, they do have several outlets around the city… but the chaat here is a must try, especially if you do not have the stomach to try the street chaat

7. Cafe Turtle:
Location: Khan Market
Located over a cozy little bookstore (The Full Circle) in Khan Market, this is the place for the intellectuals to hobnob and exchange ideas. It is a small place and can get quite crowded sometimes, but the food is delicious, the milkshakes thick and frothy. They’ve a small outdoor section, which can be appealing in the evenings, particularly since you can smoke there. One of the few places in Delhi that I found a woman could smoke without being harassed

8. The Colony Bistro:
Location: Lajpat Nagar
Ugh. That’s the word. Their photographs on Zomato and all the other sites are beautifully deceptive. You expect to see a plush, nice Italian restaurant and what you get is a fly-ridden porch and well, decent interiors restaurant. The interiors are done up nice and the music is quite different, but that’s where the good things about the restaurant end. They don’t particularly care if you walk in and seat yourself and wait. They don’t particularly care if you ordered veg food or not. Their iced tea is so bitter that you can almost taste the plastic bag it came out of. The pastas are halfway decent, if you manage to stick around till then. Better try for the street food around.

9. Imperfecto:
Location: Haus Khaz Village
Quaint, at the top and eccentric. The restaurant is located three floors up, and they’ve definitely made the climb interesting with all sorts of installations, including an old scooter hung up with wooden monkeys trying to get to it. The interiors are bold and eccentric. The service is warm and efficient, the food average and they allow you to hang around for hours without any questions.

Of course there are tons of other street food places and it would be impossible for us to list it all, much less give you accurate directions. Best thing to do – arm yourself with a bottle of water, Norflox tablets, electrol and explore the city 🙂

(More soon…)

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