Well, I am a foodie by heart! Be it a regional cuisine or a hot-pick Asian delight, my love for food knows no bounds. Staying in Delhi, the land of Mughals, I have had enough of Mughlai Chicken, Awadhi Biriyani and Lucknawi kebabs. I therefore decided to taste state flavours and local spices, India is known for. Hence began my gastronomic tour to regional restaurants in Delhi. Trust me, they all are fantabulous- be it the food or traditional décor. According to me, some of those best restaurants in Delhi are:
City of Joy, Alaknanda-A Chic Bong Flavour
Take out your old pair of jeans, Kolhapuri sandals and head to relish a perfect ‘Bangali’ lunch/dinner brought from the kitchens of Bengal. Catering to a wide menu of Bengali fish recipes, vegetarian dishes and local sweets, this elegant restaurant has touched the heart of numerous Bengalis and non- Bengalis. Try the mutton and chicken dishes too to savour flavours of herbs and spices from Bengal. The restaurant’s Bengali terracotta chandeliers and cane furniture paint the image of a chic Bong household. So, in City of Joy, feel like a Bong, eat like a Bong!
Where: Aravali Shopping Complex, Alaknanda, South Delhi
Must Try: Prawn Malai Curry, Doi Pomfret, Shukto, Kosha Mangsho (Mutton), Fulko Luchi
Cost for Two: Rs. 800
Rosang Soul Food-For the North Eastern Bamboo-shoot Pleasure
They are humble! They are experts of local flavours! Yes, this small calm cosy restaurant in Green Park takes you for a real date with North East India. Chefs and waiters come all their way from various North-eastern states to prepare and serve hearty home-style regional dishes. While the food won’t leave you supersaturated by oil and spices, it will leave you satiated with taste and quantity. Warm service and chat with cheerful staff make for an unforgettable dining experience.
Where: Green Park, near Uphaar Cinema
Cuisine: Assamese, Naga, Sikkim, Arunachal, Tripura
Must Try: Nghui Ngosing, Masor Logot Khorisa, Tokhan, Wild Red rice tea
Cost for Two: Rs. 1000
Yeti, The Himalayan Kitchen-A Fusion of Pahari Spice and Tradition
Not much places in Delhi offer Nepalese, Tibetan, Bhutanese or Himalayan cuisines. This chic, elegant restaurant in Hauz Khas Village and GK 2 is one of those few places where the not-so-popular food menu tantalize your taste buds with a fine taste of sweet and spice used in the local kitchens of Himachal. Brick walls decorated with Himalayan antics, Tibetan masks, Buddhist prayer flags and art- the restaurant’s ambience is worth appreciation!
Where: Greater Kailash 2, Hauz Khas Village
Cuisine: Tibetan, Nepalese, Bhutanese, Himachali
Must Try: Bhutun, Shapta, Mutton dumplings and Chow Chow
Cost for Two: Rs. 1,100
Naivedyam-Quest for Dosa Ends Here
In this land of kebabs and qormas, Naivedyam, an authentic South Indian restaurant does complete justice to the vegetarian fare. Stuffed with dishes (sweet and tangy) brought from kitchens of the south, Naivedyam is one stop destination for a fine vegetarian meal. Soft background music, antique furniture and paintings of gods and goddesses make your dining experience a pleasant one.
Where: Various places across NCR
Cuisine: South India
Must Try: Rawa Dosa, Lemon Rice, Curd Rice, Vegetable Oothappam and yes! Filter Coffee
Cost for Two: Rs. 600
Viva o Viva-Where Crabs from Goa Let Tongue Go Crazy
Haven’t tasted seafood in Delhi? Want to eat something unconventional? Drive to Viva o Viva in Goa Niwas, Chanakyapuri. Goa and seafood goes hand in hand and this restaurant leave you spellbound with Goan flavours that come in the form of crab and prawn platters. Fish cooked with local herbs and vegetarian delights typical to the state are apt for foodaholics in search of an offbeat dining experience.
Where: Goa Niwas, Chanakyapuri
Must Try: Pomfret curry with pav, King Fish Masala, Butter Garlic Crab
Cost for Two: Rs. 700
The Potbelly Rooftop Cafe-For Bihar’s Heart-melting Litti Choka
Narrow alleys, quaint locality and steep winding stairs- and you land in Potbelly, a rooftop restaurant serving the flavours of Bihar. Plain yet colourful sitting areas, vibrant and chic yet homely interior and an overall aesthetic set up juxtaposed with delicious Bihari food is something rarely experienced in the bustling city of Delhi.
Where: Shahpur Jat
Must Try: Litti Choka, Meat Pakora Basket, Khada Masala Mutton, Champaran Style Mutton, Sarso Machhli
Cost for two: Rs. 1000
SodaBottleOpenerWala–The real World Irani Cafe
Your craving for Parsi food ends here! A kitschy colourful café type restaurant replete with pool table, red checked table cloths from the time of nuns and cuckoo clock take you along a trail of Parsi culture. Cutleries like typical chai wala glasses, kettle and aluminium tiffin carriers, are what stands apart. And the menu card? Ah! The layout and name of dishes- both are superb. Heard of Khade Chammach ki Chai? Rest of the dishes are free if you can drink this one!
Where: Khan Market, Delhi and DLF Cyber Hub, Gurgaon
Must Try: Bhendi Bazaar Sheekh Parantha, Berry Pulao, Bacon Keema Macaroni, Prawn Patio, Ginger Biscuit
Cost for two: Rs. 1200
Karims–From the Kitchens of Mughals
Now this is one restaurant that every Delhite and non-Delhite will love to visit repeatedly. If you are a meat lover, then Karim’s is your ‘Mecca in Delhi’. Be it a family dinner or a food date with fiancée, dining in Karim’s is apt for all. Aroma of steaming nahari, taste of butter naan and a normal dining set up has attracted foodies since years. Don’t mind if you have to a share table. Just concentrate on that juicy tandoori chicken!
Where: Many places across NCR, Karim’s Jama Masjid is the main branch
Cuisine: Mughlai, North Indian
Must Try: Mutton Qorma, Mutton Nahari, Paya, Qeema Naan
Cost for Two: Rs. 800
February is the month of love and celebration. So why not plan a visit in one of these soon? Hold on! Do visit again and share your experience with us.