Sidewok (Khan Market) 6/10

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Khan Market? Sure! But where do we go? With so many options, most of them either continental, or oriental- it gets a little difficult to decide exactly what would tickle your fancy on that day.

With a dim, distant memory of Sidewok for a New Years Eve dinner some years back, I headed there again, this time solely to sample the sushi. Unfortunately, having had the excellent chinese and thai food there before, I was quite disappointed with the sushi. The prawns were soggy and curiously sour. The tuna was inedible. The saving grace on the seafood platter was the salmon, really.

However, having said that, the Bejing Chicken is brilliant- as is most of their non-Japanese fare. Having had the chicken aniseed and the shredded lamb in garlic sauce earlier, I can vouch that if you’re looking for a decent Chinese meal- you shouldnt go wrong with Sidewok.

The ambience isn’t anything to write home about really- semi dim lighting with ostensibly oriental looking wall-hangings and decoration pieces carefully arranged around the place. However, we were suitably impressed with their service. Polite, prompt and mostly silent- just the way it should be.

Top Tips:

  • Getting in and out of, and parking at Khan Market is a pain at times- especially during the brunch hours on a weekend
  • Just dont try the sushi- everything else is pretty much standard
  • They dont serve alcohol (atleast not anymore)
  • Get ready to climb- like with most other restaurants in Khan Market
Ratings/ Quick Facts Scale (on 10)/ Remarks
Ambience 5
Ease of access 8
Service 7
Quality of food 6
Value for money 4
Would I go back there? After I’ve tried almost everything else in Khan
Meal for two Rs 1500 (without alcohol)
Serves alcohol No
Credit cards Accepted

Al Kauser (Outer Ring Road) 6/10

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The hunt for the kakori kebab led us from Khan Market (where Aap ki Khatir has apparently closed down) to New Friends Colony (where the nice man told us that Al Bake doesnt serve kakori kebabs) finally to this completely outdoor place on the Outer Ring Road (on the border of R.K. Puram) called Al-Kauser. Most motorists will remember this place for the cars that are usually lined up next to it- late into the night. Indeed, this is one of those places where you get to order-in from your car and get served there as well- just watch out for little Sunny on the backseat with the pudina chutney!

Al Kauser is more of a take-away joint, but now has tables on a raised platform between the shop and the road. Therefore, unless if you happen to enjoy diesel fumes and honking idiots as the cars, trucks and buses zip past, dont go there looking for a fantastic ambience. Do however, go there to look for some awesome Mughlai food.

Having dined there on a number of occasions in the past, we knew what to expect. The ubiquitous ‘chhotu’ bears down upon you- flinging a menu or two in the general direction of your table while at the same time serving the next one a full tray of biriyani. Do try the kakori here. And the Galauti. While the eatery does serve the regular assortment of kebabs- malai, tikka, tandoori and afghani- you’d probably be better off trying those elsewhere- like Al Jwahar perhaps. The kakori’s skin is slightly dry and firm to the touch while the inside is just how a kakori should be- smooth and homogeneous. The galauti is supposed to be softer than the kakori- however, perhaps an overenthusiastic chef had decided to keep them on the pan for a little too long.

Do try the biriyani there. They’ve recently started the ‘handi’ type- one where the biriyani is placed in an earthen pot, sealed with dough and then baked. Also, the korma is recommended.

Top Tips:

  • If you dont get parking in the service lane, park on the road itself. Dont worry about cops- they’ve probably been paid off.
  • These guys dont accept cards. Thankfully, there are a couple of ATMs next to the diner
  • These guys usually have a full house. And the waiters do sometimes forget your order. Patience!
  • If you need a cola or something- just go get it yourself.
Ratings/ Quick Facts Scale (on 10)/ Remarks
Ambience 2
Ease of access 8
Service 6
Quality of food 8
Value for money 7
Would I go back there? Midnight fancy for meat? sure!
Meal for two Rs 500 (without alcohol)
Serves alcohol No
Credit cards No

Magique (Garden of Five Senses) 7/10

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Tucked away in the middle of the Garden of Five Senses, is this gem of a restaurant. Magique ranks up there with Lodi Restaurant and Thai High in terms of ambience. Additionally, where it scores over many of the other high-end establishments in Delhi is the quality of food. One cant really categorise the cuisine into any particular type. The chefs have been creative (and adventurous) enough to do a kind of mix and match between cuisines. So be prepared for a continental style pasta with a lemon grass flavour!

However, be prepared to shell out quite a bit. Magique is not what you’d call a reasonable restaurant. For example- a full meal, which included two starters, two mains, a glass of wine and a cup of tea set us back by 4K plus! So, make sure you have full pockets before you get there.

We started with the Bali inspired sushi- involving search chicken and crab maki rolls and a platter of grilled skewers which had a selection of chicken, lamb and fish. While the sushi was up to par, we found that the fish (salmon) was simply out of this world. Next time, I intend to tell them to hold the chicken and the lamb- and just get us the fish.

For the mains, we chose the grilled halibut and the tenderloin in green peppercorn sauce. The tenderloin was up to par- medium rare, as requested and the green peppercorn sauce was spicy enough to offset the tannin provided by the Chilean merlot I had on the side. The grilled halibut however, was a bit of a let down- it could have possibly been seasoned a little more- the seafood pungency had remained in the fish.

The portions are just right. At the end of one starter and one main each, both fellow foodie Rukmini and me were stuffed to the gills. Hence it didnt make sense for dessert. As an aside, I have been to Magique before- do try the grilled sausages (but ask before you order them- they usually dont have all three varieties at the same time) and the stir fried chicken. Diners of the vegetarian variety should try the Stir fried shitake, oyster and cloud ear  mushrooms. But like I said- its expensive.

Top Tips:

  • You wont need a reservation
  • Try going when the weather is nice- possibly during the cooler months for a sit-out lunch
  • They do have valet parking
  • The wine list is impressive!
Ratings/ Quick Facts Scale (on 10)/ Remarks
Ambience 9
Ease of access 5
Service 8
Quality of food 8
Value for money 4
Would I go back there? As many times as my credit card allows
Meal for two Rs 3500 (without alcohol)
Serves alcohol Yes
Credit cards Accepted

Forklore

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Note: this isnt exactly a restaurant review. Forklore (look them up on facebook!) is a self-described ‘base kitchen’ providing sit-down meals, lazy brunches, cold suppers high tea and home orders. They provide corporate lunches in Gurgaon too! We are told that a full fledged restaurant is in the offing soon. They did a one off special dinner recently and since they’re not regulars, this is not your regular reveiw

Its surprising that Bengali cuisine (something very very close to my heart) hasnt really taken off. While there are countless restaurants in Delhi, and pretty much all over the world specialising in Italian, Chinese, Japanese, American, Mediterranean and even some regional cuisines, we Bongs seem to have been left far behind. While almost every restaurant in Delhi and every Indian restaurant outside India would serve your staple tikka kebabs and butter chickens, the shorshes and the paturis arent that common. So, what does one do to get good bong food in Delhi?

Please do note. Bengali food isn’t for the faint-hearted. There’s loads of mustard, cream, chili and in some cases asafoetida- not to mention the bhajas (the sinfully deep fried stuff)! And while steaming rice and fish is the staple diet of most Bengalis (wives often complain that their husbands leave for work without having their daal-bhaat-maach), it doesnt end there- as the following review will tell you.

We had been informed by dear friend Ritika of a special menu at Chonas in Khan Market consisting of hard-core Bong food- courtesy who runs Forklore. So, at the first chance we get, we break out of the Bong cuisine prison that happens to be Oh Calcutta and headed to Chona’s last weekend.

The restaurant itself, on the middle lane, next to Oz Cafe in Khan Market, isnt much to write home about. The place is clearly in the middle of being renovated- with loose wires sticking out of the wall and the false ceiling yet to be put up. Of all things, there’s a DJ! Which in a restaurant that can barely seat 20, might not be such a good idea. Anyway, since we weren’t having the regular fare, lets keep the full review of Chona’s for another day.

There was a bewildering array of starters, main courses and desserts, but Saumi expertly guided us through it. Thankfully, there was a platter/ thali system by which one could order one starter, three main courses and two desserts- which we thought would be enough for 2 people in any case. We ended up ordering a veg platter and two non-veg platters, along with an extra plate of deemer devil (devilled eggs for the uninitiated)- there were six of us after all. The Bengali version of devilled eggs is pretty much the same as the rest of the world- except that the boiled egg halve is covered on one side with spiced mincemeat and then coated with breadcrumbs and deep-fried.

While we found the lack of mincemeat to be surprising, I suppose it had to do with a number of people who dont have red meat. Still, the deemer devil was wonderfully crispy on the outside and the eggs were thankfully, not overdone.

This was followed by a variety of main courses- all served with a polau (rice pilaf flavoured with dry fruits, cardamom, cloves and saffron) and luchi (deep-fried, puffed pancakes made from refined flour). The main courses included a doi maach (rohu fish marinated and cooked in yoghurt), a chingri malai curry (prawns cooked in cream), kosha mangsho (a dry lamb preparation) and chicken kosha (the same dry curry with chicken). On the vegetarian side, we had a chhana malai curry (cottage cheese cooked in cream) and a shorshe phulkopi (cauliflower cooked in a mustard paste).

Much to our delight (and most of the diners were hard-core bongs), the food was genuine and authentic. The doi maach was almost falling apart (note – almost) and the yoghurt made itself present all the way through. The chingri malai curry was light and not in the least heavy. But we seriously couldn’t get enough of the chicken and mangsho kosha. The meats were succulent- completely melt-in-your-mouth types and the masalas blended perfectly with the polau. Keeping all this in mind, the vegetarian fare was sort of sidelined. But the shorshe phulkopi clearly stood out as a champ. I have a inherent weakness for mustard and had never had a mustard flavoured cauliflower before. Needless to say, I’d like to have it again.

For the dessert we had patishapta (rice flour crepes with a coconut and jaggery filling) and chal’er paayesh (rice pudding). Unfortunately, the coconut used was dried (and not dessicated as it should be)- therefore, the filling itself didn’t quite work out. It was far too crumbly for our taste and the crepes were far too thick. On the other hand, the paayesh was perfect. So perfect that a second helping wasn’t possible. It turned out that the kitchen staff had finished the rest off- leaving just a couple of servings.

What did we learn from this? That Bengali cuisine is very much alive and kicking- not just in Bengali households, but through the efforts of restaurants like companies like Forklore, it is being brought slowly to the masses. Unfortunately, it remains a niche cuisine and I dont see it gaining popularity in the mainstream anytime soon. Primarily because of the bong pre-occupation with fish and the purported laziness of Bengalis in general.

What I’d like to see from Forklore is this- more variety in the starters, the veggie fare and the desserts. Also, to ensure that the desserts actually reach the customers- no matter how awesome the kitchen staff thinks it is! But all in all, I think Forklore produces wholesome, authentic Bengali food- a shade ahead of Oh Calcutta. I do believe that food in Oh Calcutta is slightly modified from original Bengali food to suit the myriad of tastes that India, and indeed the world has.

I’d also like more Bengali restaurants, obviously. And here’s hoping that Forklore does open its own doors sometime soon!

56 Ristorante Italiano (Gurgaon) 7/10

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A chilly wintry afternoon in Gurgaon, a quick meeting with a client and Italian food in a well-lit, airy restaurant- what else does one want? Upon returning from a meeting somewhere on Golf Course Road, fellow foodie Raghav spotted this little gem of a place tucked away in the midst of the offices.

The entire restaurant is built into this atrium, offering plenty of light and space. As we walked in, the place was deserted. One can only assume one of three reasons why a restaurant would be deserted at lunchtime- one, its newly opened; two, the food is terrible; or three, the food is overpriced. Surprisingly, this was none of the three.

The place serves alcohol, as will be evidenced by the huge bar at the far end of the restaurant. Of course, being in the middle of a workday, its best to stay away from alcohol. As we settled in, we were informed of a set menu for Rs 499 in which we could choose a starter, a main course and a beverage. Not being that hungry, we decided upon main courses only.

Raghav’s prawn risotto was wonderfully light and garnished with a largish prawn sitting right on top. None of that nasty seafood pungency, yet the flavours of the prawn came through strongly. However, I thought it could do with some more salt. Mine was slightly heavier- having ordered the tenderloin pasta. The beef was well cooked and blended nicely with the tomato- mushroom sauce. But really, the high point was the toasted garlic bread. Perhaps we were really hungry, but we seriously could NOT get enough of that bread. Freshly toasted, warm, with just the right amount of garlic and topped off with their olive paste- we would have had that all day long.

Top Tips

  • The chef looks Italian- always a good sign
  • The service is fairly quick, even taking into account that fact that the restaurant was practically empty
  • Portions are HUGE!
Ratings/ Quick Facts Scale (on 10)/ Remarks
Ambience 8
Ease of access 4
Service 7
Quality of food 8
Value for money 7
Would I go back there? Totally! I need to go meet that client more often!
Meal for two Rs 1000 (without alcohol)
Serves alcohol Yes
Credit cards Accepted

Swagath (Noida) 2.8/10

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What does one do for good south-Indian seafood in Delhi? Well, there is Gunpowder- but who wants to climb 8 flights of stairs on an empty stomach and then down again on a full one? Enter Swagath- a well established chain, supposedly renowned for their seafood. Having dined at the Swagath at the Park Hotel, we had certain expectations from the Noida branch. Sadly, the Noida branch fell far short of these expectations.

Bang in the middle of the Sector 18 market in Noida, under Centrestage Mall, getting in and out, and what is infinitely worse- parking, is a nightmare. Perhaps a valet system should be in the offing for the premium rates that the Swagath menu commands.

There’s also the issue of the ambience and decor. Nothing that stands out really- pretty much a bland, run-of the-mill stuff that most other restaurants you would go to. Unless of course you’re in their basement (which I suppose has been pressed into service primarily because the main restaurant is too small). There’s hardly any daylight entering the basement and the staff make it a point to keep the lights low- adding to an already depressing and dingy atmosphere.

We started with the Fish Amritsari, which I will admit, is more than acceptable. The kebab would not be out of place in a top class buffet. The portion was enough for two people and it did match up to our expectations. Unfortunately, we were greatly let down by the Chettinad Pepper Chicken. The tamarind didnt come through, the pepper was overpowering and where the hell is the boiled egg? The chicken itself was dry and stringy, having been overcooked. By the end of it, we were more congenial to the Malabar Paranthas that we’d ordered to accompany the chettinad.

Top Tips:

  • Park in the Centrestage Mall and walk there, if you must go at all
  • Ridiculously expensive for the quality of food and service
  • Speaking of service, expect nothing
Ratings/ Quick Facts Scale (on 10)/ Remarks
Ambience 3
Ease of access 4
Service 2
Quality of food 3
Value for money 2
Would I go back there? Burn it down. Now.
Meal for two Rs 3000 (with alcohol)
Serves alcohol Yes
Credit cards Accepted

Lodi- The Garden Restaurant (Lodhi Road) 8/10

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Note: this review has been sponsored by DhoomBox.

Just beyond the entrance to Lodhi Garden is this blink-and-miss entrance to what is possibly one of the most beautiful restaurants in Delhi. As you walk through the path, you notice tables out in the open amidst the bushes and the trees, with heaters and soft lighting. Since December can get fairly cold in Delhi, I opted to sit inside instead.

The manager, Vijendra was kind enough to sit with me and explain the concept of Lodhi restaurant. They serve European cuisine, primarily- just my kinda place! Some of their vegetables are sourced from their organic farms- one in Gurgaon, and one in Delhi. The clientele is mostly expat- given the close proximity to Nizamuddin, Jorbagh, Golf Links and the Lodhi Institutional Area. Which means that its not going to be easy on the pocket. Be prepared to shell out premium moolah for a premium setting.

As part of the set menu, I chose a coriander lamb skewer, a tomato and celery broth, garlic chicken morsels with risotto and their house special- a chocoloate mousse.

Things started off badly. I’m fairly sensitive to mutton and lamb in terms of their odours. The skewers came from a lamb or goat that had either been spayed/neutered or was fairly old. You’ll notice a pungent smell in certain kinds of meat, particularly in low spice mutton/ lamb/ beef curries- I got the same smell in the skewers. Not that I’m complaining- a lot of people actually relish the smell. I don’t. the skewers also needed a little more in it- just flavoured with coriander gives it a bland, one-dimensional taste.

But the soup turned it around for me. Warm, filling, yet light it actually reminded me of the soups my grandmother would make for me when I was sick. Couldn’t have asked for better. But what truly blew me away was the chicken. If you’ve cooked chicken, you’ll know that there’s a fine line between partly cooked and overdone. If it’s not cooked enough, it’ll taste awful (and will be unhygienic too). Overdone and it’ll be dry and fibrous. This one held the line throughout. Every bite was sheer joy- juicy, succulent and bursting with flavour. The tomato risotto accompanying the chicken played the brilliant sidekick to what was the perfectly cooked chicken.

But then again, the chocolate mousse had issues. Slightly grainy as opposed to the smoothness one would expect from a mousse- I thought I could taste the flour and butter (or atleast some kind of fat). Wasn’t really a put off- but after that chicken, it couldn’t match up to that standard.

Top Tips

  • Extensive wine cellar- ask the manager for his recommendations
  • Few other places in Delhi (such as Thai High and Magique) match up to their ambience
  • Don’t park on the main road. Instead, there’s parking a few metres ahead of the road. Or you could park at the Lodhi garden parking spot
  • Perfect for a late lunch after a walk in Lodhi garden
Ratings/ Quick Facts Scale (on 10)/ Remarks
Ambience 9
Ease of access 7
Service 8
Quality of food 8
Value for money 4
Would I go back there? As often as it suits my wallet!
Meal for two Rs 2000 (without alcohol)
Serves alcohol Yes
Credit cards Accepted

Ichiban (Pandara Road) 4.9/10

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An old haven for Oriental food seekers, usually late at night, Ichiban provides acceptable food, but is not likely to burn a hole in your pocket.

After a walkaround at Dill Haat, we headed over to Ichibaan on a cold December night mostly in search of soup to fend off the chill. While the restaurant is small- 20 guests at best, it does have a warm, cosy feeling to it. The soft lighting and the almost-hidden citronella oil dispenser does add to the ambience.

For starters we ordered the chilli potatoes and the crispy lamb. Since there were three of us, we figured to go with two starters at least. Both were acceptable, but I’d still prefer the honey cilli potatoes at Zen in CP. One must note here- the portions are HUGE. One plate of anything, whether it be soup, starters or the main course will easily provide for two people. We didn’t know that- ah well.

Onto the soup. Having ordered the Mie Bakso (an Indonesian soup with meatballs), the chicken hot ‘n sour and the seafood/seaweed soups, we were disappointed with all but the seafood soup. The Mie Bakso has this weird burnt flavor to it and the meatballs weren’t really cooked through. The chicken hot ‘n sour is acceptable at best, but no better than the ones you’d get in any roadside Chinese food stall or even at Majnu ka Tila. The high point really, was the seafood soup. Even though it had the seafood flavours- it had none of the pungency that one would usually associate with seafood (see my comment on the Miso soup at Sushi earlier). Perfect!

Ichiban serves a variety of Oriental cuisines, including sushi, much to the delight of fellow foodie Rukmini. So sushi it was for her. Also fellow foodie, chef par excellence and mother Sahana looked up and down the menu, searching for a Thai red curry with fish. It wasn’t there. Upon request, the chef did agree to make a fish red curry. Highly commendable, I say! I ordered a dry lamb.

I would have to say that the food is up to par. The Sushi did come with the dipping bowl, wasabi and ginger. The red curry was excellent and the fish cooked just right. The let down was the lamb- a little overcooked and therefore too stringy.

But, like I mentioned earlier, we didn’t know how large the portions were going to be and ended up over-ordering. The food just described would be enough for 5 people. We ended up packing most of it.

 

Top Tips:

  • The Pandara Road eateries are quite interesting. Do try out Gulati’s sometime
  • The service is woefully slow. From taking orders to serving.
  • Parking is an issue. Most weekend nights will have you hunting for parking space along the narrow bylane. These guys should get together and have a valet parking system

 

Ratings/ Quick Facts Scale (on 10)/ Remarks
Ambience 6
Ease of access 3
Service 3
Quality of food 5
Value for money 7
Would I go back there? Sure, just not often though. Would probably head to Gulati’s instead
Meal for two Rs 1200 (without alcohol)
Serves alcohol No
Credit cards Accepted

 

 


 

 

 


Sushi (Moets- Defence Colony) 4.5/10

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Of late, there’s been a flurry of activity in the Japanese cuisine space in Delhi. Perhaps it’s a sign of the growing affluence of the middle class, who now can afford exotic gourmet cuisine in the Capital. While I would always prefer the lunch spread at Threesixty at the Oberoi or the platter at Sidewok in Khan Market, we decided to try out a place none of us had been to before. So, enter Sushi- Moets’ offering in Oriental cuisine. The reservations were made- something that was recommended. Plus, since it was fellow foodie (and now fiancee) Rukmini’s birthday, I wanted it to be perfect.

Getting there wasnt an issue at all. Defence Colony is well connected, being in the heart of South Delhi. As you climb up the narrow stairs to the first floor of the building that is unofficially referred to as ‘Moet’s’, you begin to soak in the warm ambience, the soft lighting and the background music. The maitre d shows you to your table, which we had to change a couple of times- they had left the air-conditioning on way too high for early December

The wine list is impressive, but we were there just for the Sushi. And its a pity they didnt have any sake. I mean, come on! What kind of self respecting Japanese restaurant doesnt serve sake? I dont need warm- cold will also do. Sighing at our sake-less fate, we ordered the miso soup, the veggie tempura and the seafood platter.

The miso soup was wonderful- just what we needed on a nippy evening. Although initially, I did think they could have put in a little less fish stock/ sauce. Then it was time to go on to the tempura veggies. Again, while the batter and the light soup that accompanies tempura were acceptable, I found it a little difficult to imagine why would the chef subject his poor guests to such mammoth sized pieces. And try cutting a stick of asparagus with a pair of chopsticks. Go ahead, do try.

Now comes the seafood platter. Oh wait, did I say platter? No no, that cant be right. This was a well decorated plate, replete with wasabi and ginger and- hod your breath two types of sushi. One was a prawn nigri which was by far- the high point of the meal (four pieces) and the other was a generic tuna and salmon roll (four pieces each) with which I wasnt impressed. At all. Overall, we felt that a restaurant that serves a sushi platter, that too for close to Rs 1000 a plate needs to have more than 3 types of sushi on it. Where’s the yellowtail? Where’s the sashimi?

The service was another issue. Painfully slow, the waiters had to be reminded twice of our order. Finally, when the sushi did arrive, it did so sans soya sauce. They got the soya sauce (not the low sodium version) and looked at me blankly when I asked for a second bowl (it is considered inappropriate to share a dipping bowl when having sushi).

To top it off, fellow foodie Rukmini, who happens to really like sushi, fell ill the day after. I think I’ll stick to Sidewok or Threesixty next time.

Ratings/ Quick Facts Scale (on 10)/ Remarks
Ambience 7
Ease of access 7
Service 3
Quality of food 4
Value for money 2
Would I go back there? Only if you promise me that we wont have sushi
Meal for two Rs 1800 (without alcohol)
Serves alcohol Yes
Credit cards Accepted

Top Tips:

  • The ‘valet’ (the boy who will take your keys when you park the car) will ask for Rs 20. The parking ticket says rs 10. Your call.
  • Strange how the other offerings of Moets, such as Stone are in a different league altogether.
  • Sushi does serve other oriental cuisine (apart from Japanese). I sincerely hope they do that better than their namesake.

Paranthe Wali Gali (Chandni Chowk) 5/10

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Yet another sojourn into the Old City brought me to what could be one of the most difficult places to find. Its a tiny lane- three people would have trouble walking abreast, not marked by any signage and it leads out of a cacophony of cars, buses, carts, trucks and the occasional cow. This is Paranthe Wali Gali. After a look around the fairly well maintained (atleast in part) Red Fort at the beginning of Chandni Chowk, fellow foodie Rukmini and me jostled our way past Dariba Kalan and the Sisganj Gurudwara to come to a nondescript entrance to this lane (on the left).

The name says it all, of course. But while I was expecting a never-ending line of parantha shops on either side (ala the sweet shops on the lane from Vishnu Ghat to Har-ki-Pauri in Haridwar), there are just a bunch of 4-5 shops making and selling paranthas. We tried to get a place in the first few and managed a couple of seats only after some waiting. Dont be fooled, there’s no maitre d, and tables are shared. While there’s no menu, the prices are displayed prominently in the restaurant. Parantha prices range from about Rs 20 (for a plate of plain paranthas) upto Rs 75 for the exotic banana and chocolate flavours. Two paranthas make a plate. We stuck to old favourites aloo (potato) and gobi (cauliflower). Here’s where it gets interesting. For what is a very reasonable price- you get a plate, some daal (lentil soup), subzi (mixed veggies) and achar (pickles) over and above the parantha. These add ons are refilled by the usual chhotu and are included in the price of the paranthas. Plus, you get as many refills as you like (much like a thali). We also ordered a bowl of curd to go with the paranthas.

The paranthas themselves were excellent. It easy to see why this place has established itself on the Delhi food circuit (and therefore earned a place on this blog!). Best of all, they lack the usual dollop of ghee or butter that is the hallmark of highway paranthas (an urban diet perhaps), making them relatively light, yet filling. We werent able to have more than a couple- which means that our total bill for lunch came to about a hundred bucks.

Here’s the downside. Hygiene is non-existent- this is street food after all. On a weekend, getting a place to sit can be an issue and its usually a free for all when it comes to seating- expect to share your table with strangers. A full complement of guests means that your order will take a while (upto 15 minutes)- which, on an empty stomach, will feel forever.

Ratings/ Quick Facts Scale (on 10)/ Remarks
Ambience 2
Ease of access 1
Service 6
Quality of food 8
Value for money 9
Would I go back there? Not on a regular basis- but if I were in the area, why not?
Meal for two Rs 100!
Serves alcohol Are you kidding me?
Credit cards Again, joking or serious?


Top Tips:

  • The closest metro station is Chandni Chowk. This is important since you’d be mad to take a car/cab in that mess.
  • The walk from Chandni Chowk metro station to Paranthe Wali Gali is confusing and not for the faint hearted/ people with personal space issues
  • Do drop in at the shop selling fresh jalebis on Chandni Chowk at the entrance to Dariba Kalan on the left.
  • Speaking of Dariba Kalan, where else do you buy silver in Delhi?
  • Keep some tissue paper handy- you’ll need it- I promise