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Eating out – Delhi

Eating out – Delhi

Delhi is a fiesta of good food. Many restaurants specialise in Mughlai and Tandoori dishes, but others offer a wide variety of cuisine: Continental, Chinese, so-called North-west Frontier and even Polynesian. Unfortunately, in the mid- to upper-price ranges few Delhi restaurants that are not attached to hotels have a repuation for fine food. And expenditure …

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Summary : Delhi is a fiesta of good food.

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Delhi is a fiesta of good food. Many restaurants specialise in Mughlai and Tandoori dishes, but others offer a wide variety of cuisine: Continental, Chinese, so-called North-west Frontier and even Polynesian. Unfortunately, in the mid- to upper-price ranges few Delhi restaurants that are not attached to hotels have a repuation for fine food. And expenditure tax is levied on restaurant bills in major hotels. However, as is the case almost everywhere else in India, you can eat very well in the budget categories. Prices listed below are per head, exclusive of alcohol and tax.

Indian Food Maurya Sheraton’s Bukhara (tel 3010101) and Oberoi Hotel’s The Kandahar (tel 4363030) specialise in the currently very popular North-west Frontier food, which is largely meat dishes often prepared and marinated with yogurt, and cooked in a large clay oven or tandoor. The Bukhara certainly wins on atmosphere and only takes bookings upto 8,30 pm; thereafter a wait of up to 30 minutes for a table is a reflection of this restaurant’s popularity and high standards. The most original Indian restaurant is the Maurya Sheraton’s Bum Pukht (tel 3010101) with superb service, and an intriguing menu of delicate, unusual dishes. For these three restaurants, expect to pay Rs300 per person.them Bistro and its neighbouring restaurants in the centre of Hauz Khas Village (see have good European, Indian and Chinese menus with meals from Rsl00, and are popular with a young, creative local crowd. It’s the nearest Delhi gets to cafe sobriety, and the bistro has a Singles’ Night on Tuesdays (which men have to go to with a partner).

Two popular south Indian restaurants are the Coconut Grove at the Ashok Yatri, Niwas Hotel, Ashok Road and Dasaprakash at the Ambassador Hotel, Sujan Sin Park. While the Dasaprakash is part of the chain of the same name specialising vegetarian food, the Coconut Grove has a mixed menu of Malabar (Kerala ] vegetarian and non-vegetarian cuisine. Meals in both restaurants cost from Rsl00, per person and expenditure tax does not apply in either. Gaylord’s restaurant, next to the Regal cinema (between Radial Rds 1 and 2, out circle of Connaught Circus) is the Indian equivalent of Continental Nirula’s with styli: decor and exceptional service. Just round the corner, in Parliament St, there’s the cheaper Kwality restaurant, serving popular Indian, Chinese and Continental food.

Continental La Rochelle at the Oberoi, The Orient Express at The Taj Palace, Valentino’s at the Hyatt, Captain’s Cabin at the Taj Mahal and the Grill Room at the Holiday Inn are considered the best. Dinner at any of these will cost from Rs400. The Taj Hotel’s roof-top restaurant, Casa Medici, is famous for Italian food–espe : cially its flamed pasta dishes. Come here for the good-value buffet lunch (Rs225, to 3 pm daily), and enjoy superb high-rise views of Lutyens’s imperial city. In th evening, there’s a good live band (you will either love Indian-style pop music or hat it) and a small dance floor. Dinner from Rs300.

There is an excellent Rs150 buffet lunch at the Imperial Hotel’s Garden Parity restaurant. This is where most Westerners come to eat all they can before getting on the train out of Delhi. Cuisine here is a blend of continental, Indian and Tandoori. Delhi is renowned as the capital of American-style fast-food parlours. Around a dozen of these have sprung up in the vicinity of Connaught Circus alone. First and foremost amongst these is Nirula’s on L Block, at the top of Radial Rd 6. This is the original all-in-one food palace—with an excellent Chinese Room, a Hot Shopped , Pastry Shop, Dayville’s Ice Cream Parlour, and an upstairs Potpourri restaurant with popular salad bar, local wine by the glass, pizzas, shakes, burgers and chocolate cakes , which is the backpacker’s favourite haunt. At the bottom of Radial Rd 8, you’ll find Wimpy and (another) Nirula’s, while over on Radial Rd 3 there’s Wengers with superlative pastries and cakes but no seats. Next to Wengers is Keventers for popular flavoured milk-shakes and ice-cream shakes. Nirulas have branches in many of New Delhi’s residential areas and Wimpy plan to open more branches in 1993.

Other Chinese cuisine is popular and many residential areas have restaurants. However, the better and gastronomically correct, menus are those found in some hotels. The two Taj hotels (see above) have Szechwan restaurants. The Tea House of the August Moon at the Taj Palace and the House of Ming at the Taj Mahal have remained popular with both visitors and locals since they opened. At the Oberoi the Tai Pan restaurant also specialises in Szechwan cuisine. Situated on the roof it has magnificent views over the golf course and Lutyens’s Delhi. A meal at each of these restaurants would also cost from Rs250 per person. The Silk Orchid at the Holiday Inn is Delhi’s only Thai restaurant. From Rs250 per person.

All major hotels have 24-hour coffee shops. The Machan at the Taj Mahal and the Pavilion at the Maurya Sheraton are popular. The Hyatt coffee shop has an excellent buffet lunch for Rsl50 and holds regular food festivals. them Bistro and its neighbouring restaurants in the centre of Hauz Khas Village (seehave good European, Indian and Chinese menus with meals from Rsl00, and are popular with a young, creative local crowd. It’s the nearest Delhi gets to cafe sobriety, and the bistro has a Singles’ Night on Tuesdays (which men have to go to with a partner).

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