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New Delhi Recommendations Wanted


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#1 Schneier

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Posted 19 March 2004 - 11:56 AM

Where should I eat?

Bruce

#2 mongo_jones

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Posted 19 March 2004 - 01:44 PM

pricey restaurants:

bukhara at the maurya sheraton: the apotheosis of north-western indian cuisine--everything is good but try the tandoori cauliflower if it is still on the menu

dum pukht at the maurya sheraton: amazing awadhi food--everything is good

mid-range:

swaagath, in the defence colony market: skip past the chinese and mughlai menu to the south indian non-veg menu at the back--get the crab butter-pepper-garlic

chopsticks, in the asiad village complex: to get a good sense of classic indian chinese; try particularly the vegetarian and lamb dishes.

nizam's, in daryaganj: for classic delhi mughlai food

pindi or gulati's, in the pandara road market: for the classic upmarket dhaba experience

cheap:

saravana bhavan, in connaught place on janpath: for the gold standard of south indian vegetarian--much better than saagar, which some people will tell you to go to instead. get one of the huge thalis (there's a picture of one of them on my delhi-trip web-page, linked to in a thread started sometime in the second week of jan)

nathu's sweets and spices, in bengali market: for the gold standard of classic north indian snack food and sweets

touristy but worth it:

dilli haat, for a range of foods from all the indian states; of variable quality but worth a jaunt.


some thoughts off the top of my head--i'm sure others will have more tips. when and for how long are you going?

#3 anil

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Posted 21 March 2004 - 02:10 AM

Where should I eat?

Bruce

When are you going and where would you be staying ?

Edited by anil, 21 March 2004 - 02:10 AM.

anil

#4 BBhasin

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Posted 21 March 2004 - 04:35 AM

Where should I eat?

Bruce

When are you going and where would you be staying ?

good question. also how adventerous do you want to be. all your shots current, haha
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#5 Schneier

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Posted 25 March 2004 - 12:17 PM

I'm going next week and staying in New Delhi.

Bruce

#6 mongo_jones

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Posted 25 March 2004 - 01:00 PM

I'm going next week and staying in New Delhi.

Bruce

i think anil wanted to know where in delhi you'll be staying. with friends? at a hotel? if so, which one? many of the hotels have very good restaurants attached to them. also, delhi is huge--recommendations may depend on which end of it your hotel or friends are in.

#7 anil

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Posted 26 March 2004 - 12:48 AM

Apart from what mongo listed try "chore Bazare", for south indian fare try Woodlands., Go to Sunder Nagar's Sweets Corner for sweets or maybe order Chole Bhature.

Go to South Extension or Kailash Colong for "chaat" [tasty evening appetisers, that one normally used to eat standing on the sidewalk outside the shop...]
anil

#8 Schneier

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Posted 26 March 2004 - 05:01 AM

i think anil wanted to know where in delhi you'll be staying. with friends? at a hotel? if so, which one? many of the hotels have very good restaurants attached to them. also, delhi is huge--recommendations may depend on which end of it your hotel or friends are in.

Ah.

Don't know yet. Probably won't know until I get there.

I'm going overland from Pakistan, so it's complicated.

Bruce

#9 Andy Lynes

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Posted 26 March 2004 - 05:16 AM

bukhara at the maurya sheraton: the apotheosis of north-western indian cuisine--everything is good but try the tandoori cauliflower if it is still on the menu

Fantastic breads and dahl here as well. But can someone explain those horrible stools and tables to me?

#10 Vikram

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Posted 26 March 2004 - 05:52 AM

The best recommendation for eating in New Delhi is to save your money and buy a ticket to Bombay,

Vikram (who has been dying to say that!)

#11 Episure

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Posted 26 March 2004 - 06:27 AM

The best recommendation for eating in New Delhi is to save your money and buy a ticket to Bangalore,

Episure (who has been dying to say that!) :biggrin:

Hotels are 50% cheaper. Better weather. Luxury service apartments at only US $
30 .
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#12 Monica Bhide

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Posted 26 March 2004 - 10:54 AM

The best recommendation for eating in New Delhi is to save your money and buy a ticket to Bombay,

Vikram (who has been dying to say that!)

now now Vikram - there is some good stuff in Delhi too :smile:

Monica ( who has been dying to say that to Vikram)
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#13 mongo_jones

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Posted 26 March 2004 - 11:09 AM

i think delhi can battle bombay to a standstill (and perhaps have a slight edge) with 5 star hotel restaurants (having the original bukhara and dum pukht is like having krishna rather than his armies on your side). however, when it comes to life outside the 5-stars bombay (and hyderabad) kick delhi's ass. don't know about bangalore--from what i've heard, all they've got there is a bunch of crappy pubs...

#14 mongo_jones

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Posted 26 March 2004 - 11:13 AM

bukhara at the maurya sheraton: the apotheosis of north-western indian cuisine--everything is good but try the tandoori cauliflower if it is still on the menu

Fantastic breads and dahl here as well. But can someone explain those horrible stools and tables to me?

yes, the dal bukhara is one of those rare things that has been hyped beyond belief but still lives up to it.

a great deal of evil pleasure can be got, by the way, by going to dum pukht and asking them if they can get dal for your meal from the bukhara kitchen. i don't know what the situation is now but there was a time when the kitchens were in big competition and the dum pukht'ers chafed against bukhara's hegemony in the local imagination. i did this once (on a friend's recommendation) and had the manager go off very emotionally for about 5 minutes about how he would do it if i really wanted to but it was such a huge mistake i'd be making etc.

#15 anil

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Posted 26 March 2004 - 01:24 PM

In all fairness, much of the effort of new restaurants (non-5star) is focussed outside of New Delhi - It's in Gurgaon - the home of many outsourcing outfits. The master plan calls for opening of many SuperMall+Office Complexes in the coming years. The discreationary and disposable income of the folks who work in many of the multinational s is geared towards spending. The GEs,AMexs etc. are all there. Ericsson has a space age building in the middle of nowhere DLF - Within five minutes of the Airport and so is Raddison :smile:
anil

#16 susruta

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Posted 27 March 2004 - 10:37 PM

Just returned from delhi t oday where my husband and I did some serious eating. We always make a pilgrimage to Chandni Chowk to Parathawalla gulli, where you can get the best parathas on earth for around 8 rupees -- quite a contrast to what we paid in the big hotels! Karims nar the Red Fort (not the other locations) is perhaps the best Moghlai restaurant in the world. However, some people might be squeamish about the environs. We tried one of the famous Kabab Factories run by Radissons (the one in the hotel near the airport).l The concept is great,. the food was so so. The kabobs at some of the little places on and off Chicago's Devon AVenue are generally better.

#17 Akiko

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Posted 31 March 2004 - 03:37 AM

Susruta,

Can you describe the Paratha at Parthewale Gali? What makes it better than others (I love Paratha... probably my favorite bread type in the world).

And what is Moglai food like?

#18 susruta

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Posted 01 April 2004 - 05:53 PM

I think the parathas are good mainly because of the texture, which is perfect, slightly hard outside and crispy inside. The rather decaying atmosphere is appealing (at least to me) and they are very cheap -- about 20 cents.

#19 Schneier

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Posted 04 April 2004 - 01:11 AM

swaagath, in the defence colony market: skip past the chinese and mughlai menu to the south indian non-veg menu at the back--get the crab butter-pepper-garlic

That was probably the best piece of advice I've received in months.

The butter-pepper-garlic crab at Swaagath was absolutely delicous. Garlic, spring onion, pepper--what's in that dish anyway?

I onl had one meal in Delhi, and that was it. Definitely a good choice.

Bruce

#20 mongo_jones

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Posted 04 April 2004 - 01:55 AM

swaagath, in the defence colony market: skip past the chinese and mughlai menu to the south indian non-veg menu at the back--get the crab butter-pepper-garlic

That was probably the best piece of advice I've received in months.

The butter-pepper-garlic crab at Swaagath was absolutely delicous. Garlic, spring onion, pepper--what's in that dish anyway?

I onl had one meal in Delhi, and that was it. Definitely a good choice.

Bruce

glad you enjoyed it bruce! now, that's a dish you couldn't get at any delhi 5-star restaurant.

as for what exactly is in that sauce--i have no idea. but it is perhaps the one crab dish i've ever eaten where i'd be fine with my companions getting most of the crab as long as i could mop up the sauce. an insane amount of chopped garlic too. what else did you eat there?

#21 Schneier

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Posted 04 April 2004 - 02:24 AM

as for what exactly is in that sauce--i have no idea. but it is perhaps the one crab dish i've ever eaten where i'd be fine with my companions getting most of the crab as long as i could mop up the sauce. an insane amount of chopped garlic too. what else did you eat there?

I also ordered squid marinated in tamarind, red chili paste, and a mess of spices, and a prawn red curry dish...but the crab was the absolute best. You're right; I just mopped up all the sauce I could with the bread. Wow.

(Which brings up a question.... If it is the sauce that makes the dish good, would it be better to order squid or prawns or something else with the sauce? Would it be just as good, or is the crab--at about four times the price of any other seafood--essential?)

Bruce

Edited by Schneier, 04 April 2004 - 02:25 AM.


#22 mongo_jones

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Posted 04 April 2004 - 11:02 AM

as for what exactly is in that sauce--i have no idea. but it is perhaps the one crab dish i've ever eaten where i'd be fine with my companions getting most of the crab as long as i could mop up the sauce. an insane amount of chopped garlic too. what else did you eat there?

I also ordered squid marinated in tamarind, red chili paste, and a mess of spices, and a prawn red curry dish...but the crab was the absolute best. You're right; I just mopped up all the sauce I could with the bread. Wow.

(Which brings up a question.... If it is the sauce that makes the dish good, would it be better to order squid or prawns or something else with the sauce? Would it be just as good, or is the crab--at about four times the price of any other seafood--essential?)

Bruce

that's a very good question. we in fact tested it out on our trip in december--we went to swaagath twice. the first time we got it with crab (we'd been taken there by friends who were regulars and they wouldn't let us not order it). the second time it was just the two of us and we wanted to see what it would be like with squid. it was still amazing but we both felt the crab added something extra. whether it is textural or whether it is a subtle aroma imparted by the shell of the crab or both i don't know.

but how is it you ate only one meal in delhi--were you just transiting through?

#23 Schneier

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Posted 06 April 2004 - 01:21 AM

I came from Pakistan, on my way to Tokyo. I had some work to do in another city. And I wanted to see the Taj Mahal. So it ended up being just one lunch in Delhi.

Bruce

#24 Monica Bhide

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Posted 06 April 2004 - 06:06 AM

So what were your impressions of the Taj. I have visited it many many many years ago and would really like to go again
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#25 Schneier

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Posted 07 April 2004 - 08:04 PM

So what were your impressions of the Taj. I have visited it many many many years ago and would really like to go again

I requested a 5:30 AM wake-up call, so I could get to the Taj Mahal when it opened at 6:00. I hired a taxi to take most of the way, and a rickshaw the rest of the way. (The area close to the Taj is closed to polluting vehicles.) All entrance fees in India are different for Indian citizens. I think this is a good idea, and I like it when I see it in Third World countries. Price admission to collect enough money for upkeep, and subsidize the locals who can't afford it. I paid 750 roupees, almost $20. The local price was 20 roupees--fifty cents.

A lot has been written about the Taj Mahal, but the thing that always fascinated me is its legendary unphotographability. Again and again I've read that photographs don't do it justice. They don't. The real thing looks much more real, more alive, more ethereal. Pictures are always flat, but flattening the Taj takes a lot of its impact.

I strongly recommend going early in the morning. For one thing, it's much less crowded. Which means its quieter. And the early light plays beautifully off the white marble. A bit of fog behind it, over the Yamuna RIver, helps with the ethereal quality. I walked around the Taj a couple of times, stared at from this way and that way--it's a symmetrical square--and then went back to my hotel room.

I showered, checked my email, ate breakfast, packed, and waited for my taxi at 10:00.

And I went to the Taj Mahal again.

It's different in daytime sunlight. The shadows reflecting on itself give it a wholly other look. And I spent a lot more time staring at the semi-precious inlay work on the interior and exterior walls.

Bruce

#26 Paola Mannaro

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Posted 19 August 2008 - 05:03 AM

Hi All, I'm due to visit Delhi for a few days in Jan 2009 - I believe in planning, and especially food planning. My thanks to all the excellent advice above, however, that was 2004, and I wonder if Mongo Jones' list and other info is still current ? Would anyone be kind enough to update us on the Delhi food situation ? Obviously, I'm after Indian food !

I've just made a painful discovery regarding Ambala (www.ambalafoods.com). I worshipped at the alter of Ambala when I was in London, UK, and I imagined Delhi would provide me with the greatest of Ambala temples, but no ! It seems this organisation ( like the UK's Patak ) is actually based in the West with NO representation in Asia. What a nightmare ! How about Royal ? Does Delhi have Royal sweets ?

On a slightly different topic; I've been really shocked by the hotel prices and the shabby reviews I've seen. I HAVE to stay in Delhi, no choice, so any suggestions would be much appreciated - let's take that off-line if necessary as I don't wish to break any forum rules ( ahem ). Does anyone know any free, 5-star hotels in Delhi run by a charming, witty, erudite gourmet ?

#27 anil

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Posted 24 August 2008 - 08:59 PM

Things change fast in Delhi, and yet some things dont. The 5* hotel prices are up the roof; foodwise some are still around, others have gone downhill....
anil