“I am getting used to the difference in clientele in two markets,” the manager of a recently opened restaurant outlet in Rajouri Garden told us in an “off the record” conversation. After managing operations for a number of restaurants in South Delhi, he said this market was a different experience for him. That the two markets are distinct in terms of demands from customers is well known. I recall a conversation with Mohit Nanda, owner, Grub House on this subject. The menu in the outlet (Grub Pub) in Hauz Khas is different from the one in BK Dutt Market, Rajouri Garden. It is because of the nature of demands that you see pork dishes and westernized flavours in former while butter chicken and more Indian flavours in the latter, he had said.
A difference is ambiance is also palpable. However, a change is steadily brewing in the restaurant scenario is West Delhi. Restauranters are experimenting, even though somewhat cautiously. The market is opening up to new cuisines and tastes though there always will be a section demanding “butter chicken” to call it a full meal!
Though Abhinav and I still prefer a restaurant in South Delhi to dine out, there are a few favourites that we have in West Delhi. Here’s a list of the eateries and reasons why we like visiting these.
1. LIGHTS, CAMERA, ACTION: Delicious food, good presentation and lots of choices on the menu. The ambiance is superb especially on the terrace. Music is a mix of Bollywood and popular English numbers.
Cocktails are the usual but food menu with filmy names of dishes is interesting. Sample this: Jab Tak Rahega Samose Mein Aloo — name of delicious small samosas with cheese in it! Naacho Saare Jee Phaad ke (nachos). The fun is not limited to the menu…the decor and ambiance is equally interesting.
Must try: Veg Murg Tikka (soft soya pieces make for perfect substitutes for chicken); Cheese samosa; sev puri (mint froth on top is a highly interesting twist); Highway Naanza Vey (Indian pizza!)
Tip: if you go on a weekend, keep your cool when you enter the lane where the restaurant is. Too many restaurants, small lane and too many impatient people on road!
2. GRUB HOUSE: When a restaurant tries to do too many things, it can be a terrible failure. Grub House, however, is a pleasant surprise. It can be a coffee place, a family restaurant, a lounge — anything you want it to be. And it will be that with perfection. The ambiance & decor is American but it’s soul is desi — apt for the market it is in. The menu has options ranging from panini and sandwich to butter chicken pizza and dal makhani. Flavour? Excellent!
Green Butter Chicken: It’s exciting to know that butter chicken can be in a non-orange gravy and taste as good! Made with green tomatoes and chilies, this is exemplary.
Kamal Kadki Chaat: Just like papdi chaat but very different!
Mushroom Taka tak: You have to try it when a non-mushroom eating person is recommending it.
Dessert Pizza: Pizza with Oreo topping and cream, this is a very sweet innovation.
Meal for two: Rs 1500 approx.
(Location: BK Dutt Market)
3. GYMS KOOK:
Meal for two: Rs 1500 approx