Old Delhi food never loses its charm, and the author is delighted to find Dilli-6 Kitchen in his own backyard of I.P. Extension

One never gets to know about one’s own backyard — but this time I was on the ball. A friend had told me about a restaurant called Dilli-6 in my neighbourhood, and I was intrigued. Dilli-6, or Delhi 6, is the area where some of the city’s best eateries are located. It’s the postal code for Old Delhi. And now, of course, the name’s become popular because of a film of that name.

For most of us, though, Dilli 6 is a piece of nostalgia. Dilli-6 Kitchen is in the Madhu Vihar market of I.P. Extension. I was given vague directions, but still managed to locate the place one evening. I found it closed, and returned home disappointed. I went back there another day, and found it shut again. The place must have closed down, I said to myself — and thought I’d forget all about it. But I had a nagging feeling that I wasn’t going to the restaurant at the right times. So, I landed up there another day — and, guess what, it was still closed!

This time, though, I was a bit lucky. One of the owners, Shamoon, was there, and told me that it would open up shortly. I mooched around and finally found it open at around 7 in the evening. So let me give you the timings before I move on. It’s open from 12 noon to 3 p.m., and then from 7 to 11 p.m.

Dilli-6 is opposite Narwana Apartments. You have to go down a few steps and then enter the small restaurant. It’s a neat little place, air-conditioned, with two standing tables for those who’d like to eat their food in a hurry. Essentially a take-away, they also do home delivery. The place is run by Shamoon and Almas, originally from Bareilly, but their chef, Dilshad, is from Purani Dilli.

I asked for a plate of cream chicken (Rs.170 for half-a-plate) and mutton korma (Rs.130). The roomali rotis were for Rs.5 a piece. The food was packed for me, and I took it back home for dinner. It was quite a pleasant surprise, for the food was rather tasty. The mutton had been cooked well, and the spices had seeped into the thick gravy. The chicken was light in colour, though obviously heavy because of all the cream that had gone into it. The pieces were huge, and the gravy itself was nice and flavourful. The roomalis were good as well — and not the least bit rubbery. But I think the place is better known for its kababs and biryanis, for the flyer says that after the “grand success” of the aforementioned delicacies, Dilli-6 has added a host of vegetarian and non-vegetarian dishes to its menu.

A plate of chicken biryani is for Rs.90 and mutton biryani for 100. The kabab and tikka prices vary between Rs.90 and 130.