Often unexplored, West Delhi offers a delicious and lively selection of eateries

I don’t often go to west Delhi, even though I have always believed that it’s a lively food hub. The traffic troubles me, but I have found that every time I go there, I am happy with the food that I get to eat. From the very beginning – when I devoured Khalsa’s garlic marinated tandoori mutton in a small shop in Mayapuri — the food outings have almost all been memorable.

I went there earlier this week (egged on to do by some perky PRs) and came back very, very happy. This time round too my visit had been successful.

The restaurant that I visited, called The California Boulevard (TCB), is to be found at J2/5, BK Dutt Market (phone no: 43658808) in Rajouri Garden. If you are going to Rajouri Garden from Central Delhi, follow the metro line. You’ll find the restaurant bang opposite pillar number 408. It’s a big building, and the restaurant is on the first floor.

It’s quite a plush place, with comfortable sofas and chairs. Barbra Streisand sang “Windmills of your mind” from a mega television screen, while I looked at the huge menu. The multi-cuisine restaurant offers Indian (kababs, curries etc), American (burgers), Oriental (Chinese, Thai, Japanese) and Continental (chops, pasta, crostini chicken and so on). The executive chef, Nitin Pal Singh, used to be with Habitat World and then left for Dubai. He now helms the restaurant which opened last September.

We ate a lot – small portions, but still a huge number of dishes. For such a large menu, I was surprised to find that the food was uniformly good. Usually, I find the food at multi-cuisine restaurants not very appealing. But the dishes at TCB are delightful. And what I like about them is the fact that the dishes have not been tweaked with to suit the tastes of diners – they are the way they should be.

Take the pork chops (Rs 495), which had been marinated with some red chillies and herbs, pan-seared and then served with chilli sauce and barbecue sauce. The chops were perfectly cooked, and came with a nice helping of blanched vegetables and deep fried potato wedges.

I loved the chops (which are anyway my favourite) and thoroughly enjoyed the kaffir lime chicken tikkas (Rs 325) served as starters. The lime added a delicious fragrance to the tikkas, which had been grilled just right. The prawn chilli garlic basil came in with some nice gravy and was served with rice (Rs 495). I liked the flavour of fish sauce that had been added to the prawns, which gave it a robust flavour.

The chicken coriander dumplings (Rs 225) were tasty and flavourful, as were the ingredients in the mezze platter. The sushi paneer (Rs 265) was interesting but wouldn’t figure on my list of must-have dishes. What was disappointing was the kakori kabab (Rs 345), which was a bit too oily and spicy for me.

But overall TCB is a place that foodies should visit. I had gone with my friend, Raj (who lives in the neighbourhood), and he promises to back there soon with his family. Traffic be damned, I think I’ll join him too.

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