Review | Food

Delhi’s best: 12 dishes to try this year

Butter Chicken at Have More

Butter Chicken at Have More   | Photo Credit: Special arrangement


Eating out has got to be one of Delhi's favourite pastimes. A round up of the city's best dishes — unforgettable classics along with new entrants

Delhi’s food scene has gained momentum this past decade. Today, the city keeps an eye on international food trends, while also keenly teasing out India's various hyperlocal cuisines. International chefs fly in frequently, for pop-ups as well as opening new restaurants. All this while established domestic chefs expand their footprint, with newer offerings under their expertise. Food entrepreneurs are innovating constantly, while also helping Delhi slowly venture out of its safe and predictable palate. This round up lists 12 dishes — one for each month of the new year, if you wish — that you could try, or re-try, because the capital's food-scape would be bland without them.

Crab Butter Pepper Garlic, Swagath, Defence Colony

The crab, flown in every day from Kerala, must be eaten with the shell – use the crab cracker, get your fingers in there, and put the delightful morsels lubricated perfectly with butter, garlic and just the right amount of pepper. Scoop up the bits left at the end on your plate with a crisp naan. Heaven.

Malleshwaram 18th Cross Dosa, Carnatic Cafe, Greater Kailash II

The dosas here are thicker than the usual, but just as crispy. In the thickness lies the magic, the flavour and the punch. This one comes with a delicious podi (red-chilli-based powder) on the inside and a generous blob of white butter on top, which always bring a smile to one’s face.

Thai Chicken and Water Chestnut Salad, Mamagoto, Khan Market

Balance and consistency. The creamy chicken, the zing from the lemongrass, the spice from the cut red chillies and the crunch from water chestnut. Perfect. And in all the years I’ve been eating it, it’s remained exactly the same.

Amritsari Swaad Pizza, Paparizza, Hudson Lane

Two guys and a pizza place in North Delhi serving the best pizzas in town and that too until 3 a.m.! Put your judgement aside and eat the Amritsari one with a topping of Pindi chhole, spicy chillies and onions. Their pepperoni is also super. Wash it all down with a milkshake.

Chicken Liver Ice Cream, Tres, Lodhi Market

An ingenious take on a chicken liver pate. It’s cold and creamy but retains the lightness and flavour of the pate version. Divine. It comes paired with an equally delicious caramelized shallot tart tatin. I wish they sold the ice cream by the pint.

Peking Duck, The China Kitchen, Hyatt Regency, Bhikaji Cama Place

Slow roasted on order in a wood fired oven, the most succulent duck with the crispiest skin (served separately). One of the best in the world. Served with paper thin pancakes, great hoisin sauce and thinly sliced spring onions and cucumber. Insist on making your own rolls.

CKP Prawn Pulao, Spice Market, Saket

A recipe from the Mahrashtrian CKP community, the spice levels on this make the rice in the pulao stand erect and make your ears go red. The prawns are plump and sweet, and it’s so good that you cannot but help ask for more.

Butter Chicken, Have More, Pandara Road

Creamy and buttery, without being heavy. What makes it so special is that it’s spicy, sweet, and tangy, all at once. It’s sweeter than the usual ones, but the acidic hit balances it perfectly to make it work time and again.

Stuffed Kulchas, Indian Accent, The Lodhi, Lodhi Road

The unsung heroes at my favourite Indian restaurant in the world are their stuffed kulchas – apple wood smoked bacon, chilli hoisin duck, butter chicken, wild mushroom with truffle oil and the pumpkin-cheddar. Served with pomegranate raita, this is a meal in itself.

Jumbo Prawn Bao, Ping's, Lodhi Market

The softest bao, the biggest, most succulent and perfectly fried prawn, with mayo, and the perfect condiments, makes this Delhi's best, in a city where frozen prawns are usually tasteless. All you need with it is a chilled beer.

Hot Chocolate Fudge, Nirula’s, multiple locations

A childhood favourite that remains the ultimate pick-me-up. Vanilla ice cream and gooey fudge-y chocolate sauce, and oh, the nuts! Always order extra nuts, and if you like it sweeter and gooey-er, then extra fudge too. The double scoop over the triple, and never share.

Banoffee Pie, Big Chill Cafe and Cakery, Khan Market

The perfect amalgam of whipped cream, bananas, salted caramel and biscuit; it hits the right spot every single time. Generous in their portion, the Big Chill banoffee is iconic and a fond favourite of the Khan Market Gang and beyond.

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Printable version | Jan 21, 2020 4:34:02 AM |

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